Catholic Central students perform an act from “Newsies” during a rehearsal at Topper Hall last Tuesday (Jason Arndt/Standard Press).

Students, community come together for classic tale

By Jason Arndt

Catholic Central High School students and staff alike are raving about this year’s musical production of “Newsies,” which they say promises to deliver high energy and wide array of musical genres.

The production presented by the Catholic Central Theater Association premieres on Thursday, April 11, and will run through the weekend.

“Newsies” is a Tony award winning Disney musical set in 1899 New York and tells the story of rebellious newsboy Jack Kelly, who dreams of a life as an artist away from the big city.

But, his plans become derailed after publishing giant Joseph Pulitzer raises newspaper prices at the newsboys’ expense.

In response, Kelly and his fellow newsies take action, inspiring everyone to fight for their rights.

Sophomore Max Frederick, who plays Kelly, said audience members will see an enthusiastic cast with strong chemistry.

“I love the energy of this production and just the way our friendship that we have off the stage can translate on stage because of the characters we play,” said Frederick.

Show Director Abby Galstad agreed, but added it has historical value, considering it was inspired by a true story.

“It is a fun and high energy show. They can learn something about events that happened in history,” she said. “That is some of my favorite parts about the show.”

Galstad, however, said “Newsies” is unlike other high school musicals.

Typically, musicals feature a love story, but this year’s presentation showcases how a close-knit group comes together.

“It is not a traditional love story you often see. It is about this group of kids who become family to each other and fight to make their lives easier,” she said.

Crutchie, Kelly’s friend in the show, is played by Luke Gillmore.

Sarah Naber plays Pulitzer’s daughter, Katherine Plummer.

If you go…
WHAT: “Newsies” presented by Catholic Central Theater Association
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11, Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13; 2 p.m. Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14
WHERE: Catholic Central High School Topper Hall, 148 McHenry St., Burlington.
WHO: Students and community members.
ADMISSION: Tickets are available for purchase online at at a cost of $10 per person. Online ticket sales for each show will end two hours prior to each performance. Tickets may still be available for purchase at the door starting one hour before each show time.

True to history
Galstad enlisted nine adults to play characters in the musical to accurately display the history.

“It was important for me to use the adults in the show because it is based on a true story,” she said. “For historical element, there were these children who went up against adults. I wanted to make sure that we told that story clearly.”

While the show casted nine adults, finding enough boys to perform in the production was a challenge, according to Galstad.

“We have more girls than boys, so we cast girls in traditional boy roles,” she said. “There was switching around and rewriting the music to make sure that everyone could sing the parts better.”