Passing the crutch: Andy Richardson takes over as Crutchie in ‘Newsies’

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Andy Richardson

Fans of the crutch-wielding newsboy were sad to hear that Andrew Keenan-Bolger would be leaving the cast of Newsies on Sunday, March 10, despite being equally excited about his role in the upcoming world premiere of Tuck Everlasting. But spring’s approach means that change is in the air and AKB’s departure has prompted a ceremonial passing of the crutch.

Meet Andy Richardson, the new Crutchie.

Richardson is no stranger to Newsies—he originated the role of Romeo in the Paper Mill Playhouse production as well as on Broadway and has stuck with the musical ever since.

Filling Keenan-Bolger’s shoes is no easy task but Richardson handles it well. I had an opportunity to see Richardson perform a few days after he took over the role and he plays Crutchie with a youthful innocence that makes the audience care about him and his story.

To the many  “Fansies” out there, seeing a new performer take the place of an original cast member is never easy, but it certainly comes with the territory. And since a closing date for Newsies is not even visible on the horizon, there will undoubtedly be new talent taking the Nederlander stage and breathing new life into the roles in the future.

But for now, Richardson is “grateful and overjoyed” to be playing such an iconic and crucial role and is certainly a performer audience members will continue to appreciate.

Have you seen Andy Richardson perform after AKB’s exit from the show? What did you think? Tell us below in comments!

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