Newsies (musical)

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This article is about the musical. For film of the same name by Disney, see Newsies.
The Musical
Original Broadway artwork
Music Alan Menken
Lyrics Jack Feldman
Book Harvey Fierstein
Basis 1992 film Newsies
Productions 2011 Paper Mill Playhouse
2012 Broadway
2014 1st National Tour
2015 Italian Tour
2016 Korea (in Korean)

Newsies The Musical is a Disney Theatrical Productions stage 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. The musical premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011 and made its Broadway debut in 2012.


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.[1] Directed by Jeff Calhoun, choreography is by Christopher Gattelli. Newsies The Musical contains songs from the movie, as well as several new numbers.[2][3] The stage adaptation writes out Jack's original love interest Sarah Jacobs (Davey and Les's sister) and the New York Sun reporter Brian Denton, who writes about the Newsies. They are replaced by the composite character, Katherine Plumber, a reporter.[4][5] It is explained later in the musical that this is a pen name. The songs "My Lovey Dovey Baby" and "High Times Hard Times" were left out of the stage adaptation. Also omitted was the solo for "Patrick's Mother".

The Paper Mill Playhouse production received many favorable reviews.[6][7][8]

Broadway (2012–2014)[edit]

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.[9] The engagement was extended through August 19, 2012, after the first previews.[10] On May 16, 2012, Disney announced that Newsies was an open-ended engagement.[11]

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.[5] The Broadway production cost about $5 million to stage.[12] Newsies recouped its initial investment of $5M in 7 months, becoming the fastest of any Disney musical on Broadway to turn a profit.[13]

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 the alternate earlier in the month due to Jordan's Smash schedule) would be his replacement beginning September 5.[14]

The musical closed on August 24, 2014.[15] By the time the production closed, it played 1,004 performances.[16]

West End (2014)[edit]

On May 31, 2013, it was reported that producers of the show were trying to find a venue in London for Spring 2014, "possibly at the Piccadilly or the Savoy,.".[17]

National Tour (2014)[edit]

The musical began a North American tour in October 2014, commencing in Schenectady, NY. During the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons, the tour is expected to play 25 cities, over 43 weeks.[18] It will conclude its run on October 2, 2016 in Austin, TX.[19]


Act I

In the early hours of the morning in 1899 New York City, 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 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, inspired by Jack's leadership and artistic abilities, sees the newsies' strike as an opportunity to become a more successful reporter 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 wealthy ("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 will be sent back 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 ("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 newsie and accept the cartoonist job. All ends well ("Finale").


