Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Newsies Musical - back in theaters - Adoption Movie Review

In the Broadway musical Newsies, it’s 1899 and the nation’s newspapers are sold by freelance kids and teenagers who buy a stack of papers hoping to sell them for a small profit. Many of the newsies are orphaned and homeless, but the meager profits they earn from selling papers helps them avoid The Refuge, a children’s detention center which is unsafe because of how poorly it is run. When the publisher decides to raise the cost of the papers, further cutting in to the income of the young boys, they initially despair, but later decide to strike. Inspired by real-life events, Newsies tells the story of how the children and teens banded together to form a union to fight the powerful publishing conglomerate.

Newsies returns to theaters for one more day on Saturday, March 4 at 12:55 PM local time. For more information, check out FathomEvents.com

The Adoption Connection

Many of the newsies are orphaned, homeless children and teens. The Refuge could provide housing for the boys, but it is more of a detention center, and children there are underfed, underdressed, and forced to sleep three to a bed.  Two of the new newsies have a family, and are resorting to this work 
to help their family, as their father has been injured and lost his job. They’re surprised to learn that not every kid has a family.

Strong Points

When children work together, they are able to improve their situation, even against the intentions of powerful adults.

The kids and teens have strong loyalty for each other.

The show is pretty upbeat.


Some kids who have been neglected might find the refuge troubling. Kids who have been appropriately detained by social workers might still find it frightening when these kids and teens are 
chased by adults who want to bring them to the Refuge.

A teen who walks on a crutch is sometimes mocked by others, and is given the unfortunate nickname “Crutchie.”

A cruel adult threatens to remove two children from their family.


There are some ways in which Newsies might brush painfully up against the experiences of some kids who have been neglected and taken into foster care. At the same time, it is a powerful and uplifting depiction of the power that even kids can have when they join together for a right cause. Consider watching this one with kids 8 or 9 and up.

Questions for Discussion

When have you spoken up against something that you felt was wrong? How did it go? 

What causes do you believe in? What changes would you like to make in the world? What things do you think are going really well already?

What made the Newsies’ strike successful?

Who are your best friends?

Do you think social workers and police officers are generally nice or mean?

Newsies returns to theaters for one more day on Saturday, March 4 at 12:55 PM local time. For more information, check out FathomEvents.com 

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