Newsies The Musical is a musical based on the 1992 musical film Newsies, which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. The show has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein based on film's screenplay by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White. The musical premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011 and made its Broadway debut in 2012, where it played for more than 1,000 performances before touring.
Original Broadway artwork
|Basis||1992 film Newsies|
|Productions||2011 Paper Mill Playhouse |
2014 1st National tour
2016 'Newsies Live' film
|Awards||Tony Award for Best Original Score|
Tony Award for Best ChoreographyDrama Desk Award for Outstanding Music
Paper Mill Playhouse (2011)Edit
Newsies The Musical premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey from September 25, 2011 through October 16. The production was directed by Jeff Calhoun with choreography by Christopher Gattelli. This production was later transferred to Broadway with several changes in the music and actors.
The musical opened on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre for a limited engagement starting in previews on March 15, 2012, and officially on March 29, 2012. On May 16, 2012, Disney announced that Newsies was an open-ended engagement. The engagement was extended through August 19, 2012, after the first previews.
The original cast of the Broadway production featured Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly and John Dossett as newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer. The cast also included Kara Lindsay as Katherine Plumber, Capathia Jenkins as Medda Larkin, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie, and Lewis Grosso and Matthew Schechter sharing the role of Les. The Broadway production cost about $5 million to stage. Newsies recouped its initial investment of $5M in 7 months, becoming the fastest of any Disney musical on Broadway to turn a profit.
Producers announced on August 14, 2012, due to his commitments with NBC's Smash, leading man Jordan would exit the musical on September 4. It was also confirmed that newcomer Corey Cott (who became his alternate earlier in the month due to Jordan's production requirements for Smash) would be his replacement beginning September 5.
National tour (2014-2016)Edit
The musical began a North American tour on October 11, 2014, commencing in Schenectady, NY. During the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons, the tour was expected to play 25 cities, over 43 weeks. It concluded its run on October 2, 2016 in Austin, TX after 784 performances in 65 cities across the US and Canada.
Following the end of the tour, a limited theatrical release was announced for February 2017. This three-day release grossed $3.47 million. Disney then announced the musical production would be available digitally on May 23, 2017. On August 24, 2017, Disney announced the filmed production of Newsies would be available on Netflix from September 10.
- Act I
In the early hours of the morning in 1899 New York City, Irish newspaper delivery boy Jack Kelly tells his disabled friend, Crutchie, of his dream to one day leave New York for Santa Fe ("Santa Fe" (Prologue)). Jack lives with his fellow "newsies," many of whom are orphaned and homeless. As the sun rises, the newsies awaken and prepare for another day on the job ("Carrying the Banner"). While buying their supply of papers to sell, Jack meets Davey and his little brother, Les. Unlike the rest of the newsies, Davey and Les have a home and a family. They started work as newsies because their father suffered an accident at work resulting in the termination of his employment. Seeing young Les as an opportunity to sell more papers, Jack offers to help the boys. Meanwhile, the publisher of the New York World, Joseph Pulitzer, increases the cost of the newspapers to the delivery boys, so as to outsell his competitors ("The Bottom Line").
Later, Jack, Davey, and Les are chased down by the corrupt Warden Snyder of The Refuge, a juvenile detention center. The boys find cover in a vaudeville-style theatre owned by Jack's friend Medda Larkin, whom he regularly paints backdrops for. Jack refuses to tell Davey why Snyder was after him. The boys then watch Medda perform ("That's Rich"). While at the show, Jack spots a young female reporter named Katherine Plumber. He attempts to flirt with her, but she brushes him off as he does a drawing of her. Jack laments his blossoming feelings for her as the show continues ("Don’t Come A-Knocking"/"I Never Planned on You"). The next morning, Jack and the newsies discover that the cost of newspapers has been raised to sixty cents per hundred. Outraged, Jack organizes a protest ("The World Will Know"). Katherine is inspired by Jack's leadership and artistic abilities, and sees the newsies' strike as an opportunity to be seen as a more serious journalist, something she struggles with because of society's view of women, and decides to cover the protest ("Watch What Happens"). The next day, Jack fails to properly motivate the newsies, as he isn't always the best with words, but Davey steps in and rallies the newsies for a full scale strike against the New York World ("Seize the Day"). The protest is cut short when the boys are engaged in confrontations with the police and strikebreakers. During the commotion, Crutchie is beaten, apprehended, and taken to the refuge. Jack, upset at the protest's failure and the capture of Crutchie, laments the situation and promises himself that he'll soon leave New York forever ("Santa Fe").
