nick the photobomber

Newsies Chicago

(I realized that I had never shared any of my Newsies experiences with you all, and I decided that today is the day! It’s really long, so I’m going to try to put a divider thingy below. Enjoy the story of the second and final time I saw Newsies on Tour!)

When we tried to have supper before the show, I couldn’t eat. I was too excited. I’d try to swallow, but my stomach was a swirling mass of butterflies. We got changed in the car, and I tried to make every detail of myself look beautiful, from the toes of my boots to the brim of my “Newsies” cap.

We walked to the theater, the Cadillac Palace, and I almost cried when I saw the marquis with “NEWSIES” written in bold letters. The doors of the theater were locked because we were so early, so we stood outside and waited. There were slips of paper on the ground announcing that “at this performance, the role of Romeo would be played by Julian DeGuzman. The roles usually played by Julian DeGuzman will be played by Stephan Hernandez.”

I began watching the “Newsies” ad play on a screen on the front of the theater. I began naming all of the actors that I saw, when my mom put her hand on my shoulder and spun me around. “Is that Josh?” she whisper-yelled. My mouth dropped open, and I felt faint. It was indeed my favorite newsie actor, Josh Burrage! He was wearing his grey shirt with his maroon shorts and backpack. I almost chased him down, but I didn’t want to be super creepy. I watched him until he turned the corner to get in the stage door. Then Mom and I began looking for other newsies. I saw two others, Anthony Zas and one other who I couldn’t place and can’t remember.

Then the doors opened. My heart was already beating out of my chest with the pure exhilaration of it all, but now it fairly flew out altogether. A smile had plastered itself across my face. The theater was elaborate and plush. Many people complimented me on my newsie boots. I didn’t know it was possible to be so happy. My mom let me pick out a few things from Merchandise, and I picked out a souvenir program and a “Newsies” sweatshirt. The saleswoman almost asked me if I wanted a “Newsies” bag but stopped herself halfway through her sentence, seeing that I already had one.

After that, I dragged my family behind me to the doors where we supposed to go to find our seats. My brother had his knee scooter, so we had an usher take care of that. At long last, they gave the actors their warning that the audience was about to enter. The doors opened, and I rushed inside, again almost crying at the sight of the three story towers of the set. We found our seats, which I helped pay for so we could sit on the floor. I was extremely antsy, so I dragged my dad up to the very front of the theater, where we peered into the orchestra pit, which was covered with a net. I had him take a few pictures of me with the set and then simply stared in awe at it.

When we went back to our seats, my brother asked what the slips of paper in our programs were for. Without taking my eyes from the beautiful projections on the set, I rattled off, “At this performance, the role of Romeo will be played by Julian DeGuzman. The roles usually played by Julian DeGuzman will be played by Stephan Hernandez.” My mom stared at me in shock and asked, “Did you read that?” I told her no, it was memorized. Before she could reply, I squealed in delight, “Mom! I just saw one of them in the wings!” I could name each actor as a saw his face or costume, impressing my entire family. I’m not sure they knew how deep my obsession truly ran until that moment.

When the first notes of the “Overture” trumpet solo sounded, I think I told the entire theater to shut up. A huge, cheesy grin was cemented on my face for the entirety of “Carrying the Banner.” I swear a few of the boys looked at me and smiled bigger when they saw my excitement. I laughed too loud at all of the jokes and clapped too loud for all of the songs. I watched for some little things, like Jack tying Crutchie’s shoe. Those seemingly little things are what make the show what it is. We were so close, I could see Jack spit during his strike speech. Seize the Day was epic. Josh’s flips are amazing, and Crutchie’s hop is so cute. Also, Crutchie and Les failed to rip their paper, and I saw a moment of panic pass between them. My heart bled when Crutchie was taken away. I almost bawled during “Santa Fe.”

Before the lights even came up after the last notes of “Santa Fe,” my dad and brother were shoving me into the aisle. I had told them that I needed to get out to get papes before the show even started. They had remembered, and I quickly reached the front, where papers littered the net over the orchestra pit. I stretched for a front page, but someone snatched it out from under my fingers. I almost cried, but quickly secured the paper that I had seen Katherine crumple up and throw. No one was trying to get the papers where I was, so I reached for another. Then, a guy with a grabber came out onstage and began handing out papers. He handed one to me, and then he got another. No one was around to take it, so he offered it to me. I was ecstatic with my three papers. As I walked back to my seat, I noticed many envious glares from other girls directed at my handful of newspapers.

I shook with excitement, waiting for the second act. Once more, I laughed too hard at the jokes and clapped too hard for the songs. I cried during “Letter from the Refuge.” I got overly excited for Spot Conlon and the Brooklyn newsies coming in to save the day. I rejoiced when Crutchie was reunited with Jack.

