Review: ‘Newsies’ makes headlines


“Newsies” is a fast-paced, talent-filled, riveting show that can single-handedly give the term “musical” a positive connotation. The Broadway touring company of the Disney movie-turned-musical opened at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts’ Au-Rene Theater on Nov. 17 with a packed audience.


The show is based on the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899, a fight between under-aged, on-the-street newspaper vendors and owners of “The New York Journal” and “New York World.” When Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the owners of the two newspapers, pull a fast one on the newsboys, also known as newsies, and raise the prices of the papers, they become too expensive for the boys to afford, resulting in a strike of the newspapers. Newsboy aficionado Jack Kelly (Joey Barreiro), partners with his new confidant Davey (Stephen Michael Langton), and his ever-adorable little brother, Les (Ethan Steiner), to lead the strike. On their journey, they are faced with conflicts of hope, love and law.

From the moment the show begins, energy resonates off of every seat. The passion-driven newsboys have hope so largely felt that everyone in the audience can take a piece and join in on the shenanigans.

One of the most important aspects of the musical is its intense dance numbers. The movement of the newsies is very unique, their feet moving swiftly in a manner similar to that of ballet, but faster and more precise. The way every step of their tap shoes is in unison makes for the clean-cut, ear-pleasing musical numbers. It is this style of dancing to advance the plot and characters that distinguishes “Newsies” from other Disney musicals.

Although plenty of the songs are dance-heavy group numbers, there are still plenty of ballads. The plot is mostly focused on the strike, but there are numerous romantic moments between Jack Kelly and Katherine Plumber (Morgan Keene), a writer who adopted a different last name in order to avoid a journalistic connection with her father, Joseph Pulitzer. At first, her relationship with Jack is not mutual, but once Katherine takes on the strike as a news story, she becomes much more open to thinking of him romantically. The connection between Barreiro and Keene seems authentic, their love blossoming right in front of the audience.

The way the set and blocking work together in “Newsies” is outstanding. The set consists of nine square railings stacked on top of each other that move to complement the story. At one point, the police chase Jack, and the use of the set’s 12 staircases makes it look effortless.

Of course, the musical would have been nothing without the beautiful soundtrack of Alan Menken. The harmonies in every song melt hearts after exposing them to the light of musical genius.

Since the show is ensemble-heavy, every member of the show plays a key role. Each newsboy has unique characteristics that enhance the scenes they have together and make their character choices clear.

“Newsies” perfectly shares a heart-wrenching, inspirational story, leaving residue of laughter and tears in the theater.

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Personality Profile: Guillermo Stalhuth


Junior Guillermo Stalhuth has a passion for making music. He has been DJing for two years and his love continues to grow with time.

“I started making music when I developed a passion for music in general and it’s just great to find a way to communicate how feel through music,” he said.

Stalhuth said his favorite DJ is Martin Garrix because he is relatable. Garrix started his career the same way Stalhuth did.Personality Profile-Montsee(NEW) pic

“Martin Garrix started off as a young guy like me,” Stalhuth said. “He got really famous and continues to work his way up.”

Stalhuth considers having a partner as an advantage because he is never unaccompanied. His partner is junior Bhavesh Chhabra.

“Working with him has been so much fun, because we share the same love for electronic music,” Stalhuth said.

Chhabra said working with Stalhuth creates a different feel in the music.

“Since Guillermo is Venezuelan and I am Indian, we merge our different cultures and tastes together to come up with something great,” Chhabra said.

Chhabra also believes his accomplishments couldn’t be achieved without Stalhuth.

“I don’t even want to think about a future without Guillermo,” Chhabra said. “If I get somewhere in the future in the music field, it’s going to be with him.”

Stalhuth and Chhabra have been asked to DJ at parties before, but their most anticipated event is the upcoming International Fest at the Bay, which will be on Oct. 22.

“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Stalhuth said. “We’ve been practicing a lot and we hope it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Chhabra said because both he and his partner are from distinct parts of the world, they stand out as DJs.

