MARQUEE VALUE: Newsies at the Nederlander Theatre
By Matthew Blank
The new Disney stage musical Newsies, which recently had a critically acclaimed world premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, will get a limited Broadway engagement March 15-June 10, 2012, at the Nederlander Theatre, across the street from Disney's Mary Poppins.
The commercial transfer news was announced on Nov. 15 at newsiesthemusical.com, which indicated that tickets go on sale 10 AM Jan. 30. Opening night will be March 29; 101 performances are planned.
Adapted from the 1992 live-action Disney film, the new musical about a newsboys strike in gaslight New York features music by eight-time Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Sister Act, The Little Mermaid), lyrics by Jack Feldman and a new book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy).
Newsies, according to earlier press notes, is "inspired by the real life 'Newsboy Strike of 1899,' when newsboy Kid Blink led the ragged orphans and runaways known as newsies on a two-week-long action against Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst and other powerful newspaper publishers. Set in New York City at the turn of the century, the musical is the tale of newsie Jack Kelly, who dreams of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when Pulitzer and Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsies' expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies his army of newsies to strike."
The stage version introduces several new songs by the original team of Menken and Feldman, adding to a cult-hit film score that includes "Carrying the Banner," "Seize the Day," "King of New York" and "Santa Fe."
The Nederlander on 41st Street faces the back of the New Amsterdam Theatre, where Mary Poppins flies nightly.
Tony nominee Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific) choreographs the production, which also features musical supervision/vocal and incidental music arrangements by Michael Kosarin, musical direction by Mark Hummel, orchestrations by Danny Troob, scenic design by Tobin Ost, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Jeff Croiter and projection design by Sven Ortel.
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