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The new Newsies Broadway musical has officially opened. The stage show is adapted from the 1992 Disney movie which tells the true story of the New York newspaper strike at the turn of the century. The musical opened on March 29, 2012 at the Nederlander Theatre where it is scheduled for an open-ended run. The credits include a book by Harvey Fierstein with lyrics by Jack Feldman and music by Alan Menken. Critical response has been overall positive. Newsies is certainly worth a look this summer on Broadway.
The Newsies Broadway musical tells the fascinating and high-energy tale of the 1899 newspaper strike in New York City. When a group of local boys suffer a loss in wage due to increased prices, they must pay for their newspapers they band together to take on the biggest names in publishing. In the "pre-unionized" era, these young men create a social movement in the city which spreads around the country. "Newsies" is an uplifting story of the struggle for fair pay as well as justice for all workers.
The stage show is based on the popular Disney film which starred a young Christian Bale. The film also starred David Moscow, Bill Pullman, Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret. The film was furthermore, the directorial debut for renowned choreographer Kenny Ortega. The Disney film was a "sleeper" which eventually gained a cult following. The film was loosely based on the events of the 1899 newspaper strike.
The new Disney musical follows the true event story. The production benefits greatly with four-time Tony Award winner Harvery Fierstein (Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage aux Folles) adding some fire to the script. Mr. Fierstein can breathe some new life into the stage adaptation by adding common musical themes such as a boy meets girl and the rooting for underdogs. The true events of that time need to be understood in context, in 1899 newspapers were the only outlet for news. The newspaper publishers were kings of the time and the "newsies" often misused, unappreciated orphaned boys. Mr. Fierstein takes advantage of the "David versus Goliath" aspects of the story to breathe new life and excitement into the show which the film missed.
The Newsies Broadway musical is sure to garner an audience this summer and fall. The Disney production boasts some big credits, positive reviews and a New York City true story which seems just as relevant today. Eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken wrote the music (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas), and his best elements come out in this production. Newsies is thrilling and quite a robust, well rounded musical certainly worth a look. Newsies Broadway tickets are on sale now for all performances.
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