Extra! Extra! Roslyn High School to perform musical ‘Newsies’

Extra! Extra! Roslyn High School to perform musical ‘Newsies’
Roslyn High School drama program Royal Crown Players is rehearsing for their upcoming performances of "Newsies" at the end of the month. (Photo courtesy of Christina Cinnamo)

Royal Crown Players, the drama program at Roslyn High School, is bringing the critically acclaimed “Newsies” to the stage in the hope of inspiring the next generation of theater kids with their performance.

The musical, which has been nominated for numerous awards and won two Tonys, tells a story inspired by the Newsboys strike of 1899 in New York City. In reaction to a sharp hike in newspaper prices, the newsboys rose up against the power of two publishing giants.

Shows, which are 2 ½ hours with a one 15-minute intermission, will be held at the Roslyn High School auditorium March 30, 31 and April 1.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online at a discounted price, $10 for students and senior citizens and $12 for adults. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $12 for students and senior citizens and $14 for adults.

This production is entirely student-produced,  the show’s drector, Christina Cinnamo, said.

Nearly 70 students are involved in the show, with 40 students in the cast for all the on-stage performances, 10-15 students in the crew to manage the production and 15 students in the pit orchestra that plays live for the production.

Jamie Lumetta, a junior at Roslyn High school, is a cast member in the production and plays one of the newsies. He is also the corresponding secretary for Royal Crown Players.

Jamie said that he has personally enjoyed getting to learn the choreography for the production as it was not a skill he knew much about beforehand. The production includes dance styles like tap, which he said has been interesting to learn.

Auditions and casting were done in December, and they then “hit the ground running” in January when rehearsals began, Christina said.

The cast rehearses about three to four times a week, but now that the performance is nearing,  they are practicing every day. Christina said the students have been quick to learn and they are now at the point of just putting the finishing touches on the show.

About a week ago, the production had its first full run-through of the show. Christina said this was a great confidence boost for the cast and production members as everyone was able to feel connected with one another. This was a high point for her during the production process.

With the cast rehearsing since January and now every day, she said the biggest challenge has been mental and physical stamina for the students.

The show is high energy, Christina said, and it’s physically demanding, but the cast has stepped up to the challenge and really delivered.

While Jamie is now taking on his role as a newsie, he still has a role as a student as well. Balancing a schedule full of academics and theater rehearsals on top of other extracurriculars can be challenging, but he makes it possible.

“We really enjoy the theater so it’s not an additional taxing thing,” Jamie said. “It’s really a way to let your creativity shine and just enjoy yourself.”

Jamie said he is most looking forward to performing the show for their community and seeing his fellow cast members produce it. Christina agreed, saying it is an excellent show and she can’t wait for the community to see the work they’ve been putting into this production.

Christina said the themes of the show, good triumphing over evil and the power in community, are important and has meaning for the students involved. They are looking forward to sharing this in their performances.

“The show resonates a lot with young people of today willing to fight what’s right and a better future,” Jamie said.

He said he hopes more people from the community will become interested in theater, possibly inspiring the younger children in the audience to want to be a part of it in the future.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the show opening,” Jamie said. “I love theater and I feel like this is really an amazing way to be introduced to it.”

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