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Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Photo by Nancy Stadler
Following its acclaimed run at the Papermill Playhouse last Fall, Disney Theatrical Productions' "Newsies: The Musical" opened at NYC's Nederlander Theatre last night for a special limited engagement.
The press lines up to get shots of celebrities as they walk the red carpeton "Newsies: The Musical" 's Opening Night. Photo by Nancy Stadler
And -- of course -- the Disney brass turned out in drives to support Thomas Schumacher's latest theatrical effort. And among the very first to arrive was Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios chief creative officer John Lasseter. Who was quick to point out that his ever-present Hawaiian shirt was extremely appropriate for "Newsies: The Musical" 's opening night. Given that it was entirely made up of Disney comic strips which had run in daily newspapers back in the 1930s.
In a lot of ways, "Newsies: The Musical" was kind of Old Home Night at the Mouse House. Given that -- among the people strolled down the red carpet at the Nederlander last night was Kenny Ortega, the director of the original 1992 film version of "Newsies."
Kenny Ortega at last night's event. Photo by Nancy Stadler
Not to mention Max Casella, who played the character of Racetrack in the movie version of "Newsies" before he then traveled to Broadway to play Timon in Julie Taymor's Tony Award-winning stage production of Disney's "The Lion King."
Max Casella and his wife Leona.Photo by Nancy Stadler
Among the other former Disney Broadway stars to put in an appearance at "Newsies: The Musical" opening night was Ashley Brown, the actress / singer who had originated the role of that practically perfect nanny in Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's New York production of "Mary Poppins."
Ashley Brown looked great in yellow last night.Photo by Nancy Stadler
But as it got closer & closer to curtain time, it then became time for members of the "Newsies: The Musical" creative team to stroll down the red carpet. First to arrive was Broadway favorite Harvey Fierstein, the four-time Tony Award-winning writer and actor who crafted the book for this new stage version of Walt Disney Pictures' 1992 film musical.
Next up was Jack Feldman, who wrote the lyrics for both the movie and the stage version of "Newsies."
"Newsies: The Musical" lyricist Jack Feldman.Photo by Nancy Stadler
Not to mention 8 time Academy Award-winner Alan Menken, who wrote the music for "Newsies: The Musical."
Once the last of the celebrities had entered the Nederlander, it was now time for "Newsies: The Musical" 's Opening Night on Broadway to begin. The crowd inside the theatre clearly enjoyed this new Disney Theatrical Production. Interrupting the proceeding at one point in the first act to give this show's young-but-talented cast a standing ovation
The cast of "Newsies: The Musical" lines up to take its bows. Photo by Nancy Stadler
And once the curtain came down at the Nederlander ...
... it was then time to wander down 41st Street to the Liberty Theatre. Which was where "Newsies: The Musical" opening night reception was held.
Mind you, while friends and family members of the cast bellied up to the buffet, the leads of this new Disney Theatrical Production were still back at the Nederlander doing interviews with the press.
Jeremy Jordan -- who plays Jack Kelly in "Newsies: The Musical" -- does an on-camera interview right after this new Disney Theatrical Production completed its Opening Nightperformance. Photo by Nancy Stadler
As these tired-but-happy performers helped spread the word that "Newsies: The Musical" 's limited engagement at the Nederlander ...
Capathia Jenkins -- who played Medda Larkin in theshow -- stayed back at the theater on Opening Night to do interviews as well.Photo by Nancy Stadler
... which was originally supposed to run just through June 10th ...
Kara Lindsay -- who plays Katherine in "Newsies: TheMusical" -- is interviewed by a member of the media.Photo by Nancy Stadler
... has now been extended through August 19th. Look for some interviews with leading members of the cast of this new Disney Theatrical Production to pop up on JHM in the coming weeks. But -- for now -- let's welcome "Newsies: The Musical" to Broadway.Your thoughts?
The show is great... I saw it Tuesday night, and was amazed. I always liked the songs, but the movie--as the makers of it admit--never really came together. This production is joyous, with so much energy and enthusiasm on the stage. The cast is amazing. Here's hoping it plays for years.
(also think I spotted you and Nancy in the press line last night--I was watching the celebs arrive, too--but didn't get a chance to say hello before you headed inside the theater)
Hey Jim, do you know if Alan Menken is attached to write the score and songs for Disney's Frozen? It's confirmed that it will be a musical but no word on whether Menken is attached to the project or not. Do you have any insider's info?
I'm heading to NYC next month and I've got my ticket!! (Middle of the second row of the stalls - w00t!)