New Disney Musical Newsies Recoups Entire Initial Investment
By Andrew Gans
Disney Theatrical Productions announced Dec. 20 that the Broadway production of Newsies has recouped its entire initial investment in just over nine months at the Nederlander Theatre.
The musical's capitalization was $5 million, according to the New York Times; the recoupment marks the fastest a Disney production has ever turned a profit. In 41 weeks of performances to date, nearly 400,000 people have attended the show at the Nederlander.
The show received Tony Awards for Alan Menken and Jack Feldman's score and for Christopher Gattelli's choreography. The Broadway cast album recently received a Grammy nomination.
Newsies features music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, the musical is directed by Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Tony nominee Christopher Gattelli.
"We are thrilled that Broadway audiences have embraced the show as they have. It’s a testament to the power of this story of young people uniting to fight for what’s right as captured in the words and music of Harvey, Alan and Jack and brought to glorious life in Jeff’s production and Chris’ choreography," said Thomas Schumacher, producer and president Disney Theatrical Productions, in a statement. "We believed deeply in the show, but a year ago, we really didn't see this coming so quickly."
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 is now playing an open-ended run.
The Broadway company currently features Corey Cott as Jack Kelly, John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer, Kara Lindsay as Katherine Plumber, Lavon Fisher-Wilson as Medda Larkin, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie, and Nicholas Lampiasi and Jake Lucas alternating the role of Les.
"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."
Visit NewsiesTheMusical.com for details.
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