Despite an initially lukewarm reception, the Disney Newsies film gained a cult following in the years after its release, and when it hit Broadway in 2012 it was an instant success. With songs penned by multi-award winners Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, it’s no surprise that the show has some rousing numbers that have audiences rooting for Jack and his band of newsies after the opening bars. Here are some of the best songs from the original Newsies Broadway musical that also feature in the current UK production.
Seize the Day
With its slow, ballad-like beginning, Seize the Day is a song about strength, calling the newsboys to rise up against the power of the newspaper tycoons. With lyrics such as “Raise up the torch and light the way / Proud and defiant / We’ll slay the giant” it’s hard not to be captivated by the fighting spirit of this number. In true Disney musical form, the tempo of the song quickens at the two minute mark, and it becomes a lively, upbeat piece involving the whole ensemble.
Once And For All
Another rousing tune, Once And For All has contributions from several key cast members and is a defiant song that channels the anger of the newsies at being exploited by Joseph Pulitzer. The newsies sing, “See old man Pullitzer’s snug in his bed/ [...] While we are begging for bread to survive” and pledge to turn the tide together. Sat in the stalls you can’t help but root for this ragtag band of teenagers when you hear the song.
A classic power ballad, Santa Fe gives us a glimpse of what’s in Jack’s heart at the close of the first act. World weary and feeling defeated, the 17 year old dreams of a better life in the sunny state of New Mexico, almost 2,000 miles from his New York home. In this emotive solo, he sings of a change of scene, fresh air and starting over.
Something to Believe In
Jack and Katherine’s duet Something to Believe In is a stirring love song that offers a softer interlude between the politically charged numbers of the second act. Having just accepted a payoff and told the other newsies to stand down, Jack finds Katherine on his rooftop and the characters sing of the impact each has had on the other, intoning, “I have something to believe in / Now that I know you believed in me”. It’s this meeting that pushes Jack to reach an agreement with Pulitzer.
Adapted for the UK stage and performed in the round at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre, the Newsies Broadway show is packed with songs that will have you dancing in your seat. Now playing until 30 July 2023, it’s a spectacle not to be missed. Don’t miss out - book your tickets today.