Character Original Broadway Cast Closing Broadway Cast Original 1st National Tour Cast Current 1st National Tour Cast
Jack Kelly Jeremy Jordan Corey Cott Dan DeLuca Joey Barreiro
Joseph Pulitzer John Dossett Steve Blanchard
Katherine Plumber Kara Lindsay Liana Hunt Stephanie Styles Morgan Keene
Medda Larkin Capathia Jenkins Angela Grovey Aisha de Haas
Davey Jacobs Ben Fankhauser Jacob Kemp Stephen Michael Langton
Crutchie Andrew Keenan-Bolger Andy Richardson Zachary Sayle Andy Richardson
Les Jacobs Lewis Grosso
Matthew Schechter
Zachary Unger
Luca Padovan
Vincent Crocilla
Anthony Rosenthal
Ethan Steiner
Turner Birthisel
Finch Aaron J. Albano Julian DeGuzman Iain Young
Don Seitz Mark Aldrich Eric Scott Kincaid
Spot Conlon Tommy Bracco Jeff Heimbrock Anthony Zas
Wiesel / Mr. Jacobi / Mayor John E. Brady Michael Gorman
Race Ryan Breslin Giuseppe Bausilio Ben Cook Daniel Switzer
Nunzio / Theodore Roosevelt Kevin Carolan Tom Alan Robbins Kevin Carolan
Henry Kyle Coffman Iain Young DeMarius Copes Michael Rios
Morris Delancey / Mike Mike Faist Adam Kaplan Michael Ryan Devin Lewis
Oscar Delancey / Ike Brendon Stimson Jon Hacker Anthony Norman
Sniper Alex Wong Jacob Guzman Ginna Claire Mason Kaitlyn Frank
Nuns Julie Foldesi
Capathia Jenkins
Laurie Veldheer
Capathia Jenkins
Molly Jobe
Julie Reiber
Angela Grovey
Meredith Inglesby
Ginna Claire Mason
Aisha de Haas
Meredith Inglesby
Kaitlyn Frank
Albert Garett Hawe Daniel Quadrino Sky Flaherty
Bill Jack Sippel Nick Masson
Mush Ephraim Sykes David Guzman
JoJo / Darcy Thayne Jasperson Nico James Greetham Joshua Burrage
Elmer Evan Kasprzak Jeff Heimbrock Anthony Zas
Buttons Jess LeProtto Damon Gillespie Chaz Wolcott
Snyder Stuart Marland James Judy
Romeo Andy Richardson Tommy Martinez Nico DeJesus
Specs Ryan Steele John Michael Fiumara Jordan Samuels
Bunsen Nick Sullivan Bill Bateman
Hannah Laurie Veldheer Molly Jobe Meredith Inglesby
Smalls Josh Assor Julian DeGuzman
Scabs Tommy Bracco
Jess LeProtto
Alex Wong
Tommy Bracco
Damon Gillespie
Jacob Guzman
Evan Autio
Sky Flaherty
Chaz Wolcott
Michael Dameski
Sky Flaherty
Chaz Wolcott
Swings Caitlyn Caughell
Michael Fatica
Jack Scott
Stuart Zagnit
Julian DeGuzman
Michael Fatica
Jack Scott
Stuart Zagnit
JP Ferreri
Melissa Steadman Hart
Stephen Hernandez
Eric Jon Mahlum
Andrew Wilson
JP Ferreri
Stephen Hernandez
Beth Stafford Laird
Eric Jon Mahlum
Andrew Wilson

Broadway Cast replacement history[edit]

  • Corey Cott replaced Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly on September 5, 2012.[20]
  • LaVon Fisher-Wilson replaced Capathia Jenkins as Medda Larkin on September 11, 2012. However, due to Fisher-Wilson's pregnancy, Jenkins resumed the role beginning on July 15, 2014.[21][22]
  • Ron Raines temporarily replaced John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer from October 9, 2012 to December 16, 2012.[23]
  • Andy Richardson replaced Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie on March 11, 2013.[24]
  • Liana Hunt replaced Kara Lindsay as Katherine on February 3, 2014.[25]
  • Jeremy Greenbaum temporarily replaced Ben Fankhauser as Davey from April 1, 2014 to June 22, 2014.[26][27]
  • Clay Thomson temporarily replaced Tommy Bracco as Spot Conlon on two occasions, November 1, 2012 to December 8, 2012 and May 6, 2014 to June 29, 2014.

Musical numbers[edit]


The Paper Mill production drew critical acclaim. According to The New York Times: '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...[12]

In his review of the Broadway production, Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote: 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. 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.[28]

In other media[edit]

On September 19, 2011 the cast, accompanied by composer Alan Menken, performed "Seize the Day" and "Santa Fe" on The View.[29] The company performed "King of New York" in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in November 2011. On November 19, 2012, the cast was invited to perform “Seize the Day” on “Dancing with the Stars: All Stars.” [30]


Newsies (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released May 15, 2012
Length 50:42
Label Ghostlight Records

The Broadway cast recording was released on iTunes April 10, 2012, from Ghostlight Records, the CD was released on May 15. The musical has "six songs added for the stage, including three newly written for Broadway since the Paper Mill production. The three new songs are titled The Bottom Line, That's Rich and Something to Believe In."[31]

No. Title Performed by Length
1. "Overture"   Alan Menken 1:12
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, 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

Awards and nominations[edit]

Original Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2012 Tony Award Best Musical Nominated [32]
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 Tobin Ost and Sven Ortel Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical Nominated [33]
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
Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Nominated [34]
Young Artist Award Best Young Actor in Live Theater Lewis Grosso Nominated [35]


