With the announcement of Globe Live’s and 9 Works Theatrical’s production of Disney’s Newsies, many of you may be wondering, what makes musical theater so unique from other avenues of entertainment, like television and movies?
As a musical theater enthusiast, my answer is simple — involvement. Because in theater, you’re not just a mere viewer but you’re a part of the story. And that’s because you’re taking the journey with the characters as their story unfolds onstage. This particular element of theater drew me into the art form and made me a sincere fan.
So when I got the opportunity to meet Globe Live’s Senior Adviser for Creative Marketing and Multimedia business, Joe Caliro, and Newsies’ award-winning director, Robbie Guevara, I interviewed them about their live adaptation of the Disney Broadway musical, Newsies.
Through my queries, I learned some interesting facts about this challenging adaptation. And in my opinion, this version is definitely starting to look like one amazing musical that needs to be seen, heard and appreciated by the public. These are my reasons why…
The musical offers a fresh and unique interpretation of the beloved classic
The first question that everyone probably wants to know is, what makes this live production different from that of the movie adaptation and the Broadway version? To answer that question, Guevara clarifies that this live production differs from other versions as it involves his unique interpretation of the musical. Instead of viewing other musical interpretations of Newsies, he took inspiration from the story’s musical score. Because his creative process doesn’t involve prior viewing of any version, you can be assured that this live adaptation offers a fresh and unique perspective from former Newsies presentations.
It’s a Disney production
Some directors consider working with a big company a bit tedious, especially if that company is as massive and as iconic as Disney. However for Guevara, working with Disney actually helped him establish certain limits to his production and challenged him to do better as a director. “Disney really sets us on one path. Do I get limited by it? No. I use the challenge to make me think more on how to do it better and more different,” he notes.
They created Training Ground to better their performers
Although their partnership with Disney is going quite well, Caliro noted that tackling the musical was one difficult feat to achieve. “I knew how difficult this (Newsies) is. This is, like, up there with some of the most difficult shows on Broadway because of the fact that it’s [a cast of mostly] boys. Tell me any other show with a massive cast of boys that have to sing, act, and dance,” Caliro explains.
This is where Training Ground comes in.
Caliro says that Training Ground was created for two reasons. The first of which is that they needed an academy to train their performers in song and dance. “Everybody had to learn ballet, jazz and acrobatics and tap. And the singing, as well, was a challenge for everybody. Especially for a show of this caliber,” Guevara admits. Training Ground was a way to condition their performers to become triple threats in singing, dancing, and acting.
In addition to two months of rehearsals, the performers must also undergo 3 months of training under the Training Ground.
The second reason Training Ground was formed was to continue the success of “I Dare to Dream,” the first-ever Philippine reality competition in digital format. “We were coming off from Disney’s ‘I Dare to Dream.’ I wanted to create another reality show. [So] I talked to the Disney executive and they were all in favor of it,” Caliro expounds.
Because the production makes use of the digital format, online viewers everywhere can watch the progress of the performers as they prepare for the premiere of Newsies in the Philippines.
Through these YouTube webisodes, viewers can witness the extraordinary feats the performers undergo to deliver top-notch performances for Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical’s productions.
The Newsies is a David and Goliath story of strength and resilience
What truly makes Newsies worth the watch is the story behind the musical itself. It’s a story of overcoming personal challenges and standing up for what’s right despite the hurdles that come your way. “The story’s about a bunch of kids struggling to make ends meet. And all of a sudden, they’re gonna be oppressed some more by people who were supposedly helping them — employing them. As Filipinos, that happens to a lot of us, even today,” Guevarra adds. And the fact that it’s based on a true story makes it all the more interesting to watch. Caliro even compares the story of Newsies to David and Goliath — “It’s a David versus Goliath type of thing. It’s a rage against the machine and it’ll resonate no matter what country!”
Be sure to catch the live performance of Disney’s Newsies every weekend starting from July 7 to 31, 2017 at the Globe Iconic Store. For more details on the production and discount promos, visit go.globe.com.ph/newsies and follow glbe.co/newsiesmnl on Facebook.
Disney’s Newsies was produced by Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical. Tickets sell for P 2,090 and are now available for purchase at Ticketworld.com.ph.