Newsies has a Tony Award-winning score with music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. The Broadway production opened March 29, 2012, after a regional premiere at the Paper Mill Playhouse. The musical quickly became a fan phenomenon, ending its run Aug. 24, 2014. It is currently on a U.S. national tour.
The Italian premiere, which is presented by Bags Live in special arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions, is not a replica of the Broadway and touring incarnations. This iteration of the musical, which received a workshop last July, features the work of an all-new Italian creative team.
Newsies is directed by Federico Bellone, with choreography by Gillian Bruce and music supervision by Simone Manfredini. Fierstein's book has been adapted by Alice Mistroni (We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia!, Dirty Dancing), with Feldman's lyrics adapted by Franco Travaglio (High School Musical, Beauty and the Beast, Cats).
The Italian premiere plays Barclays Teatro Nazionale through Dec. 27. It officially opens Nov. 5. The cast of 31 is led by Flavio Gismondi (Jack Kelly), Simone Leonardi (Joseph Pulitzer), Simona Patitucci (Edda Larson), Andrea Fazio (Crutchie/"Gruccia") and Giula Fabbri (Katherine Plumber).
The new Italian creative team includes Hella Mombrini and Siliva Silvestri (scenic design), Marci Biesta (costume design), Valerio Tiberi (lighting design), Armando Vertullo (sound design) and Simone Mandredini (musical supervision).
Check out preview videos of the cast meeting the press below!
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies, according to press notes, 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."
The musical was 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.