- Act II
The next morning, Katherine visits the sulking newsies in Jacobi's Deli and cheers them up by showing them that her article about the strike made the front page of the New York Sun. Thrilled, the newsies all rejoice at making the headline and imagine what it would be like to be famous ("King of New York"). Meanwhile, Crutchie writes a letter to Jack, reflecting his experience at the Refuge ("Letter from the Refuge"). Davey, Katherine, and Les later find Jack hiding out in the basement of Medda's theatre, painting a backdrop of Santa Fe. Davey and Katherine attempt to decide their next move, but Jack refuses to put the newsies in danger again. Davey reminds him that they'll have to take risks in order to get Crutchie back. Jack eventually complies ("Watch What Happens" (reprise)).
Back at the World, Pulitzer converses with Warden Snyder about Jack while Katherine listens. Snyder reveals that Jack is actually an escaped criminal, originally detained for stealing food and clothing. Jack soon arrives and confronts Pulitzer. During the conversation, Pulitzer reveals that he is actually Katherine's father. Katherine, who was hiding in the room, tries to apologize to Jack for not telling him, but Jack brushes her off as he is led by Snyder into the cellar. Pulitzer offers Jack a compromise: if the strike is called off, he will be cleared of all charges and given enough money to leave for Santa Fe, but if not, he and the other newsies will be sent to the refuge ("The Bottom Line" (reprise)). Meanwhile, Spot Conlon, head of the newsies in Brooklyn, brings in his ranks in full support of Jack's protest ("Brooklyn's Here"). Jack gathers the newsies, and not wanting to put them in any more danger, reluctantly suggests they accept Pulitzer's offer. Davey and the newsies are shocked at Jack and turn their back on him. Jack later meets with Katherine once more and she tells him that despite her namesake, she was always on Jack's side. She also criticizes Jack for not being honest with her about ending up in the refuge for stealing. However, after seeing a drawing Jack made depicting the abuse conducted at the refuge, she realizes Jack stole the food and clothing for the other boys there. The two share a brief romantic moment and Katherine states that "I have something to believe in, now that I know you believed in me". Jack admits that the feeling is mutual, and they kiss ("Something to Believe In").
Jack and Katherine then join the newsies in printing their own paper; one that will determine the outcome of the strike ("Once and for All"). The newsies' paper is sent to Governor Theodore Roosevelt, who arrives in full support of the newsies' cause. Defeated, Pulitzer compromises with Jack once more. Jack proposes that Pulitzer buy back every paper the newsies fail to sell every day, thus making him seem more generous and making more boys want to sell papers for him. Pulitzer is reluctant at first, but agrees. Crutchie is freed, Snyder is arrested, the refuge is shut down, and the strike ends. Pulitzer offers Jack a job as a daily political cartoonist, which Jack initially declines. Jack prepares to say goodbye to Katherine, as he now plans to leave for Santa Fe, but Katherine says that wherever he goes she will go with him. The two share a kiss, and Jack elects to remain a newsboy and accept the cartoonist job ("Finale").
|Character||Paper Mill Playhouse||Original Broadway Cast||Original National Tour Cast|
|Jack Kelly||Jeremy Jordan||Dan DeLuca|
|Joseph Pulitzer||John Dossett||Steve Blanchard|
|Katherine Plumber||Kara Lindsay||Stephanie Styles|
|Davey Jacobs||Ben Fankhauser||Jacob Kemp|
|Medda Larkin||Helen Anker||Capathia Jenkins||Angela Grovey|
|Crutchie||Andrew Keenan-Bolger||Zachary Sayle|
|Les Jacobs||R.J. Fattori,
|Spot Conlon||Tommy Bracco||Jeff Heimbrock|
|Race||Ryan Breslin||Ben Cook|
|Romeo||Andy Richardson||Nico DeJesus|
|Albert||Garrett Hawe||Sky Flaherty|
|Specs||Ryan Steele||Jordan Samuels|
|Finch||Aaron J. Albano||Julian DeGuzman|
|Wiesel / Mr. Jacobi / Mayor||John E. Brady||Michael Gorman|
|Oscar Delancey||Brendon Stimson||Jon Hacker|
|Morris Delancey||Mike Faist||Michael Ryan|
|Bunsen / Stage Manager||Nick Sullivan||Bill Bateman|
|Hannah / Bowery Beauty||Laurie Veldheer||Meredith Inglesby|
|Snyder||Stuart Marland||James Judy|
|Nunzio / Theodore Roosevelt||Kevin Carolan|
Broadway cast changesEdit
- Corey Cott replaced Jordan as Jack Kelly on September 5, 2012.
