The show’s star, Jeremy Jordan, has charisma and talent.
- Barbara Chai, Wall Street Journal (April 9)
Jordan looks like a charismatic Broadway star of the future, assuming movies and TV don't snap him up for a while.
- Michael Giltz, Huffington Post (April 4)
This is my fourth exposure to the dynamic Jeremy Jordan after he starred in West Side Story and Bonnie and Clyde and played Dolly Parton’s son in the rocking movie musical Joyful Noise. He just gets better every time. As the newsie with leadership power who daydreams of escaping his hardscrabble past for the wide-open spaces in a wistful ballad called “Santa Fe,” then urges his followers to “Seize the Day” (“Minute by minute, that’s the way to win it”), he acts with sincerity, sings with exuberance and passion, and does splits in mid-air.
- New York Observer (April 4)
Jeremy Jordan just continues to be more wonderful in each show. He was a standout in "Rock of Ages" and "West Side Story." In "Bonnie & Clyde," which ran for just December, he was terrific. Now he's commanding as the charismatic Jack Kelly, leader of urchins who hawk papers on the street and are known as "newsies."
Never mind that Jordan is a little old to be an urchin. There's just a hint of danger about him, and that whiff makes him slightly more grown up and reckless than the usual Disney hero.
He's a true Broadway belter, moves well and, of course, gets the girl in the end. As Jack Kelly, he commands the stage; you just want to unite with him in a cause.
And this is a great cause, based on real events.
- Pop 2 It (April 3)
It’s the turn of the century and child labor laws are nil; exploitation reins, sweat shops prevail and there is no one to help. But – wait a minute, if you’re rough and tough-talkin’ Jack Kelly (Jeremy Jordan - with great vocal capacity and skills), the heart-throb, adorable self-appointed leader of the teenage band of newsies, who live on the streets and eke out a few cents by buying and selling newspapers for one of the big organizations owned by Joseph Pulitzer, you find yourself fighting many battles.
- Sandi Durell, NY Theater Examiner (April 3)
Leading man Jeremy Jordan, 27, is a Broadway veteran by comparison, having opened "Bonnie and Clyde" late last year. "I feel great," he said after the performance. "After all the press and the rehearsals and the hoopla, you just want to get up and do your show, you're excited to give it wings."
- Robert Voris, Variety (April 3)
His handsome features and an effortless, soaring tenor have garnered Jordan a reputation as a heartthrob—particularly following his turn as a silver-screen romantic lead in January's Joyful Noise and the critical praise he received for his Clyde Barrow in the Broadway musical, Bonnie & Clyde.
In fact, those are just the things his coworkers have to praise. “He’s a bona fide triple threat,” says Harvey Fierstein, who is responsible for the musical’s new book. “He’s not afraid to fully commit, he’s not self-conscious in that way. He has that thing -- which you can never really put your finger on -- that separates an incredibly talented individual from someone who can become a star.”
- Max Berlinger, Out Magazine (April 2)
The cast is great, especially Jeremy Jordan.
- Liz Smith, Chicago Tribune (April 2)
And, it was a real treat to watch the star-making performance by Jeremy Jordan as the lead in the show on Sunday!
And Jeremy Jordan truly was a pleasure to watch. He gave a virtuoso performance! He reminds us of Sutton Foster in that he can sing, dance and act with equal ease. He was born for musical theater! Plus, he's very dreamy!
- Perez Hilton, perezhilton.com (April 1)
But it’s Jeremy Jordan as the swaggering Jack Kelly who once again takes "Newsies" to new heights. He is a star, yes even a Broadway king, in the making.
- Roma Torre, NY1 (March 30)
Jeremy Jordan, who made his first impression this season in the short-lived "Bonnie and Clyde," is the heart - even the heartthrob - of the action as Jack Kelly, leader of the homeless urchins. With his big jaw and his bad-boy glint, Jordan suggests the seriously comic appeal of Donald Duck's handsome nephew.
- Linda Winer, Newsday (March 30)
Thank goodness Jeremy Jordan was available to play Jack Kelly. Aside from the smoke and mirrors involving Disney Legal and the licensing issues, the real reason to mount this production of Newsies on Broadway is to anoint Jeremy Jordan the new Prince of Broadway. His Jack Kelly is one for the books. He sings his heart out, has impeccable phrasing, dances like a young Gene Kelly, and breaks your heart one minute while making you laugh the next. There are a handful of triple threats working on Broadway today, but not one young leading man with the charisma, full-on talent, and star quality of Jeremy Jordan. Those who saw him in Bonnie & Clyde knew they were witnessing a rare talent, but the mediocrity of that material undermined his work in every scene. In Newsies, he manages to transcend the second-rate book and sell the paint-by-number story to deliver a true star turn. It’s been a while since Broadway has been this excited about the arrival of a new star on The Great White Way. In Newsies, Jeremy Jordan is the genuine article.
