Grand Rapids Will Know That Newsies are Here May 31 – June 23
Energy. Lots and lots of energy. That’s what the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is bringing to the stage with Disney’s Newsies – the fast and fun musical based on the newsboys strike of 1899.
It tells the tale of how a group of boys overcame the oppressive, unfair conditions they suffered until they formed a union.
Some of the Area’s Finest Musical Talent Hits the Stage
After a very large turnout for auditions, the Civic Theatre is bringing a cast that will be sure to entertain with high-energy dance numbers and soaring, blood-pumping melodies. The youngest member of the cast, Jonathan Parédez, plays the role of Les, the littlest newsboy who is trying to make a difference by standing up for his rights.
Seeing Jonathan in this role will be a little bit of art imitating life. Only 10 years old, being a little guy trying to do big guy things fits Jonathan’s personality exactly. This has made playing the part of Les easy for him, and being the only child in the cast has not been difficult.
“It’s not been hard because I like to try to be a big boy, and that’s kind of what my role is. It’s not weird, though, for me to be the only little boy,” Jonathan said.
Homeschooled and in the fourth grade, Jonathan was strongly encouraged to audition for Newsies by his two older sisters. Before his audition, Jonathan said he had no idea what Newsies was about, but his sisters were adamant that he give it a try.
“My sisters said, ‘You would be a great Newsie. You’ve got all that it takes: You can dance, you can look cute,’ stuff like that. I had no idea what Newsies was. I knew nothing about it.”
Jonathan said his audition did not go well at all in his opinion, and he was very surprised to get a call-back audition.
“When I started singing I blanked out on all the words,” he said. “I was very surprised to get called back. They care about if you can actually sing.”
Perseverance and stage presence won the day, and Jonathan, who has been in previous shows with Master Arts Theatre and Midway Theater Company, received word that he had won the role.
“I was mostly shocked and also really happy,” he said.
For now, rehearsals are going well, and Jonathan is especially enjoying learning new choreography and bonding with his cast members.
One of this favorite parts of rehearsing so far has been learning to punch and fall from a “fight choreographer.”
And not to give away any spoilers, but he is looking forward to running on the set during a chase scene.
How to Get Your Tickets to See Newsies
Disney’s Newsies is great fun for all ages and hits the stage May 31 through June 23, 2019. Performances Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30 PM and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.
You can purchase tickets on their website or through the box office. Tickets range from $22-$39 for adults, $20 for children.
Enter to WIN
Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is giving away a pack of four tickets to see Disney’s Newsies to one lucky winner. There are three ways to get entries in for a chance to WIN by commenting on THIS article. Facebook comments do NOT count for entries.
1: For a first entry, leave a comment below telling us your favorite Grand Rapids Civic show or your favorite musical.
2. Get a second entry by “liking” Grand Rapids Civic Theatre on Facebook and leave a separate comment telling us you did so. (Note: Only comments on this grkids.com article will be counted for this giveaway.)
3. Get a third entry by sharing this with friends. Leave another comment below telling us how you shared.
This giveaway will close on May 17, 2019 at midnight and the winners will be notified via email. The winner will have 24 hours to respond by email accepting the prize. No purchase necessary to enter the contest. Leaving a comment on this blog post is not a requirement of entry. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to grkids.com and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used to enter the contest and notify winners. Entrants will release Facebook from all liability. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and reside in Michigan. Only one entry per household or IP address. Entrants may also enter the contest by sending an email to win at grkids dot com containing their name, address, phone number and email address along with the words: Newsies Giveaway in the subject line. Grand Rapids Kids’ liability is limited to the value of the prize.