Screen to Stage: Movie into Musical Success Stories

By Benjamin Solomon
16 Aug 2013

Jeremy Jordan and company
Photo by Deen van Meer

Newsies (2012)

A critical and box office bomb when it was released in 1992, Alan Menken and Jack Feldman's musical film "Newsies," which starred a young Christian Bale as the organizer of a newsboy strike in turn of the century New York City, was always thought of as ripe for stage adaptation, especially by a new generation of fans who helped it become a cult favorite. But even when Disney Theatrical Group got around to developing it for the stage, they were nervous about its potential for success, given it had already failed them miserably before. After a lauded out-of-town tryout, Disney gave Newsies a go on Broadway where its fan based proved lucrative. The show got an open run and eventually won two Tony Awards for its memorable choreography and score, slight vindication for loyal fans who always believed the film never got its due.