- Ron Raines temporarily replaced Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer from October 9, 2012 to December 16, 2012.
- Mike Faist was an understudy for Jack Kelly and played Jack from late November to early December 2012.
- Andy Richardson understudied and later replaced Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie during the Broadway run.
Jack Kelly is the amalgamation of several historical leaders of the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899, primarily Kid Blink (who is featured in the film but omitted from the musical), known as a charismatic speaker and a leader to the younger boys. Other real strikers included in the show are Racetrack Higgins, Mush Meyers, and Spot Conlon. Although Katherine Plumber is fictional character, she is named for Pulitzer’s daughter Katherine Ethel, who died of pneumonia in 1884 at the age of 2 Many newsgirls participated in the strike as well, a fact largely ignored by both the film and the musical.
At the height of the strike, on July 24, 1899, the Newsboys Union held a massive rally at the New Irving Theatre, a vaudeville venue on the Bowery (reimagined in the musical as Medda Larkin’s theatre). The rally was covered in extensive detail by The New York Sun (employer of the fictional Katherine Plumber), and featured speeches from the union’s leaders. It is rumored that for a period of time during the strike that Kid Blink secretly began working with Pulitzer and Hearst, which resulted in a massive riot of strikers versus scabbers, similar to Jack’s near-betrayal after Pulitzer promises him a full ride to Santa Fe. Unlike in the film, the musical follows the historical ending of the strike, where the World and the Journal agreed to buy back all unsold papers, keeping the price at 60 cents per 100.
Differences from the 1992 filmEdit
In addition to the songs from the original movie, Newsies The Musical contains several new numbers such as 'Brooklyn's Here' and 'Something To Believe In'. The songs "My Lovey Dovey Baby" and "High Times Hard Times" were removed and replaced by the singular song "That's Rich", which is performed by the same character, Medda Larkin, while the remaining songs were rewritten to fit the changes in the storyline between the film and the musical. Davey and Les’s parents are mentioned only in conversation, omitting a scene from the movie where Jack has dinner in their tenement apartment. The lyrics to Santa Fe are changed to compensate for this change. The characters of Sarah Jacobs (Davey and Les's sister and Jack's original love interest) and the New York Sun reporter Brian Denton are replaced by the composite character Katherine Plumber, a reporter with whom Jack falls in love. Also omitted was the solo for "Patrick's Mother". A scene with Jack, Davey, and Spot Conlon is absent, as is Spot's involvement in the fight between the newsies and scabbers; Spot doesn't appear until the rally.
A solo number for Crutchie titled “Letter from the Refuge” was added for National tour, replacing a scene from the movie where Jack visits Crutchie after he is captured by Snyder. “Letter From the Refuge” now appears in the current version of the show that is licensed to theatre companies.
† Not on the Original Broadway Cast Recording
^ Mayor sings Bunsen's line in the Broadway Cast Recording but Bunsen sings it in the revised edition which was filmed and is available for licensing
" 'Newsies' will open in time to qualify for the Tony Award in a season when the Tony for best musical is seen as up for grabs; 'Newsies' is already considered a likely contender for a nomination even before the show opens..."
"As choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, they keep coming at us in full-speed-ahead phalanxes, fortified by every step in a Broadway-by-the-numbers dance book... Mr. Jordan...is a natural star who has no trouble holding the stage, even without pirouettes... Mr. Feldman’s lyrics are spot-on, while the melody reminds us just how charming a composer Mr. Menken...can be."
|Newsies (Original Broadway Cast Recording)|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||May 15, 2012|
The Broadway cast recording was released on iTunes April 10, 2012, from Ghostlight Records, and the CD was released on May 15. Six songs were added for the stage adaptation, including three newly written for the Broadway production since the Paper Mill Playhouse debut: The Bottom Line, That's Rich and Something to Believe In (replacing Then I See You Again, also written for the stage adaptation).