“I think the fact that Guillermo and I come from very different cultures it gives the International Fest an international feel so it’s perfect for us,” he said.

Andreina Story, Stalhuth’s mother, said she loves the way Stalhtuh is so passionate about making music.

“I have always told my kids that in order to live your life to the fullest and enjoy every second of it, you have to find something that you really love,” she said. “Nothing makes me prouder than to know my Guillermo has finally found something like that.”

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Apps allow students to communicate anonymously


Freshman Remi Schwartz loves to spend her time on Whisper, sharing secrets with people around her. Vent, Whisper and Gossip are just a few of the secret-sharing apps available that allow users to express their feelings and share secrets anonymously.

“Since Whisper is totally anonymous, I can share my secrets without feeling judged or seen as weird, which is a really nice feeling,” Schwartz said.

Here at the Bay, students have been using these secret-sharing apps to disclose information that they could not normally share.

“I’ve seen a lot of my friends start using the apps,” Schwartz said. “It is so nice that we can all use the app together and feel more accepted by one another.”Signal_Blue_Icon

Schwartz enjoys the feeling of safety and not feeling judged by one another. Even though there are some cyber bullying risks to these apps, Schwartz said she feels safe using them, and enjoys sharing her secrets and gossip.

“My friends and I started using Gossip as a suggestion from a friend, but it has really become a lot of fun,” freshman Nikki Lyon said. “My friends and I love [the TV show] “Gossip Girl” and this app shows a lot of the same “Gossip Girl” techniques. We use it just for fun, and it is very enjoyable.”

The anonymous feature gives Lyon a feeling of safety, which helps her feel more comfortable using the app.

“I like how the app itself is completely anonymous, because it really shows more about other people than what you would think because it is more than just what people tell you about themselves,” Lyon said. “The anonymous feature has created a sense of security within us that we can share our problems and not feel judged.”

Even though these apps are anonymous, Lyon said there is still some risk to using them.

“My biggest fear about Gossip is that someday it would turn into an anonymous bullying app,” Lyon said. “But even though my friends and I sometimes share funny or embarrassing things, we respect each other way too much to be bullies to each other.”

Schwartz enjoys using Whisper, but also has some fears about using the app.

“Because the app is anonymous, a lot of people are very open about themselves and not necessarily in a good way,” Schwartz said. “I have seen a few people get shamed for their race or secrets that they have shared, but overall I think the app is pretty safe if you don’t share anything too inappropriate.”

The designers of the apps do not intend for anyone to be shamed or feel bad about them selves.

“The purpose of Vent is to provide a safe and supportive atmosphere where young people can express how they feel to a community of people that care,” said Dean Serroni, a representative from Vent.

Dean said some users feel more comfortable sharing their secrets anonymously, than to people they know.

“Several users have told us that being able to express feelings they may not otherwise be comfortable expressing provides a great release,” Dean said. “ Other users have received lots of support, and made friends who helped them feel more confident in themselves.”

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Websites make movie-streaming easier


From the time the first movie-streaming website was created, to the present day, many different movie-streaming websites have become available for students to utilize. For sophomore Jonny Berger, Netflix is the go-to movie-streaming website.

“I use Netflix because it’s simple,” Berger said. “My parents can work it and Netflix streams up to two or three TVs at the same time, meaning that it is easy to utilize and very accessible.”

Like Berger, many students choose Netflix as their main movie-streaming website. Freshman Rachel Silverman was not aware of the large number of movie-streaming websites.

“I use Netflix because it won’t fill my computer with harmful viruses,” Silverman said. “I can access it anywhere and it has a large selection of TV shows and movies for me to watch.”

Movie-streaming websites consist of Netflix, Hulu, Putlocker, Amazon Prime and many more. Even YouTube, a website that is used to broadcast short home videos, has become a movie-streaming website. Freshman Matthew Liebman has been a YouTube user for approximately a year-and-a-half.

“I use YouTube as my movie-streaming website, because it is the most reliable streaming service.” Liebman said.