- Thomas Antoinne, The Stage and Cinema Guide (March 30)
Jordan plays Jack Kelly, a young man who earns a pittance hawking newspapers (a.k.a. a "newsie") on the streets of the Lower East Side in 1899, imbuing the character with streetwise toughness and fiery hotheadedness, even as he reveals the sensitivity and vulnerability that lies just beneath Jack's rough-hewn surface. More important, he delivers the score, which deftly blends period sounds with a contemporary pop sensibility, with unquestionable gusto and passion.
Given Jordan's commanding, charismatic performance, it's little wonder that the other newsies readily follow Jack in striking after publishing tycoon Joseph Pulitzer (an evilly oily, yet curiously compelling John Dossett) raises the price that they must pay for their wares.
- Andy Propst, theatermania.com (March 30)
Picking up Christian Bale’s role, Jeremy Jordan (“Bonnie & Clyde”) plays Jack Kelly, the 17-year-old leader of the pack. You can see why he’s being hailed as Broadway’s new star hunk. Jordan may want to unclench his manly jaws once in a while, but his charming Jack hits a good balance of sexiness and humor, and he has a velvety singing voice.
- Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post (March 29)
Top of the heap is Jeremy Jordan’s star-making turn as Jack Kelly...
Jordan has it all: good looks, charisma, a dynamite vocal instrument, and strong acting chops. He can even manage some more-than-passable hoofing. His Jack Kelly is destined to be remembered as an iconographic Broadway performance.
- Erik Haagensen, Back Stage (March 29)
Jordan (recently of the short-lived Bonnie & Clyde) is a natural musical-theater star who brings effortless charisma to the role and an ideal blend of wise-guy attitude, innate leadership and romantic wistfulness. His yearning solo, “Santa Fe,” is a high point.
- David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter (March 29)
The show begins with the chief newsboy (Jeremy Jordan, who was Clyde in the short-lived Bonnie and Clyde this season, also directed by Calhoun, and is stellar here) wishing he could get out of the rat-race.
- Howard Shapiro, The Philadelphia Inquirer (March 29)
Fierstein has nicely built into the plucky David-versus-Goliath story a romance - something the film didn't really have - between Jack (the charismatic Jeremy Jordan), the leader of the strikers, and Katherine, a reporter with a hidden past who is desperate to leave fluffy features and cover hard news.
- Mark Kennedy, The Miami Herald (March 29)
Jordan, who starred in the flop "Bonnie and Clyde" earlier this season, proves himself yet again to be a genuine matinee idol as Jack. His theatrical performance bursts with an aggressive fighting spirit and sincere adolescent emotion.
- Matt Windman, amNY (March 29)
Assuming Bale's role as head newsie Jack Kelly on Broadway, Jeremy Jordan (survivor of the recent Bonnie & Clyde) proves he doesn't need anyone wandering into his sight lines to be an explosive presence on stage. Blessed with a crystalline voice, Jordan conveys a rare combination of masculine swagger and vulnerability.
- Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly ( March 29)
Mr. Jordan, late of the short-lived “Bonnie & Clyde,” is a natural star who has no trouble holding the stage, even without pirouettes. And his John Garfield-ish face alone summons memories of the heyday of Hollywood urchin fare.
- Ben Brantley, The New York Times (March 29)
As the leader of the strikers, Jeremy Jordan is engaging, with a slightly dangerous edge giving his charisma extra oomph and a vulnerability that makes his doubts about continuing the newsies' battle believable.
(His ballad "Santa Fe" could be this year's answer to Book of Mormon's ode to "Salt Lake City," though it's not at all satirical.)
- Michael Musto, The Village Voice (March 29)
Much credit is due the show’s young star, Jeremy Jordan, who plays natural rabble-rouser and accidental organizer Jack Kelly.
His signature number is the soaring “Santa Fe,” which the playmakers have transformed from a mid-act secret weapon into the show’s governing leitmotif.
But Jordan still manages to resuscitate “Santa Fe” fiercely at the end of Act One, sending us soaring out into the lobby on big, surging thermals of sweet torment.
- Scott Brown, Vulture (March 29)
There’s no question that Jordan (known for the film “Joyful Noise” and Calhoun’s short-lived “Bonnie and Clyde”) steps up to carry the show. Like a Page 1 headline, he announces himself as a powerhouse talent.
- Joe Dziemianowicz, The New York Daily News (March 29)
Leading man Jeremy Jordan, 27, brings an authority and authenticity rare among singer/actors of his generation. His tough-but-tender Jack has an unmannered charisma that will appeal to tweens and their moms alike.
