Our “newsie” becomes a Newsie

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Disney’s Newsies is at Altria Theater this week, so what better time for 8News Anchor Amy Lacey to get a behind the scenes look?

“These are the knickers that you’ll get to wear,” Head Wardrobe Supervisor Gillian Austin tells Lacey back stage. That’s where this news anchor’s transformation into a 19th-century newsboy begins.

Wool knickers, a henley, a button-down shirt, wool vest, long socks, boots and a newsboy cap make up the look. They are fresh off the rack, but come with an old-time feel.

“A lot goes into these costumes to keep them looking dirty,” Austin says as he explains the costumes are aged with dyes and paint to transport Lacey and the cast to 1899 New York.

The plot is inspired by real events: Publishers raised the price of papers, so the city’s newsboys went on strike.

“It’s a David and Goliath story,” describes David Guzman, who plays Finch in the show.  “People from the bottom overcoming a big challenge.”

Guzman, along with Newsies cast members Chaz Wolcott, Jordan Samuels and J.P. Ferreri, walks Amy through one of the signature scenes. The “newspaper dance,” as it is called, helped the show win a Tony award for choreography with every twist, turn and tag line.

This dance routine uses newspapers to slide on the floor.
This dance routine uses newspapers to slide on the floor.

“Strike!” the dancers, including Lacey, shout when finishing the fancy footwork using newspapers to slide on the floor.

There is also plenty of singing because no live show is complete without a catchy song.

Faith Seeto, the Newsies Assistant Conductor, pounds out a tune on the piano while the cast members sing.

“A pair of new shoes with matching laces, a permanent box at Sheepshead Races, a barbershop haircut that cost a quarter, a regular beat for the star reporter.”

“Look at me!” Lacey exclaims, punching her fist in the air for her speaking line during the song.

“She’s the King of New York!” the Newsies sing with the piano playing in the background.

Lacey says the cast really did make her feel like royalty. While she’s not quitting her day job anytime soon, she did enjoy walking and dancing in the cast’s shoes for a moment.

A lot of time and talent goes into a show of this size from start to finish.

“Everyone loves it,” says Guzman.

Newsies will be at Altria Theater through November 8.

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