Get Up & Go with Newsies

DeMarius Copes of the

DeMarius Copes of the “Newsies” touring cast talked to El’excia Allen and Camryn Clune about the Get Up & Go program.

By El’excia Allen & Camryn Clune

The Tony Award-winning musical “Newsies” is on tour and in Buffalo at Shea’s Performing Arts Center this week. Newsies is a high energy show with huge ensemble numbers, a strong male chorus, and intense choreography. It is part history, part love story, and definitely has something for everybody to enjoy. Without a doubt, it is something the whole family would love to see.

What is also exciting is in addition to their eight performances in Buffalo, Newsies is also lending its support to a new campaign promoting wellness. This campaign is intended to fight obesity. Their program is titled “Get Up & Go.”  The campaign promotes fun ways that kids can lead healthier lifestyles through dance, inspired by the show’s Tony Award-winning choreography and music. In select cities, they will lead students through dance sequences inspired by one of the show’s numbers, “Seize the Day.” They embrace the theme of the song that together they can make a difference and take advantage of every day.

Nico DeJesus and fellow

Nico DeJesus and fellow “Newsies” dancers talking to Bennett Park Montessori middle schoolers about how to live a healthy lifestyle.

While Newsies is promoting healthy lifestyles, we wondered if being on tour made it difficult to stay healthy themselves. DeMarius Copes, who plays Henry and an ensemble member, said, “Company management has found a way for us to work out at local gyms in each city.”

Although sometimes that’s not even needed: The production has intense choreography. “The show and rehearsal alone is just enough sometimes,” he said.
Newsies is so perfectly detailed, you would think that they rehearsed for several months before opening, but that is not so. 

“We only rehearsed for three weeks in New York City and three weeks in Schenectady before going on tour,” DeMarius said.

Being with the same group for six weeks doing what you love can only mean making new relationships and becoming each other’s family away from home.

“We help each other out because it’s a brotherhood that we’ve created with each other,” DeMarius said.
DeMarius also offered some great advice to aspiring performers: “No chance to perform, no chance to present your art is too small. I think people forget that there are so many ways to present your thing.”

Get Up & Go  is a great way for kids to experience new and fun ways to stay healthy and be active. DeMarius explained how for him personally he was an active child, playing football, so when other people, especially kids are already living an active and healthy lifestyle it means something because he knows that kids today are so distracted by technology, and with this Get Up & Go tour Newsies hopes to make our future generations more active and healthier, one dance step at time.  

Cast of

Cast of “Newsies” pose for a group shot with 5th, 6th, and 7th graders.

“If you just go out and do what you can to give back to the world in whatever way you can,” DeMarius said, “then you are succeeding in your own way.”

Editor’s Note: Are you in Buffalo and ready to see “Newsies”? DeMarius has a message for you: Come to Shea’s, he said, and “leave your issues at the door.” After “Newsies,” he added, “you won’t be in a bad mood.” For tickets, go to

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