And then it was over. The actors took their bows and exited the stage. But I asked my dad if we could go to the stage door to meet the newsies. To my surprise and delight, he agreed! He even agreed to take pictures of me with all of the actors.

Iain Young was the first newsie I met. I really can’t tell you what I said or did because I was so excited to actually be meeting one of them!

Sky was the second newsie I met. I was so excited that to each of the actors, a string of words would fall out of my mouth. I told Sky that I loved his Albert, and he was so happy with me that he gave me a side hug.

Jordan was next, but he wasn’t so friendly. After he finished with the line, he rode his skateboard in the street.

When I saw Aisha (Medda), I freaked out. I told her that she was amazing and that I loved her song. She said, “Thank you, honey, but I didn’t write it!” We laughed, and I told her that she sang it amazingly. I think she liked me.

Next I saw Meredith Inglesby (Hannah). I told her that I loved her Hannah. She said she really enjoys playing her.

Steve Blanchard was next. I told him he was a great Pulitzer. He was SUPER nice. He asked if it was my first time at the show, and I’m pretty sure he called me sweetheart. He gave me a tight side hug.

Morgan Keene was the next person in line. She was AMAZING. That was the first thing that came out of my mouth. “You’re amazing!” I can’t even remember what else I said to her, I was THAT excited.

When I saw Josh, I could not contain my excitement. Mom and I had seen him come into the theater. He was wearing his grey shirt and maroon shorts and backpack. I almost fainted then. So at the stage door, I told him that I had seen him then, but I hadn’t wanted to bother him. He said I should’ve said hi and that I wouldn’t have been bothering him. I asked for a hug, and he was super sweet and gave me a nice, long, tight hug. I then got a picture with him. I thanked him at least ten billion times. I think he liked me.

I turned around from finishing with Josh, and there he was. The Jack Kelly. Joey Barriero was standing right behind me. I almost screamed. I don’t remember half of what I said, but I told that “Santa Fe” was my favorite song, and he said he hoped he had done okay. I told him that he was AMAZING! I also told him that he was an amazing Jack. He gave me a nice side hug, too. When he walked away, he rubbed my back a little, and I almost passed out.

Andy came next. I like Zach better. But I told him he did good anyway and that Crutchie is my favorite.

Nick was great too. He seemed so happy. We had one of those awkward moments where you don’t know which way to go when we were taking a picture. I saw him enter the theater as well.

Kaitlyn was awesome. She plays Sniper, the girlsie. I don’t even remember what I told her.

Anthony Zas was amazing. He’s less than an inch taller than I am! Nick photobombed one of his pictures. I told him that I loved his Spot. He said he loves playing him. I had seen him enter the theater, too, and I swear he looked at me from the stage.

Anthony Norman pushed his bike through the line. He’d ride it home to his parents after he was done with each show.

Julian was the last newsie we met. I waited a long time, hoping someone else would come out. He was so happy and full of energy. He asked how I was, and I said amazing and asked how he was. He said good, tired, and sweaty! I told him, “No wonder, after doing all that!” He thought that was pretty funny.

And that, summed up, is my amazing Newsies experience.

Band Of Brothers Bastogne reunion things (that I wanted to share):

(I was going to do this a bit differently, but I kinda just wanted to sum up everything and not on the reunion things I attended, so I’ll just do a random bullet point list. So they might not be in order, and I won’t really separate things between Friday and Saturday. But if anyone wants to know more about a certain thing, feel free to ask)

  • James Madio face timing Rich (who was in Australia) to show him the queue. I didn’t personally see it, but it happened while I was stood by the table, so apparently Rich has seen me without me knowing x)
  • Shane Taylor getting super excited when I told him my name was Roe and grabbing my arm and generally just being super happy. Him also remembering me on Saturday and basically having a chat with me for as long as he could before we were ushered out of the room, and then waving to me when I left (he is so sweet I’m so happy)
  • Bart Ruspoli asking me and El ( @really-itshotinafrica ) what our favourite episode was, and both of us having no ide what to say to that, and having to think for ages.
  • Rick Gomez and Ross McCall being super excited about everything and asking if I wanted a photo with them, which I ended up getting because I didn’t want to say no. I look awful in it, but both of them look great, so hey ho.
  • Dale Dye generally just being a massive sweetie.
  • James forgetting if he had signed the posters I had or not and having to double check.
  • Me finding out Robin Laing is Scottish during the Q&A session and basically being sat there in shock for a few minutes (I didn’t know okay I got so shocked).
  • Bart being a bit confused when I reached him on the Saturday, because he recognised me, so I had to tell him I’d been there the day before as well.
  • Rick Gomez and James Madio going to the bathroom together, and popping out behind Dale on the way and generally just being great. 
  • Bob Izumi, a 101st Airborne veteran signing things for ages and basically just being a badass. 

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