Newsies: Now is The Time to Seize the TicketJul 18, 2022 12:32PM ● By Megan Bartholomew
Photo Provided by Tamsen Butler
Summer is the time for outdoor entertainment. The Sumtur Amphitheater and Papillion La Vista Community Theatre deliver top-notch entertainment in their summer run of the beloved musical Newsies.
Director and Papillion La Vista South High School drama teacher Mary Dickson brings along many of the heavy hitters from the school’s drama department to round out this impressive cast from throughout the Omaha metropolitan area. Notably, community theater veteran Jude Glaser delights as Race with his singing, tap-dancing rendition of “King of New York”. Abram Butler shows off his acting chops by playing too many roles to keep track of. Henry Vote delivers a touching performance as the vulnerable yet determined Crutchie. Austin Delotelle continues his reign of playing angry, misunderstood adults as Wiesel.
The adults of the cast manage to stand out despite their younger co-stars’ electrifying performances. Bronson Gierhan’s portrayal of Joseph Pulitzer had the audience disliking the character yet loving his singing voice.
The ensemble cast delivers a fast-paced, energetic performance with beautiful vocals and acrobatic dance moves. As ensemble members leap, spin and tumble their way across the stage they don’t miss a beat with singing, creating visuals that are a pleasure to watch.
Though the entirety of the cast is impressive, Drew Firkins stands out in his lead role as Jack Kelly, playing the role he was apparently born to play. Firkins delivers a consistently solid performance in a role that gets nearly zero breaks throughout the show. He manages to offer a version of Jack that is both hard and soft, both silly and serious, and with a vocal range that immediately halts any chitter-chatter in the audience.
The versatile set is impressive and helps move each scene along nicely. The stagehands make set transitions in character as Newsies, adding to the fun in the show.
The show ran last weekend with three performances and there are three performances remaining: July 21, 22 and 23 at 8:00 p.m. Each performance has a ten-minute intermission and seating is available in the amphitheater chairs or general admission in the green space (bring a blanket or chair if you choose this option – and some bug spray!). Concessions are available, but audience members are welcome to bring their own food or non-alcoholic drinks into the amphitheater.
Buy tickets at the gate or beforehand at Sumtur.org. General admission prices are $10 and assigned seating is $14 (plus tax and fees). I suggest buying tickets beforehand as word gets out about this entertaining show!