California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV) students are sure to capture hearts with the impressive dance feats and Tony Award-winning music of this year’s highly anticipated all-school musical, “Newsies.” Bringing to life the rough-and-tumble world of New York City during the 1899 Newsboy Strike, the show tells an inspiring story of friendship, hope and strength in numbers. The family-friendly performance is co-sponsored by the Glendale Community College Visual and Performing Arts Division, and takes place at their Mainstage Theatre from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.
The production features a cast of 40 students from across CSArts-SGV’s schools of dance, fine & media arts, music and theater. Casting students from various conservatories gives the aspiring artists the opportunity to collaborate with one another, as well as showcase and develop multiple talents in one setting.
“Our annual all-school musical is a terrific way to highlight the overall spirit and talent of the school,” said Chair of Theatre Jay Wallace, who is directing the show. “We chose ‘Newsies’ for its infectious energy and the possibilities it provides for collaboration across conservatories. This musical resonates with young people and excites our CSArts-SGV students.”
“Newsies” is well known for its highly creative and athletic dance numbers, requiring endurance and hard work from all performers. The show’s choreographer and CSArts-SGV Chair of Dance Alison Dambach describes how the performance is helping students to grow across disciplines.
“I always encourage our students to develop their skills in dancing, singing and acting, knowing how difficult it is to do all three at once,” said Dambach. “It takes a lot of breath support and stamina to get through a typical musical, and in ‘Newsies,’ there’s no holding back on the dancing. The cast dances through scenes, through transitions, on top of tables…you name it, they do it. Our students are so superb that they’ve stepped right up to the plate from the first day of auditions and have built the confidence to perform this very physical show.”
The set, designed by professional scenic designer Amanda Stuart, provides great flexibility and dynamic levels for the performers to shine while emulating aspects of the New York City skyscrapers. The talented team leading the production also includes Bridget McNally (associate choreographer/director) and Graham Jackson (music director). Jeffrey de Seriere, director of the Instrumental Music Conservatory conducts the orchestra in Alan Menken’s heartwarming score.
CSArts-SGV is grateful to the Glendale Community College (GCC) Visual and Performing Arts Division for the use of its performing arts space, as well as providing mentorship to production and design students who have the opportunity to work alongside GCC technical staff.
“Glendale Community College is excited to partner with California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley, in their production of ‘Newsies,’ ” said Peter J. Green, D.M.A., GCC chair of visual and performing arts. “We at GCC recognize that the visual and performing arts are an essential and integral part of the personal, social and economic well-being of our students. We hope to continue this wonderful collaboration between both schools.”
“Newsies” takes place Thursday – Friday, Jan. 31 to Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online atsgv.csarts.net/boxoffice for $25, or at the door for $30.