STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.– A large audience seized their seats for a “Seize The Day” production on the North Shore Friday evening.

Local theatre company Spotlight Repertory Theatre opened a two-weekend run of Disney’s “Newsies” at Empire Outlets in St. George, attracting a crowd in the outlets’ enclosed VIP room. During the summer, “Broadway in the Boros” took over the center of the shopping area.

“This is a family-friendly and timely show, so we’re really looking forward to having people see it,” said MaryLee Marson Aloia, production director. “We are the first production company to come to this space and we couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity.”

Stephen and Judy Keane, of Dongan Hills, won free tickets to the showby entering a contest advertised in the Staten Island Advance — which is very on brand for this production.


Not familiar with the Disney musical? “Newsies” is a theater production based on the 1992 Disney musical film by the same name. It was inspired by the historical newsboy strike in NYC in 1899, and is known as a family musical featuring an energetic ensemble of singing and dancing newsboys.

There are a few local connections to this musical. Staten Islander Tommy Bracco was featured in the cast of the “Newsies” Netflix film of the Broadway musical in 2017. Bracco went on to create his own dance school, star in Broadway’s “Pretty Woman” and get cast in CBS’s “Big Brother 21.” Another former “Newsies” star, Nicholas Masson, currently teaches a contemporary hip-hop dance class at Brandy’s Dance Unique.


Empire Outlets is located at 55 Richmond Terrace, directly outside the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Performances of “Newsies” are scheduled for the next two weekends in the VIP Area of the outlet mall. The show is closing on Sunday, Oct. 27, and tickets are available at

The cast includes Schyler Conaway as “Jack Kelly,” Meggan Herod as “Katherine Plumber,” Justin Glass as “Davey,” Devin Lawrence Wright as “Crutchie,” John Gainer as “Les,” Tony Verilli as “Wisel,” Carol Griffin as “Medda Larkin,” Brynn Sweere as “Nun #1,” Celia McLennan as “Nun #2,” Christine Gross as “Hannah,” “Tony Lalonde as “Finch,”vRobert Garcia as “Henry,” Scott Wuscher as “Buttons,” Aaron D. McMillan as “Race,” Finley Vigliotti as “Elmer,” Dylan Stanley as “Specs,” and Calixtus O’Neill as “Mush.”

Performance dates and times are as follows: Saturday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m.

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