Check out “Newsies” on Broadway!

On Sunday I went to New York City to see “Newsies.” It’s a musical about newsboys   going up against Joseph  Pulitzer for  raising  prices of the papers that they hand out everyday. It is similar to the Occupy Wall Street Movement except the newsboys  are against Pulitzer who was clearly one of the 1% of society at the time.

“Newsies” is set in the summer of 1899 and is the story of a group of newsboys who manage to turn their fight into a city-wide movement of children struggling for more rights in their places of employment. The musical shifts through various backdrops from the newsboys’ lodging house to Pulitzer’s office in The World to the theater where a city-wide newsboys’ rally is held. What really keeps the story going though are the musical and dance numbers that are perfectly choreographed and really show just how talented the cast is.

The members of the cast to keep an eye on are Jeremy Jordan who plays the role of Jack Kelly, leader of the newsboys, and who is very charismatic. He matures throughout the show from someone who just wanted to go out West to someone who really cared about the plight of his fellow newsboys. Another actor to watch is Ben Fankhauser who plays the role of Davey, president of the newly formed newsboys’ union, and who was initially a reluctant member of the strike but ends up really pushing the strike forward. Lastly, Lewis Grosso, who plays the role of Les, younger brother of Davey, is always at pivotal moments of the movement. 

This is a musical definitely worth seeing if you enjoy a good David and Goliath tale or just a feel-good musical with a positive message–that even if you’re young, you can still do something to have your rights considered. It is a limited run, so grab some tickets while they’re still available. “Newsies” plays at the Nederlander Theatre at 208 West 41st Street.

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Don’t want to read a book? Try fanfiction

Are you not in the mood to read a book at the moment? You should try reading fanfiction. What is fanfiction? Fanfiction is a type of story where writers use characters from TV shows, movies, books, and video games and write stories about them. It’s amazing what people can do with characters that are already that are already well known. They put them in different worlds, create series about them, and even put them in different kinds of relationships.

With fanfiction, there are many terms used to describe the kind of story it is. Some of the more interesting terms include:

1. slash–having two characters from the same sex in a relationship with each other

2. songfic–creating a story based on a song

3. shipping–a story with a relationship in it.

4. crossover–having characters from two different books, video games, etc. in the same story

Some of the most popular types of fanfiction include stories based on the Harry Potter books and movies and the TV show GleeThere are many different websites out there for fanfiction including the largest website, Fanfiction.net, which features fanfics (fanfiction stories) about almost anything you’d want to read about. Other websites include Mibba. com, which is a website for young authors to share their work with others and Fanworks.com, which is a site where people write stories using some of their favorite music artists or anime characters. It’s a great way to find something to read without having to pick out a book. I’ve been reading fanfiction for six years now and I find it to be very relaxing and interesting to see how people put characters we know really well through different situations that we may not even have thought about in the first place.

Great Summer Series

I’ve enjoyed several different series over the years, but here are some recent series I’ve read that would be great to try over the summer. They’re generally for teens but adults may enjoy them as well. My picks for June are:
 
1. The Mortal Instruments series–Cassandra Clare
These fantasy novels are about Clary Fray who has lived an ordinary life until it is  changed forever when her mother is kidnapped by her former husband who used to be a Shadowhunter or someone who hunts demons. She wants to rescue her mother and is helped by Jace Lightwood and his family of Shadowhunters. Along the way Jace and she  begin a close relationship. She learns more about this world that her mother had been part of and kept a secret from her all her life. I find these books to be very engrossing and for those who enjoy fantasy and romance.
 
2. Across the Universe trilogy–Beth Revis
In these futuristic science fiction novels, Amy was a cryogenically frozen passenger abroad the Godspeed, a ship funded by the Financial Resource Exchange that is heading from Earth to settle on a new planet, Centauri-Earth. The journey is supposed to take 300 years but 250 years in she is violently awaken. The first book is her experience settling onto the ship and meeting Elder, the future leader of the ship. Told through their perspectives the books describe their experience learning the secrets of the ship and quelling potential mutiny by the residents of the ship. I’ve never really enjoyed science fiction before, but I found  that these novels are very realistic and transcend the genre to be novels of friendship, potential romance, and mystery, in which a ship and its leader have hidden secrets that must be discovered before the ship collapses.
 
3. Divergent series–Veronica Roth
In this dystopian series, society is divided into five factions–Amity, Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite, and Candor. When members of the society turn sixteen, they take a test to see what faction they are most suited for. Beatrice Prior takes this test and finds that she is suited for three of the factions–an anomaly that is revealed to be known as Divergent. She must keep this a secret when settling into her new faction, because it would be too dangerous to reveal. As she settles in, she develops a close relationship with one of the instructors and is faced in the end with the choice of saving her family or staying with her faction. These are books by a debut author who seems to really understand friendship and relationships and can make the characters relatable to her audience. The books may be long, but they are quick reads as the plot thickens and tension builds between the factions.

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