|2.||"Santa Fe (Prologue)"||Jeremy Jordan, Andrew Keenan-Bolger||3:05|
|3.||"Carrying the Banner"||Newsies Company||5:08|
|4.||"The Bottom Line"||John Dossett, Mark Aldrich, Nick Sullivan, Laurie Veldheer||2:16|
|5.||"That's Rich"||Capathia Jenkins||2:33|
|6.||"I Never Planned on You/Don't Come a-Knocking"||Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay, Laurie Veldheer, Julie Foldesi||1:40|
|7.||"The World Will Know"||Jeremy Jordan, Ben Fankhauser, Lewis Grosso, Matthew Schechter, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Newsies Company||4:09|
|8.||"Watch What Happens"||Kara Lindsay||3:06|
|9.||"Seize the Day"||Jeremy Jordan, Ben Fankhauser, Lewis Grosso, Matthew Schechter, Newsies Company||5:23|
|10.||"Santa Fe"||Jeremy Jordan||3:12|
|11.||"King of New York"||Ben Fankhauser, Matthew Schechter, Lewis Grosso, Kara Lindsay, Ryan Breslin, Newsies Company||4:09|
|12.||"Watch What Happens (reprise)"||Jeremy Jordan, Ben Fankhauser, Kara Lindsay, Lewis Grosso||1:53|
|13.||"The Bottom Line (reprise)"||John Dossett, Mark Aldrich, John E. Brady||0:58|
|14.||"Brooklyn's Here"||Tommy Bracco, Newsies Company||1:53|
|15.||"Something to Believe In"||Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay||3:31|
|16.||"Once and for All"||Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay, Ben Fankhauser, Ryan Breslin, Newsies Company||4:01|
|17.||"Finale"||Jeremy Jordan, Newsies Company||2:32|
|18.||"Santa Fe (Bonus Track)"||Jeremy Jordan, Alan Menken||2:03|
|19.||"Seize The Day (Bonus Track)"||Jeremy Jordan, Ben Fankhauser, Lewis Grosso, Matthew Schechter, Newsies Company||6:40|
|20.||"King of New York (Bonus Track)"||Ben Fankhauser, Matthew Schechter, Lewis Grosso, Kara Lindsay, Ryan Breslin, Newsies Company||4:56|
Filmed stage productionEdit
In July 2016, it was announced that Newsies would be filmed in Los Angeles with a limited national release in movie theaters from February 16–18, 2017. Due to high demand, a fourth showing was added for March 4, 2017. Some alumni from the Broadway production reprised their leading roles, notably Jeremy Jordan as Jack , Kara Lindsay as Katherine, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie and Tommy Bracco as Spot Conlon. Several ensemble tracks were added to the show to provide roles for swings. A two-day encore presentation of the production was shown in theaters on August 5 and 9, 2017.
On the 25th anniversary of the original film's theatrical release, April 10, 2017, it was announced the filmed stage production would be released for digital download on May 23, 2017.
Honors and awardsEdit
Original Broadway productionEdit
|2012||Tony Award||Best Musical||Nominated|||
|Best Book of a Musical||Harvey Fierstein||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical||Jeremy Jordan||Nominated|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Jeff Calhoun||Nominated|
|Best Choreography||Christopher Gattelli||Won|
|Best Original Score||Alan Menken and Jack Feldman||Won|
|Best Orchestrations||Danny Troob||Nominated|
|Best Scenic Design of a Musical||Tobin Ost and Sven Ortel||Nominated|
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Musical||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Actor in a Musical||Jeremy Jordan||Nominated|
|Outstanding Choreography||Christopher Gattelli||Won|
|Outstanding Music||Alan Menken||Won|
|Outstanding Lyrics||Jack Feldman||Nominated|
|Outstanding Orchestrations||Danny Troob||Nominated|
|2013||Grammy Award||Best Musical Theater Album||Nominated|||
|Young Artist Award||Best Young Actor in Live Theater||Lewis Grosso||Nominated|||
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-  chroniclingamerica.loc.gov
- "Pulitzer Family" library.columbia.edu
- 1899 timesmachine.nytimes.com
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- Cox, Gordon."'Newsies' New Song Tour" Variety
- Newsies mtishows.com
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- Brantley, Ben (March 29, 2012). "Urchins with Punctuation". The New York Times.
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- Gioia, Michael (July 27, 2016). "Newsies Will Be Filmed With Jeremy Jordan and Kara Lindsay". Playbill. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
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- "Instagram photo by Andrew Keenan-Bolger • Sep 2, 2016 at 8:15pm UTC". Instagram. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
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