by Leo Morgenstern. @morgensternmlb.
STANFORD, CA. – Following his critically acclaimed, four-night run in the spring semester production of Newsies, your friend Austin Holloway returned to class still speaking with an old-timey New York accent.
“The charactah of Buttons the newsie coi-tenly spoke to me,” said Holloway, whose father runs the investment company that owns the L.A. Times. “I ain’t never tried ta take on a New Yoik accent or nothin’. It just soit of happened.”
The rest of the Newsies cast was thoroughly impressed with Holloway’s dedication to the role, including freshman Victoria Patterson, who played Governor Theodore Roosevelt.
“I took great pains to ensure my portrayal of Roosevelt was convincing,” explained Patterson, who isn’t old enough to remember the Bush administration. “But Austin took things to another level. He delivered both of his lines perfectly. He’s like the Jacob Tremblay of Stanford campus theatre.”
Linguistics professor Miriam Armstrong, whose work focuses on turn-of-the-century dialects in riff-raffs, street rats, and scoundrels, is fascinated by Holloway’s sudden-onset New York brogue.
“Never in my twenty-five years of academia have I encountered such a fascinating case study of campus theatre-induced accent modulation. I had to learn more,” said Dr. Armstrong, as she studied every behind-the-scenes video on the @StanfordUniveristyTheatreClub TikTok. “I’ve read about this phenomenon in Tevyes, Curlies, and Eliza Doolittles. But never a background newsie.”
Holloway is already preparing his audition for next year’s production of Cats. Meanwhile, everyone else on campus is preparing for how irritating he’ll be with a New York accent and the unsettling mannerisms of a Jellicle.