- Elysa Gardner, USA Today (March 28)
G.G.'s grandson, Randy (cute and charismatic Jeremy Jordan)
- Rev. Chris Carpenter, Movie Dearest
The actors sell it. Jeremy Jordan’s Randy is so instantly smitten with Olivia, which makes the performance a lot more fun than it would have been in the hands of a typical vanilla juvenile. He bounces around and revolves as he talks while good-girl Keke tries unsuccessfully to keep her eyes modestly trained on the ground.
- David Edelstein, NY Magazine
Graff is better with the actors, as he draws nice work from Latifah and Parton, though it's Broadway performer Jordan who makes the strongest impression. He's a natural screen presence, even if the role is underwritten.
- by Randy Cordova, The Republic | azcentral.com
With G.G.’s grandson played by the dazzling Jeremy Jordan (show-stopping star of the recent Broadway musical Bonnie and Clyde), you can depend on the choir soaring to glory with more contemporary hip-swinging rock arias and fewer old-fashioned hymns, which gives the whole cast a chance to swing off the charts with one sensational number after the next.
- Rex Reed, New York Observer
With their eye-catching looks and abundant musical talents, Jordan (notable for his stage work in Newsies, Rock of Ages, West Side Story and Bonnie and Clyde) and Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee, Ragz on TV, two albums) make the strongest impressions.
- Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
In addition to all this, the film possesses a secret weapon: Jeremy Jordan, who, like Darren Criss of “Glee,” is a phenomenal triple-threat talent, with the kind of effervescent, true-blood showmanship harking back to James Cagney. These guys just love to perform, and that love gloriously transfers itself to the viewer. Jordan, who was absolutely spectacular—near-legendary, really—in the recent, quite wonderful, undeserved Broadway flop Bonnie and Clyde, grabs the screen with his sexy faun face and ardent, natural acting, humanizing all that rote James Dean anguish. And when, in the final competition, he searingly performs Usher’s “Yeah!”, he lifts the movie straight up into blissfully funky movie-musical heaven.
- David Noh, Film Journal
There are praiseworthy elements, from the high-energy musical scenes to appealing turns from Palmer and Jordan.
- Elizabeth Weitzman, NY Daily News
Talented singers of all ages abound, particularly Palmer (Akeelah and the Bee) and Jordan, a Broadway actor. A particularly engaging version of Paul McCartney's Maybe I'm Amazed is a standout.
- Claudia Puig, USA Today
Jordan (TV’s Law & Order), Palmer (Medea Goes to Jail) and Darden (Standing Ovation) are equally impressive. Jordan, an actor to watch, makes his film debut in this film. He can sing, act and projects lots of charisma.
- Diana Saenger, Reviewexpress.com
The teenage romance shared by Olivia and Randy is filled with all the electricity that comes with two people meeting and falling for one another, and Keke Palmer (2008's "The Longshots") and Broadway performer Jeremy Jordan (in his feature debut) are pure, endearing, and soulful in their song performances. Palmer's rendition of Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" is an unpredictably emotional show-stopper, while her and Jordan's duet of Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" is just as understated yet thrilling.
- Dustin Putman
Jordan and Palmer are enormously appealing, with a quiet chemistry that lights up the screen.
- Nell Minow, Movie Mom
Everybody gets to sing – a lot – and Palmer and Jordan are definite discoveries as vocalists.
- Marshall Fine, Hollywood & Fine
Lots of talented young singers decorate the scenery, notably Jeremy Jordan (late of Broadway's failed Bonnie & Clyde but soon-to-open in Newsies) who has vocal and acting chops that shine even in this bucket of Glee Goes Gospel cornpone.
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
And Jeremy Jordan, fresh from “Newsies,” adds some city sass as Parton’s grandson.
- Stephen Whitty, NJ Star Ledger
The cast of "Joyful Noise" could sell just about anything. Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Jeremy Jordan and Keke Palmer are all so dang talented, you can bypass the overly sugary sentiment of this feel-good film, and just sit back and enjoy the ride.
- Michelle Solomon, News 4 Jax
And then there are the young actors — Keke Palmer and Jeremy Jordan — who both belt out some fun numbers, too. Jordan and Palmer also have terrific chemistry together. When they sing their love songs, you really believe they are in the throes of adolescent love. (Jordan recently starred in the Broadway flop “Bonnie and Clyde” and is slated to star in the Broadway version of “Newsies” set to open in March, so he definitely has musical chops.)
- James Ward, Visalia Times-Delta
The chemistry between Palmer and Jordan is indicative of young love and gives freshness to the otherwise formulaic plot.
- Jenna Milly, SheKnows.com
Keke Palmer and Jeremy Jordan have easy chemistry as Olivia and Randy, G.G.'s rebellious grandson. They've got voices to charm.
- Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post