Because of popular movie-steaming websites, many other streaming websites go unheard of or become unnoticed. Junior Christian Rodriguez uses a movie-streaming app known as Popcorn Time.

“I’ve been using the app for about eight months,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a lot harder to find movies and TV shows on streaming websites. It is also a lot harder to find them on HD. I can easily find movies and TV shows on Popcorn Time.”

Not only is Popcorn Time an app, rather than a website, it also does not make users pay to view. According to Rodriguez, this is a problem with most movie-streaming sites.

“Movie-streaming sites would need to be free in order for me to use them,” Rodriguez said.

Downloading movies for free is against the law, but Andrew Brown, Senior Director of Video on Demand at Time Warner Cable, said these illegal movie-streaming sites have little impact on Time Warner Cable’s streaming services.

“Illegal downloading has been around for a long time,” Mr. Brown said. “However, the number of people downloading illegally is not large. People do not think it is worth breaking the law to download titles when content is so regularly available.”

Other problems among movie-streaming websites include several pop-up ads and long buffering time.

“If websites loaded faster and removed pop-up ads, the quality of streaming websites would greatly improve and could cause a potential gain in subscribers,” junior Iniya Thiyagarajan said.

These issues with movie-streaming websites have caused a group of students to not utilize any movie-streaming websites. Senior Anastasia Petraitis said the issues with movie streaming sites have caused her to not use any of them at all.

“I don’t know how to use movie-streaming websites,” Petraitis said. “They don’t download well onto my computer.”

Regardless of whether a student utilizes a movie-streaming website or not, streaming sites are still out there and gaining subscribers every day. According to Mr. Brown, Netflix and Amazon Prime are two of the top competitors of On Demand.

“They have a subscription service, which businesses are moving towards,” Mr. Brown said. “Instead of buying or renting a single movie at a time, people are more comfortable subscribing to a service where they get a wide array of content that is updated constantly.”

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Review: Snapchat creates innovative additions to app


The newest Snapchat update has caused the app to be an even greater source of entertainment than it was before. One of two recent updates, released on Sept. 15, provides a way to rewatch Snapchats more than once and a way to take a user’s “selfie game” to the next level. The most recent update, released on Oct. 28, allows users to edit videos.

Snapchat, an entertaining application created by a group of college students in 2011, has a value of $3 billion. The new update comes with a feature that provides users with the opportunity to pay to replay. Snapchatters can now purchase extra Replays starting at three replays for 99 cents, providing the company with another approach to increasing its worth in value. So, adding this feature allows users to re-watch four Snapchats a day for less than a dollar, which is inexpensive, yet efficient in the way that it will provide another source of income for the company.

Along with this innovation, Snapchat has also renovated its filter selection with what seems to be the most popular and amusing new feature: lenses. Before the update, users had a choice of three color filters, but this update adds seven emoji-based lenses that alternate every day.Julia Sigman 11

With the new lenses, a user can press and hold down on his or her face to receive a selection of seven new filters. The lenses range from a crying emoji-face and an aging filter, to a face with rainbow spew and a face with heart eyes. The lenses are entertaining and they provide laughter while operating the app.

Another new feature that makes Snapchat more gratifying is the trophy case. A full trophy case can consist of 30 trophies, and to earn a trophy, a user can complete different activities like sending zoomed-in videos or sending a picture with five pen colors used. The purpose of this feature is to encourage users to continue using the app as they strive for the trophies.

The second update introduced new ways to edit videos. Snapchatters can now change the speed of and reverse the videos they send. Users can select either a rabbit filter, which speeds up the video, a snail filter, which slows it down, or a backwards filter, which reverses the video. This update adds a sense of excitement every time a video is received.

With all of these frequent updates, Snapchatters are kept excited about what is yet to come. Snapchat continues to impress its users by improving with each update. It has definitely fulfilled its purpose of enjoyment while successfully making enough money to thrive.

