Kids Coop Theatre presents the southern N.H. premiere of Newsies

The cast of Newsies will perform at the Derry Opera House this weekend only. Tickets can be purchased at

Tim Gore

Tim Gore, Magazine Chief

The smash-hit Broadway musical Newsies, adapted from the Disney film of the same name, is a vibrant show filled with upbeat music and energetic dancing. Six years after it opened on Broadway, Kids Coop Theatre will present its southern New Hampshire premiere.

Newsies, based on a historical event, tells the story of the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899. Jack Kelly, played by Zac Barnaby, and his group of Manhattan newsies stand up for what they believe is right, even if it means having to face the political giant Joseph Pulitzer, played by Ryan Geary.

One of the newsies in this show is portrayed by Garrett Olsen, and he notes that the musical showcases the importance of sticking together against the odds.

“It’s the story of newsies fighting an oppressive power,” Olsen said, “but it’s really just about brotherhood and togetherness in the face of adversity, and I think that’s a really important message to send to children and the audience at which the show is targeted.”

Zac Barnaby (Jack Kelly) agrees with Olsen, saying one of the major themes in the show is the difference between the older and the younger generations.

“There’s one line in the show that I think sums it up really well,” Barnaby said. “It says that there comes a time in each generation where they need to rise up and demand a place at the table. That’s really what this show is about. There’s all these injustices, and they start to realize these things for themselves. They start to push back.”

Barnaby has an additional perspective. He thinks that one of the messages of Newsies has to do with being a dreamer.

“It’s good to dream,” he said. “But there comes a time when you have to realize that there’s a huge possibility that what you’re looking for is right under your nose.”

Jack’s friend Crutchie is played by Michael Overko. Overko enjoys the high energy and the strength that is conveyed through the show’s music.

“It’s truly a remarkable show,” he said. “We have a great cast and the energy brings so much to the table, and it’s in your face. It makes you feel good, you want to support these kids, you want to stick up for them, you want to cheer for them.”

One of the other characters in the show is Davey. He and his brother, Les, become newsies at the beginning of the show to support their family after their father is laid off. Davey is played by Michael Hughes. Hughes believes that this story and its message are still powerful and important in the present day, just as they were in 1899.

“I think this story really connects with today,” Hughes said. “A younger generation is being seen as very different than the older generation, and that younger generation needs to take its foothold in what has been presented to it.”

Olsen also appreciates how this show speaks into today’s world.

“Kids today are sometimes brushed under the rug,” Olsen said. “This show involves kids that are intelligent and that understand how the world works and what they’re talking about. They don’t deserve to be swept under the rug, they deserve to be paid attention to and listened to, and they deserve the same rights as the people who control them.”

Overko says that it is important to have courage and to make your voice heard. He connected the story with the Dr. Seuss quote, “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”

He said that in Newsies, “There are these people down below, and they are facing this person so up high. They might be small figuratively, but they have such a big voice and they can make such an impact. And today, as the younger generation, we can achieve that. Since we’re playing young kids, that resonates so much with us, and we get to feel this power and emotion through this powerful show.”

Newsies opens at the Derry Opera House on November 15 at 7:00 PM. The cast will also perform on Friday, November 16 at 7:00 PM and on Saturday, November 17 at 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Tickets are $13.50 and can be purchased online at Some tickets may also be available at the door.

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