Belmont Hill Theater Joins Dana Hall for “Newsies” Musical

Last week, Dana Hall and Belmont Hill performed the musical, Newsies, at the Dana Hall Theater.  TJ Cannistaro ’24 played a role as the musical’s main antagonist, Joseph Pulitzer, saying the show was “really about speaking up for yourself… a David versus Goliath situation.” The musical follows a group of “newsies,” poor children who sold newspapers in the late 1890s, who go on strike when Joseph Pulitzer raises the cost of newspapers purely for his own financial gain.  The musical is based on the Disney 1992 film of the same name.

TJ and the cast from Dana Hall gave electrifying performances to complement a play full of big chorus numbers and fun dialogue.  Ms. Wallace and Mr. Conway both were particularly impressed by the “Seize The Day” song/dance which they described as “explosive.”  Additionally, the costume department provided impressively convincing clothing that truly drove home the experience. TJ enjoyed the production for being “a show that a lot more people in the cast knew and have seen before”. A lot of the cast came into it “excited with our own ideas, many of which were implemented.” He says that although his role as Pulitzer was a small role, “it’s an important role for the story” with “very plot heavy” scenes. TJ’s favorite scene was when Crutchy, a friend of Jack Kelly–the leader of the newsies, is trapped in jail. He has a song dedicated to Jack, which is “a very heartfelt moment in the show. It’s when the newsies are at their weakest point; they’re scattered, Crutchy is in jail, and it’s really heartfelt and a contrast to the rest of the show.” He also thinks the song is extremely catchy, like many other songs in the show.

After doing this musical, along with many others at Dana Hall, TJ says, “It’s an amazing experience. I can’t overstate enough how important I think it is for people to try out theater, especially at Dana Hall.” He says that it is an experience unlike anything you can do on Belmont Hill’s campus and has changed him for the better in many ways. They have a massive theater that always gets filled to maximum capacity come showtime. The crowd is always very excited and enthusiastic. Make sure to check out Dana Hall Theater and maybe even consider joining one of the plays, even if it’s just as tech!

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