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Disney Theatrical Productions Presents "Newsies the Musical" at the Nederlander Theatre
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Disney Theatrical Productions Presents "Newsies the Musical" at the Nederlander Theatre

- Backstage with the Playwrights


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728 Eighth Avenue
(Btw. 45th and 46th Streets)
New York, NY 10019
212.869.3585

Nederlander Theatre
Under the Direction of
James M. Nederlander and James L. Nederlander

Disney Theatrical Productions
under the direction of Thomas Schumacher

Presents:
Newsies the Musical
(Newsies the Musical Website)

Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Jack Feldman
Book by Harvey Fierstein

Based on the Disney film by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White

At the
Nederlander Theatre
208 West 41st Street
New York, NY
212.307.4100

Starring:
Jeremy Jordan, John Dossett, Kara Lindsay, Capathia Jenkins,
Ben Fankhauser, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Lewis Grosso

And an ensemble of singers/actors/dancers

Directed by Jeff Calhoun
Choreography by Chris Gattelli
Orchestrations by Danny Troob
Musical Supervision, Incidental Music, Vocal Arrangements
By Michael Kosarin

Scenic Design: Tobin Ost
Costume Design: Jess Goldstein
Lighting Design: Jeff Croiter
Sound Design: Ken Travis
Projection Design: Sven Ortel
Hair & Wig Design: Charles G. LaPointe
Fight Direction: J. Allen Suddeth
Casting: Telsey + Company/Justin Huff, CSA
Assoc. Producer: Anne Quart
Technical Supervision: Neil Mazzella & Geoffrey Quart
Music Director/Dance Music Arrangements:
Mark Hummel
Music Coordinator: John Miller
Production Stage Manager: Thomas J. Gates
Production Manager: Eduardo Castro


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 4, 2012


I was sorry my father couldn’t have seen this show, as he told us he sold newspapers in Boston as a kid, although much later than 1899, the date of the big NY newsboy strike, on which Newsies is based. It was a great surprise to realize Alan Menken, Jack Feldman, and Harvey Fierstein created such a hit, and every moment at the Nederlander was expanded with the astounding exuberance and energy of the leads and ensemble. The cast is almost all male, and they move atop and inside a steel set of ladders that practically reaches the audience. This is an up-front and up-close theatrical experience that’s well worth the ticket. In fact, there were whole families and lots of children in the crowds, and their sound of sheer laughter was exhilarating. Mr. Menken’s music is hummable and pulsating, while Jack Feldman’s lyrics are captivating:

The star role of the show, Jack Kelly, belongs to the magnetic Jeremy Jordan, who caught my eye and ear in Bonnie and Clyde and West Side Story. Mr. Jordan leads the Newsies, who are young male orphans, who survive on wit, luck, and bravado, as they buy newspapers from Joseph Pulitzer’s (John Dossett) news publishing company for pocket change and sell for a bit more pocket change. When Pulitzer raises his price, the “boys” get unionized, with help from the hobbling but spunky Crutchie (Andrew Keenan-Bolger), Les (Lewis Grosso, the most campy, charming young actor I’ve seen in quite some time), Davey (Ben Fankhauser), a kid with brains, and even Pulitzer’s own daughter, a writer named Katherine (Kara Lindsay), who of course falls head over heels for Jack. As it happens, that romance is given a push by Jack’s artistic talent, painting sunsets that colorfully contrast with the bleak grayness of the streets. .

The rapid paced momentum keeps the light dramatic theme gripping and entertaining. Mr. Fierstein’s book is brilliantly conceived, with uniquely drawn characters that exude personality plus. The ensemble has passion, youthfulness, idealism, and true grit. And, the show is educational, as we watched the formation of an early union for underpaid workers, albeit before child labor laws took effect. Mr. Jordan and Ms. Lindsay had chemistry and charisma, individually and in duo. Mr. Jordan, while young, has a bright career on Broadway waiting for him, with his honest, humble, high-spirited approach to his roles. Ms. Lindsay is also engaging and beguiling. Of the lead newsboys, Crutchie (Keenan-Bolger) had a heroic scene, as did Les (Grosso). It’s always great to see the kids win. Davey was often the brains behind the plans, and Mr. Fankhauser made the character shine. Mr. Dossett, as Pulitzer, was appropriately feisty and fiery, and there was a Teddy Roosevelt cameo at the finale, thanks to a blustery, upbeat Kevin Carolan. One additional character that stunningly added pizzazz to this peppy event was Capathia Jenkins as the jubilant Medda Larkin, a vaudevillian star.

Jeff Calhoun has directed to maximize the dynamism of this most muscular show, and Christopher Gattelli’s choreography created a show within a show, athleticism and aerobic tumbling and twirling that brought the house down. The audience loved the swinging gymnastics. Tobin Ost’s set is a moving model for ensemble stage presentation, and Jess Goldstein’s costumes include the requisite britches, caps, and pocket watches. Jeff Croiter’s lighting kept the vivacious antics in clear view, and Ken Travis’ sound filled the theater with crystalline lyrics. The projections, by Sven Ortel, brought forth the historic import of this monumental show. Danny Troob’s orchestrations and Michael Kosarin and John Miller’s music supervision and coordination wove melody with motion, melodrama, and humor. Kudos to Disney Theatrical Productions for this one-of-a-kind, fantastic show.



Aaron J. Albano and Jess LeProtto
with the Cast of "Newsies"
Courtesy of Deen van Meer



Kara Lindsay and Jeremy Jordan
with the Cast of "Newsies"
Courtesy of Deen van Meer



Jeremy Jordan with the Cast of "Newsies"
Courtesy of Deen van Meer



Jeremy Jordan
Courtesy of Deen van Meer



Kara Lindsay with the Cast of "Newsies"
Courtesy of Deen van Meer



The Company of "Newsies"
Courtesy of Deen van Meer



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net