I just finished up with a production of Newsies and all I can say is, WOW. It was an amazing show! Our production team and performers really stepped it up and the hard work definitely paid off. We had a cast of about 90 kids which is much larger than our normal cast and so we had to get creative with scheduling and staffing. Not to mention a cast of 90 meant that my costume rack was completely full! (FYI I’ll go into a little detail on what I did costume-wise for the Newsies in the show here, as well as leave you links to my go-to shopping websites, but for a more detailed walk through of all the characters check out my video at the end of the post.)
Vests, suspenders, button ups, knickers, newsboy caps… I was swimming in 1900’s Newsie style and loving it. For those of you that have seen some of my other costume work, you know that my company is nonprofit and I basically try to spend as little as possible while still keeping the show up to our very high standards. For Newsies, I purchased most of the costumes except for the female leads which I pulled from our costume room or borrowed.
Shirts and pants were all sourced from thrift stores. I focused on earth tones and classic patterns like plaids and stripes. One website that saved me time and money for this show was Swap. If you haven’t used it, it’s an online thrift store where you can sort through sizes, patterns, colors, etc which is a total time saver. I had never used it before and I’m so glad I stumbled upon it. The prices on Swap are ok but I did all of my shopping in the Clearance section and those prices were fantastic. Check out Swap by clicking here!
Hats, vests and suspenders were all ordered from AliExpress. There are tons of vendors on there with these items and the price fluctuates all the time so I recommend just visiting the website and typing what you’re searching for into the search bar to see who has the best deal going on. Now remember, these items are shipping from China so leave ample time for them to arrive. At least a month. Also make sure to check the guaranteed delivery date, how many items the vendor has sold in the past, and what the ratings have been for the vendor’s sales. In my experience, AliExpress has been a great platform to work with for disputes so don’t shy away from it because you’re unsure of the language barrier. Click here to check out what AliExpress has to offer.
I was bound and determined to have most of the main Newsie crew in knickers so I bought loose legged pants and capris, cut them if needed and put elastic on the bottom. For other Newsies, I bought tighter corduroy’s and chinos and had them roll the pants up.
In the end, the show was a lot of work coordination-wise for me (especially 9 months pregnant) but it was worth it. The show was spectacular and definitely one that the cast, crew and audience will always remember.
For details on how I costumed all of the other characters, check out my video below.
To get a taste of our amazing show, check out the promo video I cut together!