Academy Street Theatre Group, an Arts in Education Program of the Cherokee County School District, will close the 2018-19 season with Disney’s “Newsies.”
Shows are 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Cherokee High School, 930 Marietta Highway, Canton, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday as well. Tickets are $5.
Set in 1899 New York City, “Newsies” is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.” When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right.
Based on the 1992 movie and inspired by a true story, “Newsies” features a Tony-award winning score including the now-classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day” and “Santa Fe.” “Newsies” is fun for the whole family and appropriate for audiences of all ages.
This production features 60 students from elementary, middle and high schools across the Cherokee County School District. This show is very complex, requiring a set with several levels and many unusual and versatile on-stage fixtures. The music and dance numbers are iconic, which makes it challenging to keep the heart of the show while bringing fresh choreography and character interpretations to the stage.
According to Cindi Bekas, choreographer for Academy Street, “The choreography for ‘Newsies’ is very challenging and athletic. I am so excited to work with this cast because I didn’t really have to think about the levels of the different performers. I brought my ‘A’ game and the dancers have risen to the challenge. What they have achieved is incredible, including the big tap number! I am blown away by the student talent we have in this county and on our stage. It is very exciting to see.”
The Academy Street Theatre Group was founded in 1992 and is an Arts in Education Program of the Cherokee County School District, offering students both onstage and offstage opportunities in theatre productions. Throughout its time, Academy Street has staged more than 50 productions including 28 productions of the Christmas classic, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Other productions include “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Cinderella,” “The Sound of Music,” “Once Upon a Mattress,” “The Music Man,” “Oklahoma!,” “Mary Poppins,” “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
The director for Academy Street, Reed Christian, is a teacher at River Ridge High School and is in her sixth year with the troupe. She has 17 years of theater experience in Cherokee County and said she is excited to present “Newsies” to close out the season.