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AMT starts off year with cast list for spring shows



With three annual shows coming up in the spring, the American Musical Theatre (AMT) classes are starting their preparation by auditioning for parts. The performances for this year will be “Shrek the Musical, Jr.” (AMT1), “Pippin” (AMT2) and “Cats” (AMT3).

“When choosing the plays, I look at what kids we’ve got and what sounds interesting and relevant that not only the audience will enjoy, but what the students will enjoy performing in,” AMT teacher Cynthia Lutwin said.

The audition process, which started in the beginning of October, begins with a song audition, a dance audition, cold readings from the play and then callbacks.

“Now that the cast lists have come out the students can actually start preparing to play a certain character and embody that personality,” Mrs. Lutwin said.

Mrs. Lutwin said it is best for the plays to have a lot of parts so that everyone can play a role in contributing to the performance.

“I would say that deciding the cast is one of the most difficult parts of my job,” Mrs. Lutwin said. “Everyone wants the lead and unfortunately not everyone can have it, so I’m looking at every single aspect of the show and who fits together and that is how I choose the parts.”

Junior Michael Valladares said the hardest part of AMT are the cast lists coming out, because it is nerve-racking to find out what character you will be preparing for throughout the year.

“When you have a class that is audition-only, like AMT3, you have a group of 50 extremely talented people all hoping for the same parts,” Valladares said. “ This makes it hard when cast lists come out because as much as you might want a part, it could be your best friend that gets it which leads to conflicting feelings that you have to overcome.”

Valladares was cast in both the AMT2 production as Leading Player and the AMT3 production, playing Mungojerrie.

AMT Cast list Use graphic- Brooke Miller“Both ‘Cats’ and ‘Pippin’ incorporate unique movements and styles of dancing which is something that will be challenging to perfect, but in the end will look amazing,” Valladares said.

Junior Rachel Capo said the auditioning process is the most difficult part in the preparation process and is excited to finally know her part.

“It is really nerve-racking to audition but I am relieved that auditions are over and I can begin the fun part which is preparing for my individual character,” Capo said.

Capo will be playing Jennyanydots in the AMT3 production of “Cats.”

“I think the coolest part of this play is that, unlike some shows AMT has put on in the past, we all have to portray cats; hence the name ‘Cats,’” Capo said.

Freshman Jason Rosenberg is most excited to be playing the lead role of Shrek during his first year in AMT1.

“‘Shrek the Musical, Jr.’ is based off the well known movie ‘Shrek’, so I am very eager to see everyone’s reaction to me playing an ogre,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg said the most important contribution to a successful production is that the cast really connects.

“AMT is rewarding because not only does it help me get one step closer to achieving my goal or acting professionally, but it brings all sorts of people together and creates a sense of family in school,” Capo said. 

The performances start off with “Cats” from March 9-12, “Shrek the Musical Jr.” from April 6-8 and “Pippin” from April 13-15.

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Music makes an impact on daily lives


As freshman Hannah Zifrony gets out of the car every single morning, she always has her headphones in to set her mood for the day.

“Music makes me smile, and gives me a good start to my day,” Zifrony said.

English teacher Rebecca Bueno said there is nothing she loves more than music.

“Music is very important to me,” Ms. Bueno said. “English directly influences music. The words that people put into their songs are meaningful, and music also really changes the way people feel.”

People listen to music that corresponds to how they feel at the current time.

“For example, if I am feeling sad I might put on a slow song, but if I am happy I may blast some energetic music,” Jordan Edelman said.

Freshman Lexi Barten said she listens to music in a therapeutic way. She uses slow songs to put herself in a relaxed mood.

“Music inspires me and always helps me make the right decision,” Barten said. “It also calms me when I am stressed.”

Freshman Sydney Saul said music influences people’s emotions.

“Music can affect people in any mood they are in at that current time.” she said.

“When I feel upset I actually put on a happy song,” Debate teacher Alyssa Fiebrantz said. “This way the song can lift my spirits and put me in a better mood. Also, I love waking up in the morning and blasting a good song, it always puts a huge smile on my face.”

