Newsies, the breakout new American musical, opens tonight, March 29th, at Broadway's Nederlander Theatre (208 W 41st St) for a limited run following its critically-hailed stint at Paper Mill Playhouse last fall. The musical, featuring a score by eight-time Academy Award® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Sister Act) and Jack Feldman and a book by four-time Tony® Award winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy), played its first Broadway preview on March 15th; the final performance is scheduled for August 19th. Newsies, produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, is directed by Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun (Big River revival) and choreographed by Tony nominee Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific revival).
Though intended only as a pilot production before the title was licensed for regional, professional and amateur productions, Newsies' Paper Mill run engendered extraordinary interest from the media and public alike. The show's cast was invited to perform on ABC's 'The View©,' the first time in that show's 15-season history that a regional production had ever done so. Fans who had waited nearly 20 years to see Newsies live onstage, alongside audiences discovering the work for the first time, caused a sensation heard all the way to Times Square, prompting Newsweek.com to call the show, 'one of the biggest surprises of the season…the talk of the town.'
And, when it opened at Paper Mill on September 25th, Newsies was hailed as a fresh, disarming surprise, garnering critical praise and widespread buzz.
"In this company's 17-year history, we have never seen a show so immediately and fervently embraced this early in its life," said Thomas Schumacher, Producer and President, Disney Theatrical Productions. "It's clear that the themes of Newsies – of the younger generation taking their place, of the underclass righting injustice – are extraordinarily timely. We could never have imagined our show would be called to Broadway in the way it has but we could not be prouder that it's resonating so deeply."
The Broadway company of Newsies features Jeremy Jordan (Bonnie & Clyde) as Jack Kelly, John Dossett (2003 revival of Gypsy) as Joseph Pulitzer, Kara Lindsay (Little House on the Prairie) as Katherine Plumber, Capathia Jenkins (Caroline, or Change) as Medda, Ben Fankhauser (Spring Awakening national tour) as Davey, Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Mary Poppins) as Crutchie, and Lewis Grosso (Mary Poppins), and Matthew Schechter (Elf) alternating the role of Les. Jordan, Dossett, Lindsay, Fankhauser and Keenan-Bolger all reprise the roles they created in the Paper Mill Playhouse production last fall.
The ensemble of Newsies features Aaron J. Albano, Mark Aldrich, Tommy Bracco, John E. Brady, Ryan Breslin, Kevin Carolan, Caitlyn Caughell, Kyle Coffman, Mike Faist, Michael Fatica, Julie Foldesi, Garett Hawe, Thayne Jasperson, Evan Kasprzak, Jess Le Protto, Stuart Marland, Andy Richardson, Jack Scott, Ryan Steele, Brendon Stimson, Nick Sullivan, Ephraim Sykes, Laurie Veldheer, Alex Wong and Stuart Zagnit.
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged 'newsies,' who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys' expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what's right.
Newsies is inspired by the real-life 'Newsboy Strike of 1899,' when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst and other powerful newspaper publishers.
Newsies has had an unexpected journey to Broadway. The stage adaptation had been developed for licensing to theatre groups and its Paper Mill run intended only as a pilot production for that market. The planned next step was to immediately release the title to the theatres and schools who had for many years made Newsies the single most requested title of all the Disney film musicals not yet adapted to the stage.
The stage version introduces seven brand-new songs by the original team of Menken and Feldman while keeping many of the beloved songs from the film, including 'Carrying the Banner, 'Seize the Day,' 'King of New York' and 'Santa Fe.'
The film Newsies has grown into a cult phenomenon with a generation having grown up on the movie's driving, infectious score since its 1992 theatrical release and subsequent DVD release. Its popularity had grown so dramatically, in fact, that the film's 2002 DVD release was solely in response to demand from its ardent fans. The film featured a screenplay by Bob Tzudiker & Noni White (Tarzan, 102 Dalmatians).
The Nederlander Theatre box office hours are Monday through Saturday 10am – 8pm and Sunday 10:30am – 7pm. Newsies will be performed on the following schedule through June 17th (with some exceptions): Monday at 7pm, Wednesday at 2pm & 7:30pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm and 6:30pm.
Best ticket availability is for performances Sunday evenings at 6:30pm and Monday evenings at 7pm.
Beginning June 18th Newsies will be performed on the following schedule (with some exceptions): Monday – Wednesday at 7:30pm, Friday – Saturday at 8pm, Wednesday & Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm.