Newsies Celebrates its One Year Anniversary: The World Will Know!

The original cast of 'Newsies'

The original cast of ‘Newsies’

Happy First Birthday, Newsies!

Newsies, which has now undergone several extensions into an open-ended engagement at the Nederlander Theatre, is now celebrating its one-year anniversary on Broadway on March 29.

The Disney-Theatrical Production musical Newsies is based off of the 1899 Newsboys Strike in New York City and the 1992 Kenny Ortega film of the same name. The stage version first opened for tryouts Sept. 15, 2011 at Paper Mill Playhouse and met with astounding success, contrary to the relatively poor reception of the film. Due to its outstanding fan support, Newsies moved to the Nederlander Theatre and opened on Broadway on March 29, 2012.

Newsies had incredible success during the 2012 awards season. It was nominated for eight Tony Awards including Best Musical. It went on to win Best Choreography (Christopher Gatelli) and Best Original Score (Alan Menken and Jack Feldman). The show was also nominated for six Drama Desk awards, winning two: Outstanding Choreography (Christopher Gatelli) and Outstanding Music (Alan Menken). The show was recently nominated for a Grammy award for Best Musical Theatre Album.

Newsies is an upbeat, fast-paced yet classic musical. It gives audiences a fresh musical featuring stunning dance moves and still feels like a good old Broadway show. The awards for the choreography are well deserved. Gatelli has done an incredible job with the choreography which combines theatrical jazz with acrobatics and tumbling. He creates a marvel on stage that leaves audiences speechless.

The music of the show is what first prompted fans to ask for a stage musical. The songs are infectious. It is impossible to listen to the score without humming ‘Carrying the Banner’ or ‘Seize the Day’ for hours after and it is impossible to grow sick of the tunes.

Newsies boasts a cast of stars.  The show opened with Jeremy Jordan (SmashBonnie and Clyde) in the title role of Jack Kelly. Alongside Jordan were Kara Lindsay (Broadway Debut, Little House on the Prairie), Ben Fankhauser (Broadway Debut, Spring Awakening 1st Nat’l Tour) and Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Mary PoppinsSeussical). On the night of first preview, there were 12 Broadway debuts among the cast and since then, ten more Broadway debuts have appeared in the Newsies cast, including that of Jack Kelly replacement Corey Cott.

Newsies has also opened up the world of young activism to its audiences. The show has invited its fans to write messages on their ‘The World Will Know’ walls. The walls feature incredible messages that audiences have left for others to see, which range from wanting to be a better dancer to wanting to change the world. The newsboys have also inspired with their #SIPs (Saturday Intermission Pictures), polling for marriage equality, campaigning through the past election and keeping the young population updated with the big news.

However, the most special thing about Newsies is probably its fan support. As Disney Theatrics head honcho, Thomas Schumacher put it, “[Newsies the musical] only exists because the audience said ‘wake up, you people are too stupid, you’re not doing this musical. Would you do it for us?” and that marks one of the only musicals that has come to Broadway because of the undying love that people had for the music and the themes of the film.”

This show is important and it touches peoples lives. It has educated those who did not know about the newsboys’ strike and it gives entertainment to those who want a good show.

Newsies has touched my life as well. As someone who has been in and out of the Broadway fandom for years now, Newsies is what brings me back again. The show is not just for Broadway fans; it appeals to almost everybody. The show is very male based. It showcases that boys who dance are fun and cool, and what girl can shy away from those adorable newsie faces? That is not to say that the women of the show are weak. Katherine Plumber (played by Lindsay) is one of the strongest female characters on the Broadway scene right now. She is slightly based on the reporter Nellie Bly, a pioneer for women’s suffrage, and she carries important lessons about women’s rights. The stage production’s ultimate message, however, is that ultimately David can conquer Goliath, without leaving everything that he knew behind.

Despite the show’s historical image, Newsies is a show for the new generation and I am proud to wish a happy first anniversary.

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One Response

  1. I’m so glad Newsies is still on Broadway and I hope it stays for a long time!