Freshman Danielle Rudolph said she thinks music is a way of life.

“I usually become friends with others who have a similar taste in music,” Rudolph said. “I may not want to associate with people who have different tastes in music because we’ll argue about what they think is better, but it’s just their own opinions.”

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Freshman competes on reality singing show



Freshman Alan Matheus stepped up in front of a panel of three celebrity judges: Ricky Martin, Italian pop singer Laura Pausini and Spanish singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz and sang “Me and My Broken Heart” by Rixton. After each judge gave him a “yes,” he was officially a part of the reality singing competition show, “La Banda.”

“I was so surprised that all three judges gave me a yes,” he said. “It was so special to hear Ricky Martin tell me ‘you are ‘La Banda’. Also, Alejandro Sanz gave me a yes while announcing to everybody that ‘Venezuela has to be in La Banda.’” 

Matheus, whose parents are from Venezuela, had a passion for singing since he was six years old, and he is now competing on a Simon Cowell produced reality show whose goal is to pick a Latino Boy Band composed of five members. He is the youngest contestant on the show.

“There are a few contestants that are also 14 years old. I’m younger just by a few months,” Matheus said. “Some of the contestants were over 20 years old. I think it’s a good thing to be the youngest because hopefully I will be attracting the younger fans. I suppose the older participants may have to split the votes from the older fans. Also, I hope the producers of the show may prefer younger talent to be able to expand the life of the band as much as possible.”

After his audition, Matheus was placed in a group of four other boys and sang “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith. In his third audition, he and his group made a music video to “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias. His other auditions can be seen on YouTube or on the La Banda website.

“After I made it through the middle rounds, I felt so blessed, happy and proud of myself,” he said. “I never thought I could go that far.”

cdn3.uvnimgMatheus said the biggest challenge for him was having to learn new songs in a short amount of time and learn to dance.

“The judges will assign a random song to every participant to see if the participants can learn it quickly,” Matheus said. “They expect the participants to sing it perfectly even if we have never heard the song before. Also, they expect the participants to sing as a band and harmonize.”

He was able to face these challenges with the help of other contestants, who he often had to work alongside with.

“All participants are very friendly and very easy to get along with,” he said. “We all support each other as brothers. We teach and learn from each other and I actually improved my singing just by listening and imitating them. Dancing is new to me and I was able to keep up with them with their help.”

Matheus’s guitar teacher Charlie White suggested that he audition for “La Banda.” He first began performing publicly with White and other students at events at Weston Town Center.

“He assured me that I was capable of doing great things,” Matheus said. “I didn’t hesitate to say yes.”

Matheus’s father, Alejandro, said his family was thrilled with the idea of him auditioning for the show.

“That’s what he wants to do and we are happy to support him,” Mr. Matheus said.

Matheus is not the only musical talent in his family, his uncle Alfredo Matheus, is a composer and winner of several Latin Grammys. He said his uncle is an inspiration to him.

“My family has been incredibly supportive and they always celebrate every little achievement from me,” Matheus said.

Even though being on the show has affected Matheus’ schoolwork, he is grateful to be a contestant.

“I have learned so much about the music industry,” he said. “It’s been a lot of work and sacrifice. We are constantly practicing singing and dancing. We are regularly doing interviews for the media. But what I like the most is that we have all become great friends.

Mr. Matheus said in the future, he hopes for Alan to continue studying and get a college degree. He said he encourages Matheus to also pursue music.

“Music wise, we are willing to support him all the way and the sky is the limit,” he said.

To support Matheu on “La Banda,” download the app “UNIVISION CONECTA” to stay informed and vote during the live performances, and log onto to leave comments about his performances. For more information on Matheus, visit his website and follow him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Marching band wins prestigious awards in several competitions



Senior Shelbie Rassler drummed her away across the field and to the top of the Drum Major list.

