Disney’s Newsies is Coming to Broadway

Could Broadway Get Any Better? That question has been answered. In a hot theatre season filled with revivals and a few new works planned, the 2011-2012 season got ten times better last night as Disney and Broadway fans alike rejoiced at Disney Theatricals latest announcement. Disney Theatricals has decided to make the biggest headline in town all season announcing their hit production of Newsies the Musical will make its way to Broadway in Spring 2012.

Newsies the Musical is a new stage musical brought to you by Disney Theatricals. The production features a score by eight time Academy Award Winner Alan Menken (music) and Jack Feldman (lyrics) with a book by four time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. The renown production was directed by Tony Nominee Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Tony nominee Christopher Gattelli. Newsies is the epic story of the Newsboys Strike of 1899 which lasted from July 20th to August 2nd. After not being protected from the union during this time period, the newsboys famous walk off the stands has been turned into an epic Disney picture film that is unforgettable. Filled with some of your favorite songs and dances such “Seize the Day“, “King of New York” and “Santa Fe“, Newsies is a Disney movie for the ages. The movie completely flopped at the box office in its 1992 debut but had gained a cult following since which had called for a stage production of the show.

Disney announced Newsies would make its stage premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse in early 2011. Luner on Theatre was actually one of the first theatre news sources to bring you this story which you can see here. The production, which ran at Paper Mill Playhouse from September 25th to October 15th, received good reviews and much praise from fans. Rumors began and word started to spread of a potential Broadway transfer. However, while nothing was officially confirmed, it was very clear Disney Theatricals saw their fan support behind this new work of theirs.

“In this company’s 17-year history, we have never seen a show so immediately and fervently embraced this early in its life. 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.” – Thomas Schumacher (President and Producer of Disney Theatricals)

However, theatre lovers will only have a limited time to experience the echoes of the newsboys on Broadway. In a rare decision, Disney Theatricals has announced that the show will run on Broadway for a 3 month limited engagement only. A move decided upon by the Broadway giant after two huge theatrical flops (Tarzan and The Little Mermaid) in recent years for the company. However of course, if the production does do well – extensions can be made and if indefinite support is continued, I see no reason why Disney would not launch this production eventually into a full out open run. The company also announced that in total the production would run a total of $5 million dollars. And why to some that may sound expensive, that is relatively cheap for Disney Theatricals by any means.

The limited engagement and budget announcement however is insanely surprising knowing the type of company Disney Theatricals is and has been in its time on Broadway. This company pumps millions of dollars into its projects that they create to become a dominating force of the theatre and entertainment scene in New York City. Not only that but they do this so anything created here can go on to become a national and international sensation. Two fantastic examples of this would be Disney’s The Lion King and Mary Poppins. They ground plan almost everything including their advertising campaigns to become a force to reckon with as their shows dominate Broadway and wipe away all other competition. This much less drastic approach to Newsies is something new the company has never done but is still be received well by fans.

Casting for the Broadway production has not been announced yet. However, many are wondering what will happen since leading man at Paper Mill Jeremy Jordan is currently starring in Bonnie & Clyde on Broadway which opened to previews just two weeks ago. This production was also directed by Newsies director Jeff Calhoun. Will this cause some casting drama or a new face for the iconic production as it makes its way to Broadway?

The original cast at Paper Mill Playhouse included Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly joined by Ben Fankhauser as Davey; RJ Fattori and Vincent Agnello splitting the role of Les; Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie; Tommy Bracco as Spot Conlon; Brendon Stimson as Oscar Delancey, Mike Faist as Morris Delancey, Mark Aldrich (Seitz), Helen Anker (Medda), John E. Brady (Wiesel), Kevin Carolan (Roosevelt), Julie Foldesi (Ms. Baum), Stuart Marland (Snyder), Michael McArthur, Jack ScottNick Sullivan (Bunsen) and Laurie Veldheer (Hannah), Aaron J. AlbanoRyan BreslinKyle CoffmanMax EhrichJP FerreriGarett HaweCorey HummerstonEvan KasprzakAndy RichardsonScott Shedenhelm and Ryan Steele. Tony Award nominee John Dossett portrays newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer. And Kara Lindsay plays Katherine, a new role created specifically for the stage musical of Newsies.

Luner on Theatre has been covering Newsies the Musical since the very first announcement of such production by Disney Theatricals. We have brought you rehearsal photos from the production that you can also check out. And of course, we brought you a Luner Rumor of Newsies Potential Broadway Transfer before anyone else did. This is now the third time one of our Luner Rumor’s have come true proving we have the insider information you need to know and more!

The production will begin previews March 15th, 2012 at The Nederlander Theatre, which is located on 41st street directly behind the New Amsterdam (Home to Disney’s Mary Poppins) with an official opening set for March 29th, 2012. The production, as of right now, is set to close June 10th, 2012. The production will play 101 performances if it sticks to the original schedule planned. The production will open in time for the Tony Awards season and as far as we believe, will be able to become nominated for Tony Awards. Tickets go one sale January 30th and I cannot stress enough – buy your tickets now everyone. This three month run will easily sell out.

So, if you are a Disney fan or theatre lover, make sure you get a chance to experience the echoes of newsboys in New York once again as Disney’s Newsies the Musical heads to Broadway in one of the most anticipated and eventful productions now lined up for the 2011-2012 season. Luner on Theatre will continue to bring you all and any news concerning Newsies the Musical’s track to Broadway this Spring. Check out the Official Newsies the Musical Website for the time being and sign up for updates from the hottest new show making its way to Broadway! And check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your Official Disney News and much more as we bring you what you not only want but need to know!

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