Disney Theatrical Productions originally developed Newsies, based on the film of the same name, for licensing in response to requests from professional and amateur theatre groups, and Paper Mill Playhouse hosted its four-week pilot production in summer 2011. Audience response to that production prompted a transfer to Broadway for a limited run. Following strong ticket demand and numerous awards, the musical transitioned into an open-ended run.
"From our first performance, we have been humbled by the spontaneous and genuine outpouring of affection from fans and the theatre community alike," said Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer, Disney Theatrical Productions in a statement. "Alan and Jack's tuneful, rousing score, Harvey's timely book, Chris's muscular choreography and Jeff's cinematic staging merged seamlessly to become a glorious work in the proudly classic Broadway tradition. When our tour launches in October, I'm thrilled that audiences across North America will be able to experience the adrenaline rush that is Newsies."
Newsies is billed as follows, “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 features a Tony Award-winning score with music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, with a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, Newsies is directed by Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, who won a 2012 Tony Award for his work. The subsequent North American tour launches in October and will play in 25 cities over 43 weeks during the 2014-15 season.
The current Broadway company of Newsies features Corey Cott as Jack Kelly, John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer, Liana Hunt as Katherine Plumber, Lavon Fisher-Wilson as Medda Larkin, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Andy Richardson as Crutchie, and Luca Padovan and Zachary Unger alternating the role of Les.
The ensemble features Aaron J. Albano, Mark Aldrich, Giuseppe Bausilio, John E. Brady, Caitlyn Caughell, Julian DeGuzman, Michael Fatica, J.P. Ferreri, John Michael Fiumara, Damon J. Gillespie, David Guzman, Jacob Guzman, Nico James, Molly Jobe, Adam Kaplan, Evan Kasprzak, Stuart Marland, Tommy Martinez, Daniel Quadrino, Julie Reiber, Tom Alan Robbins, Jack Scott, Brendon Stimson, Nick Sullivan, Clay Thomson, Iain Young and Stuart Zagnit. Original cast member Tommy Bracco will re-join the cast later this month.
Newsies provided 32 performers their Broadway debuts. Fourteen current actors are members of the original Broadway company: Dossett, Fankhauser, Richardson, Albano, Aldrich, Bracco, Brady, Caughell, Fatica, Kasprzak, Marland, Scott, Stimson, Sulivan and Zagnit.