The Upper Neuse Greenway is one of my favoritae places to run in Raleigh. Starting at Falls Dam the flat paved trail stretches for more than 27 miles along the river all the way down to Johnston County. Along the way you’ll experience nice views of the river, cross winding boardwalk areas over wetlands, and enjoy a lush wooded landscape. If you haven’t done so already I recommend checking it out. Now is the perfect time of year to explore the trail! For a map of the trail visit the trail website here.
I love this time of year. It’s still warm enough for a trip to the beach, but you can feel the change in the air as the heat begins to break and make way for the cooler fall weather. This means it is the perfect time to catch some great outdoor events around the Triangle. Below is a quick list of some of my favorite upcoming events for the month of September. If you know of some other fun things on deck next moth feel free to let me know in the comments section. Thanks!
September 2016 Events
- African American Cultural Festival
- Durham Central Park Food Truck Rodeo
- Hopscotch Music Festival
- Wake Forest Friday Night on White
- Paperhand Puppet Intervention at NCMA
- Beericana Beer & Music Festival
- Hillsborough Hog Day
- Durham Centerfest Art Festival
- Apex Jazz Festival
- Carrboro Music Festival
- NCMA Outdoor Movie Series
September 2nd, 3rd, 16th
This past Tuesday was a special night at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC). Not only was it opening night for Newsies, but DPAC also welcomed its 3 millionth guest! I’ll share more about the lucky guest in a minute, first lets get to my review of the show.
The current production of Newsies is an updated version of the 1992 Disney movie musical that tells the story of the 1899 newsboy strike in New York City. Joey Barreiro plays Jack Kelly, head newsboy and leader of a ragtag group of boys (newsies) who sell newspapers on the city streets. Jack and the newsies, already struggling on the fringes of society with the daily toil of trying to earn enough to survive, rebel and form a union in response to the powerful owner of the paper after he raises the price the boys pay for the papers to pad his bottom line.
An added character and love interest not part of the original movie, Morgan Keene plays Katherine, an aspiring newspaper reporter looking to cover the strike to show she can cover real news for the paper and breakout from puff pieces she is assigned to for the paper’s society page.
Barreiro and Keene have a great chemistry on the stage and both put on strong performances in these central roles. But Newsies is a little different from some of the other shows I’ve seen recently. The star of the show is the ensemble cast and their jaw-dropping and dance moves. The show is at its very best when the stage is filled with two dozen young men tapping, jumping, and doing back flips to the wonderful choreography of Christopher Gattelli. Honestly watching their amazing acrobatics reminded me of and Olympic gymnast’s floor routine. It really was that amazing and physically challenging!
Speaking of physically challenging, one other aspect of the show that is sure to jump out is the innovative set by Tobin Ost. A central part of the set is an imposing three level group of three automated steel towers rising 24 feet above the stage. The design is a creative way to capture tenement scene of the city during the time period. It is also a clever to keep the action flowing as the cast climbs 75 steps to reach nine different distinctive areas across the towers. It is one of the more impressive set designs I have ever seen.
This production of Newsies is a great show to see with the whole family that delivers a fun night of music, dance and comic relief along served with the valuable message of standing together to fight for what’s fair. It is a true underdog story that will leave you feeling inspired as Jack finds a cause to fight for and in the process rallies newsies and child labor from across the city to challenge to system for what’s right.
Newsies plays at the Durham Performing Arts Center through this Sunday, August 21st. For more information and to order tickets visit http://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/newsies-1
DPAC WELCOMES ITS 3 MILLIONTH GUEST!
As I mentioned above, on Tuesday night DPAC also celebrated an exciting milestone. Opening night of Newsies saw the arrival of the 3 millionth guest at DPAC and to celebrate they won some fun prizes to mark the occasion. The lucky guest was Erin Andrews, a Durham native who now lives in Burlington. Erin received a $1,000 gift certificate to DPAC and also got to meet the Newsies Cast back stage for a photo. It was a lot of fun being there with other media to capture the celebration when she walked through the door. Always fun surpsing people with good news. I captured the fun moment in a short video that you can view here.
This week’s picture captures the great view from the roof of the The Durham Hotel. The rooftop area is fairly spacious and features an indoor bar and both covered and open-air seating. The bar serves cocktails, wine and beer and a small kitchen menu including a raw bar. The rooftop is open to the public and a fun spot to grab a drink and enjoy the Durham skyline. Add it to your list of places to visit the next time you are exploring the bull city!
The Triangle return of Disney’s NEWSIES opens tomorrow, Tuesday, August 16 at DPAC for a limited engagement through Sunday, August 21.
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, NEWSIES is inspired by the real-life ‘Newsboy Strike of 1899,’. It tells the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right.
The production features Joey Barreiro as “Jack Kelly,” Steve Blanchard as “Joseph Pulitzer,” Morgan Keene as “Katherine,” Aisha de Haas as “Medda Larkin,” Stephen Michael Langton as “Davey,” Andy Richardson as “Crutchie” and Turner Birthisel and Ethan Steiner alternating the role of “Les.”
I’ve never seen the theaterical release or stage production so I am really looking forward to attending the show this week and will share my full review Wednesday. Leading up to its run in Durham, I had the honor of interviewing Joey Barreiro who plays the central character Jack Kelly who joined the production this past October.
When did you get the call that you landed the role of Jack Kelly?
I was working as a music director for a show in upstate New York when I got the call. I’ve been in other productions like A Chorus Line and Into the Woods, but this is my first as a lead. It’s very exciting!
What is it like dealing with physical aspects of performing the show night after night?
The set is essentially three metal towers that move around the stage. The cast spends much of the show performing while running up and down the three levels of each tower. It is quite a workout. I burn a lot of calories and need to make sure I replenish them between performances.
There is a lot of dancing in Newsies. Are you a trained dancer?
Not at all! I studied music in school. I actually don’t do a lot of dancing in the show, but I’m surrounded by an incredible cast of talented dancers that put on an amazing performance throughout the show.
What are some things to look for in this latest production?
There are so many great numbers, but one that really stands out is “Seize the Day” in Act I where the character of Crutchie is attacked during protest and taken away. Also “Watch What Happens” that helps portray the development of Jack’s character and his journey as he weighs the risks of trying to get Crutchie back.
I understand Newsies has a bit of a cult following and a passionate fanbase. What is that like?
It’s a bit surreal, but awesome. When I first landed the role I was pulled aside and told what to expect. The fans are great and it is amazing them at each show.
Anything you are looking forward to doing while in Durham?
I really enjoy checking out museums in each city the tour visits. Maybe a library too and of course being a music guy I hope to catch some local jazz music.
Newsies plays at the Durham Performing Arts Center Tuesday August 16th through Sunday August 21st. For more information and to order tickets visit http://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/newsies-1.