Hawaii Children’s Theatre announces production of ‘Newsies’

  • Photo courtesy Debra Blachowiak

    The cast of “Newsies” includes: Front row from left: Skylar Shim, Savannah Hubbard, Maddison Hubbard, Tanner Hubbard, David Braman, Isaac Dubey, Cole Diamond, Annabella Thompson, Kehaulani Roberts-Duque and Anamika Whittingham. Second row from left: Larry Richardson, Simon Oyama, Veda Parker, Ariana Franks, Sienna Gregerson, Benjamin Petterson, Selah Snowden, Leilani Goldberg, Melina Ventura, Katy Hoesel, Jacob Lester, Colten Moore, Billy Quebido, Mahina Olores, Maddy Thain, Preston Hayden, Charles O’Neill, Mia Thompson, Margaret McLeod, Eve Parker and Pierson Wetherington. Back from left are Abby Winters, Jodi Woodward, Rayna Shafter, Fia Gaines, Bethany Zamora, Travis Williamson, Katherine Polzin, Emma Pinkston, Makaya Kaduce and Ahnalia Koufis.

The Hawaii Children’s Theatre announces the production of Disney’s “Newsies.”

Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, “Newsies” features the Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken (“Little Shop of Horrors,” “Sister Act”) and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (“Kinky Boots”).

Featuring the now-classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” and “Santa Fe,” “Newsies” is packed with nonstop thrills and a timeless message for the whole family.

The production is directed and choreographed by Rebecca Hanson, who has been HCT’s director for its Summer Stars program since 2014. She’s directed “The Wizard of Oz,” “James and the Giant Peach Jr.,” and this past summer directed “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” She has also directed many shows on Kauai including “The Lion King Jr.” “Little Shop of Horrors,” and “Spamalot.”

Hanson is originally from Minneapolis, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in theatre arts, after which she toured for four years with “Sesame Street, Live!” before starting her career in theater education and direction.

Hanson is excited to bring one of her all-time favorite musicals to Kauai audiences as her first large-scale musical production. She is complemented by a team of seasoned theatre professionals including Nina Saraos (musical director), Dolly Kanekuni (producer and vocal coach), Bailey Hutton (stage manager) and Debra Blachowiak (producer).

The cast of “Newsies” features 49 people from the Kauai community, including 28 who are under 13 years old. Veteran Kauai performers featured include Billy Quebido (Jack Kelly), Jessika Montoya (Katherine), Colten Moore (Crutchie) and Ariana Franks (Medda Larkin).

HCT’s hallmark is a diverse cast integrating both experienced and novice actors, with an educational production process where students and adults build valuable theatre skills in all aspects of production, while building confidence and a sense of teamwork along the way.

The show is scheduled to perform over three weekends at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall from Nov. 9 through Nov. 25, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 4 p.m.

Tickets are available from the cast for $10, at the door for $15 adults, $12 seniors/students (children 3 and under are free). Advance tickets will be available for $12 at ticket outlets from Oct. 15, and on HCT’s website. Ticket outlets are: Times in Lihue, Kalaheo Cafe, Progressive Expressions in Koloa, Papayas in Kapaa, Healthy Hut in Kilauea, and Magic Dragon Toy and Art Supply in Princeville. Groups may contact HCT for discounted group tickets.

The community is encouraged to support a special benefit matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 11, for Kauai food banks, with $6 tickets from the cast and at the door with a donation of food or money.

Hawaii Children’s Theatre productions are made possible through community support and thousands of volunteer hours. Many opportunities remain to support the production in its final month of preparation.

Those interested to find out more about how to support “Newsies” and Hawaii Children’s Theatre including donations, set sponsorship, program advertising, group tickets and/or volunteering, are invited to contact HCT Administrator Erin Gaines at the HCT office, 634-6612, via email at info@hawaiichildrenstheatre.org, on the website at HawaiiChildrensTheatre.org, or at the program office, 246- 8985.

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