Celebrate Disney's Newsies' Journey to Broadway

Photo Features   Celebrate Disney's Newsies' Journey to Broadway
Ahead of Playbill’s August 21 stream, look back at highlights of the musical, from its debut at Paper Mill Playhouse to opening night on Broadway.

As previously announced, Playbill will stream Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical August 21. Part of the Playbill Playback series, the 7 PM ET stream will benefit The Actors Fund.

The free stream, presented in arrangement with Disney Theatrical Productions and Disney+, will be available for viewing for one night only on Playbill.com. The event will also include appearances by Newsies cast members and will conclude with a new video, featuring cast members from the Broadway and North American tour productions of the Disney hit. Ahead of the stream, Playbill is taking a look back at the musical's journey to Broadway.

Captured live at The Hollywood Pantages Theatre in 2016, Newsies stars Jeremy Jordan, reprising his Tony-nominated performance as Jack Kelly, Kara Lindsay as Katherine, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, and Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie, with Newsies North American tour stars Steve Blanchard as Joseph Pulitzer, Aisha de Haas as Medda Larkin, and Ethan Steiner as Les.

Newsies was inspired by the real-life “Newsboy Strike of 1899,” when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, and other powerful newspaper publishers.

Newsies originated as a Disney movie musical in 1992 before being adapted for the stage, debuting at Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011. The stage version introduced seven new songs to the musical, including a song written specifically for the tour, “Letter from the Refuge,” while keeping many of the songs from the 1992 film, including “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” “King of New York,” and “Santa Fe.”

Newsies, produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, features music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein,

Cast of <i>Newsies</i>
Cast of Newsies Monica Simoes

The musical arrived on Broadway in 2012, opening at the Nederlander Theatre March 29. Directed by Jeff Calhoun with choreography by Christopher Gattelli, the production played 16 previews and 1,004 performances before closing August 24, 2014. Newsies earned eight Tony Award nominations and won Best Original Score and Best Choreography.

The Broadway production starred Jordan as Jack Kelly, John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer, Lindsay as Katherine, Capathia Jenkins as Medda Larkin, Fankhauser as Davey, Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie, and Lewis Grosso and Matthew Schecter as Les. Rounding out the cast were Aaron J. Albano, Mark Aldrich, Tommy Bracco, John E. Brandy, Ryan Breslin, Kevin Carolan, Kyle Coffman, Mike Faist, Julie Foldesi, Garett Hawe, Thayne Jasperson, Evan Kasrzak, Jess LeProtto, Stuart Marland, Andy Richardson, Ryan Steele, Brendon Stimson, Nick Sullivan, Ephraim M. Sykes, Laurie Veldheer, and Alex Wong.

Newsies featured scenic design by Tobin Ost, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Ken Travis, and projection design by Sven Ortel with stage management by Thomas J. Gates, Becky Timothy Eaker, and Becky Fleming.

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