A marching band competition was held at Tarpon Springs High School in Tarpon Springs, FL on Oct. 17-18. Rassler won Most Outstanding Drum Major, an award based solely on the Drum Major of each band. The drum major is the person who commands the drummers of a band.IMG_8930

“It honestly felt incredible to win the award, as well as third overall with the entire program, because we put so much time, hard work, and dedication into the craft,” she said. “To see it all payoff is absolutely amazing.”

The award that Rassler won is based on the conducting and overall presence and showmanship of the Drum Major.  Band director Johnathan Jadvani is proud of Rassler’s work these past years, and commends her on her good work.

“She’s worked very hard, and the award is just an insight on all the effort [Rassler] put out this year,” Mr. Jadvani said.

The Sound of Thunder, the Bay’s marching band, won third overall in its division. The band is in Class AAAAA, the top class, meaning it competed against the largest bands in Florida. The marching band competed against many other groups in several categories, which include percussion, color guard, winds, overall general effect of the production, and most outstanding drum major.

IMG_8934“Each week the band continues to push through the strenuous rehearsal hours and improve as a whole,” Rassler said. “The program as a whole has grown tremendously from the beginning of the season, and I am so proud of what we have achieved, not only at the competition, but as a group of individuals who help each other reach common goals.”

The band practices three times a week for five hours at a time. Additionally, it has rehearsals on game days and on Saturdays, if it is a competition week.

“The kids had a really great show,” Mr. Jadvani said. “We’ve gotten better every single week since the season started and it was a really great performance as a group.”

The Sound of Thunder also performed at Coral Springs High School on Oct. 24 and received Straight Superiors, the highest rating, for their show. The marching band season ends on Nov. 7.

“We stepped up the difficulty level and show design this year from previous years,” Mr. Jadvani said. “I think that the skills that we learned this season are most certainly going to help propel the program upward on a continuous basis.”

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Review: ‘Twilight’ 10 year anniversary novel takes a new perspective


“Twilight” has enthralled millions of readers since its first publication in 2005. It has become a classic novel involving genres within young adult literature that has allowed teenagers of all ages to enjoy reading. “Life and Death,” released on Oct. 6, also written by Stephenie Meyer, was published as the 10th anniversary edition of “Twilight.”

“Twilight” is a suspenseful and romantic novel. Bella, who used to live in Phoenix, moved to Washington to live with her father. Living and attending school in Phoenix meant she was in constant contact with the Cullen family. She begins to adapt to her new surroundings in Washington, where she meets one of the boys from the Cullen family, whose name is Edward. They begin to have a close relationship and grow closer, and soon, Bella learns of Edward’s hidden secret: he is a vampire. What would appear to be an obstacle, however, does not stop Edward and Bella’s relationship. Bella falls in love with Edward Cullen, a 104-year-old vampire. In “Life and Death, however, the main characters are altered, which creates an appealing and death

In “Life and Death,” the idea is relatively the same. A vampire and a human fall in love. This time, however, Edward is now reversed to Edythe. This creates a mysterious and entertaining story for readers by showing how gender change can make the events in the novel more exciting and interesting. Although it is a little lengthy, with more than 400 pages, the book is thrilling from beginning to end.

“Life and Death” gives the readers a sense of what the author is mainly trying to address in her new edition of the “Twilight” series. It is often questionable if the “Twilight” series is sexist or if she is aiming to recognize the difficulty of the relationships when the roles were reversed.  “Twilight” portrays Bella as a love-struck teenager who cannot be away from her harmful and dangerous vampire boyfriend. In “Life and Death,” the reversal of roles helps to correct this mistake. “Life and Death” was successful in the gender swap, showing both capabilities of each gender.

However, the novel is too similar to the Twilight series and this lack of creativity hinders the novel from its full potential. Fans of the original “Twilight” series may experience disappointment with this book due to this. New fans will not know about the overwhelming similarity between both books, thus, making it more interesting.

“Life and Death” is an acceptable way of representing the 10th anniversary of “Twilight.” It provides a refreshing twist that gives readers a change of how the specific characters affect the events of the story. This novel is very intriguing to read due to the fact the characters are gender reversed.

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