Great Moments in Musicals: Newsies

So, as you may have noticed, we love musicals here.  They’re such a fascinating story-telling technique, because they allow characters to express their internal life in a way regular storytelling doesn’t without voice-overs or reeeeally awkward dialogue.

That’s not to say musicals can’t be awkward sometimes.  In fact, sometimes musicals lend themselves to the slightly bizarre and ridiculous.  I consider this just another reason to love them, and I hope to share my love of some of the stranger musical numbers with you.

I thought I’d start with something from a totally awesome movie just FULL of awkward musical numbers (awkward musical numbers that ROCK, by the way), Newsies.

And what better scene from Newsies then the song with maybe the weirdest dance solo I’ve ever seen, “Santa Fe.”

Let’s see if I can encompass the awesomeness of this scene. First, you have Christian Bale (as Jack Kelly) being, let’s face it, a little emo.  He’s FREE!  LIKE THE WIND!  He ain’t getting any YOUNGER.

Then there’s the Kenny Ortega’s (yes, he of the High School Musical franchise) choreography.  Notice the part at about 1:40 when Christian Bale leaps from some strange little perch in the wall, like he’s impersonating a gargoyle or something?  No idea what that’s about.  The highlight of the choreography though, obviously, is Christian Bale’s valiant effort starting around 2:08 to… I don’t know what. Do some kind of martial arts?

Finally, Jack Kelly steals a horse. The owners make only a very minor effort to get him to stop stealing their horse (“Hey!  that’s ours!”) and when he’s done, he just sort of pats the horse on the butt and let’s it go.  Maybe he wants the horse to also be FREE, like the WIND?

I don’t know, but I can tell you one thing: this movie is awesome.

— carmhelga


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