In the meantime, Pulitzer realizes that his standoff with the newsies has paralyzed business in the city, and gives into the strikers’ demands. It’s too bad that Alan Menken ran out of songwriting juice by this point, so we have to settle for a reprise of “Carry the Banner,” with the victorious newsies rhythmically waving their papers and reaffirming the sentiment they declared at the beginning—that their life is a mighty fine one, indeed. Who would disagree?

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Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.