  1. ^ Sorokoff, Stephen (September 26, 2011). "Photo Coverage: Newsies Opening Night Curtain Call!". Broadway World. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ Jones, Kenneth (September 21, 2010). "Harvey Fierstein Is Librettist for Newsies Musical, With Songs by Menken and Feldman". Playbill. 
  3. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (February 14, 2011). "Extra, Extra! 'Newsies' Musical to Open Paper Mill Playhouse Season". The New York Times. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ Rendell, Bob (September 25, 2011). "Disney's Newsies The Musical Dances its Way into Our Hearts". Talkin' Broadway. 
  5. ^ a b "Cast & Creative". Disney Theatrical. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ Rooney, David (September 27, 2011). "Newsboy Strike? Sing All About It". The New York Times. 
  7. ^ Geiger, Thom (September 27, 2011). "Newsies: The Musical". Entertainment Weekly. 
  8. ^ Sommers, Michael (September 27, 2011). "Review: 'Newsies: The Musical'". Variety. 
  9. ^ Jones, Kenneth (November 15, 2011). "Read All About It: Disney's 'Newsies' Gets Spring 2012 Broadway Engagement". Playbill. 
  10. ^ "'Newsies' extends Broadway run". United Press International. March 19, 2012. 
  11. ^ Healy, Patrick (May 16, 2012). "'Newsies' Run Is Now Open-Ended". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ a b Healy, Patrick (January 3, 2012). "Jeremy Jordan On Verge of Joining Broadway Move of Disney's 'Newsies'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  13. ^ Healy, Patrick (December 20, 2012). "'Newsies' Recoups Initial Investment". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Gans, Andrew (August 14, 2012). "Corey Cott Will Succeed Jeremy Jordan in Broadway's 'Newsies'". Playbill. 
  15. ^ "'Newsies' to Close in August". The New York Times. 22 June 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Bowgen, Philippe (June 23, 2014). "Disney Musical Newsies to End Broadway Run". Playbill. 
  17. ^ Gans, Andrew (May 31, 2013). "Will Disney Musical Newsies Play London?". 
  18. ^ Gans, Andrew (October 11, 2014). "Seize the Day!: National Tour of Disney's Newsies Launches Today". Playbill. 
  19. ^ Spangler, Todd (Jun 17, 2016). "Disney to Stage 'Newsies' Stream on Facebook Live (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. 
  20. ^ "Corey Cotts First Curtain Call". September 5, 2012. 
  21. ^ Gans, Andrew (September 11, 2012). "Lavon Fisher-Wilson Joins Cast of Broadway's 'Newsies' Sept. 11". Playbill. 
  22. ^ Gans, Andrew (July 15, 2014). "Original Newsies Star Returns to Cast Tonight for Remainder of Broadway Run". Playbill. 
  23. ^ Gans, Andrew (September 28, 2012). "'Follies' Star Ron Raines Will Join Cast of Broadway's 'Newsies'". Playbill. 
  24. ^ Ferri, Josh (January 23, 2013). "Andy Richardson to Replace Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Newsies's Next Crutchie". 
  25. ^ Bellino, Damian (January 31, 2014). "Liana Hunt Set to Seize the Day as Katherine Plumber in Broadway's Newsies". 
  26. ^ "Jeremy Greenbaum". Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  27. ^ [1]
  28. ^ Brantley, Ben (March 29, 2012). "Urchins with Punctuation". The New York Times. 
  29. ^ "'Newsies' Performs on 'The View'". September 19, 2011. 
  30. ^ Gioia, Michael (November 28, 2011). "THE SCREENING ROOM: Newsies, Anything Goes, Sister Act, Priscilla, Memphis, Spider-Man Perform at Thanksgiving Day Parade (Video)". Playbill. 
  31. ^ Gans, Andrew (March 26, 2012). "Original Cast Recording of Newsies Will Be Released Digitally in April; CD Arrives in May". Playbill. 
  32. ^ Healy, Patrick (May 1, 2012). "'Once' Leads the 2012 Tony Awards Nominations". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2012. 
  33. ^ Rickwald, Bethany (June 3, 2012). "Tracie Bennett, Danny Burstein, James Corden, Audra McDonald Among Drama Desk Award Winners". 
  34. ^ Morris, Christopher (December 5, 2012). "Frank Ocean, Fun lead Grammy nominations". Variety. Retrieved September 24, 2015. 
  35. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved January 3, 2013. 

External links[edit]