Newsies

I had the great fortune to travel to New York City this past week and, of course, I had to get my Disney fix into the trip. Over the course of the next few reports, I’ll be describing just how I got my fix of the mouse in the Big Apple.

We flew into LaGuardia on a super rainy day, leading to our flight arriving two hours late. I was stressed beyond belief as that night, I had tickets to see Newsies! As the show is closing at the end of August, I wanted to see it before they “Carried the Banner” on tour. We got to our hotel in Times Square at 7, and I booked it through the rain, heading towards the Nederlander Theater on 41st. After my idiotic lack of ability to count correctly and running 5 blocks in the opposite direction, I finally arrived at the theater with 10 minutes to spare.

I had purchased my tickets through Tix4Students, which gives heavy discounts to college students. I had a seat 6 rows from the stage, right on the aisle, and I only paid $37.70, which was remarkably cheap. The lights dimmed and the show began.

For those unfamiliar with the trajectory of the show, Disney Theatricals received hundreds of requests to make the cult film (about news boys at the turn of the century striking starring Christian Bale and directed by some new guy…Kenny Ortega? I wonder if his career went well) into a show, so they performed it at the Papermill Playhouse for a short run in order for it to be licensed across the country. Well, it was so successful that they brought it to Broadway for a limited engagement…which turned into an open run, and two Tony Awards, including Alan Menken’s 1st.

The story follows a pack of news boys in NYC in 1899, led by Jack Kelly (played by the superb Corey Cott) who strike against Pulitzer over increased paper prices. The whole story is being covered by a new reporter, Katherine Plumber (played by the hilarious and fantastic Liana Hunt), who gets romantically entangled in the whole situation. Part of the show takes place in a local theater which is owned by Medda Larkin. The night I saw the show, the original Medda, Capathia Jenkins, returned to the role to close out the show and WOW! She kind of stole the show for me. Her solo, “That’s Rich,” was a super fun number that I purchased immediately once I left the theater.

The choreography is incredible, heel stretches and spins a plenty, and so deserved the Tony that it won. The set is also pretty astounding, as it is made up of 3, three-story metal towers that have full spinning capabilities and, at one point, move right to the edge of the stage. If you “kind-of-sort-of” like live theater, see a bunch of newsies stand on every floor of the towers, belting “Once and For All,” as they start moving towards you in the audience. It was a spectacular sight that gave me chills.

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Sorry it is blurry, but the MASSIVE set for "Newsies."
Overall, it was a fantastic entry into the Disney on Broadway catalog and makes me excited for what will take its place. Newsies was one of those shows that makes you realize exactly why someone would love live theater, so it will be a tough act to follow. While I know Frozen is in the works, I’m hoping Hunchback takes its place, because that score is gorgeous and needs to be performed on a Broadway stage.

Be sure to see Newsies on Broadway before it shutters on August 24th or on tour this fall!

Have you seen the show? Let me know your thoughts below or on the discussion boards. Stay tuned for a trip behind the scenes at a taping of The View!