My family and I recently had the great pleasure of being able to see Disney's Newsies, The Musical on Broadway recently. We had a blast! (Newsies has been nominated for eight Tony Awards, including Best New Musical.)
I purchased the tickets back in January as part of a preorder discount special. Not only did I manage to nab good tickets at a discounted price (although still pricey, this IS New York, after all), but we were also promised a free Newsies messenger bag -- the same bag received by cast members on opening night!
Luckily, I was able to get good seats for a Sunday matinee the weekend before Daughter #2's 15th birthday. I managed to keep this a secret from both of my girls until the morning that we piled in the car to head to New York. It is not so easy to keep secrets from teenage girls, particularly when it is very difficult to explain why they may not schedule any extracurricular activities for an entire weekend.
The show is an adaptation of the 1992 movie starring Christian Bale that dramatizes an 1899 strike by New York City's news boys. The stage version features songs from the movie, plus additional songs, with music by Disney legend Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldmand, another Disney alum, and book by Tony Award-Winner writer and Actor Harvey Fierstein. Jack, the lead Newsie, is played by Jeremy Jordan, who recently starred with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton in the movie “Joyful Noise.” The musical made its debut at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, last fall and opened on Broadway in March of this year. The current cast of the Broadway show debuted the show at the Paper Mill playhouse.
Newsies is playing at the Nederlander Theatre, which is located one block away from the New Amsterdam Theatre, where Mary Poppins continues to enjoy its successful run.
We arrived about half an hour early, and joined the rain-soaked queue to enter the theater once I had picked up our tickets from the Will Call window.
The girls went to find our seats while I found the Ladies Room (very well laid-out for a theater in New York, if I may say so myself), and my husband went to trade the voucher I picked up with our tickets for the promised messenger bag. Very cool!
We were lucky enough to be seated next to a very cool couple of Disney fanatics, who had come to the Big Apple from Oklahoma to see the show. They had preordered their tickets, as well, so we oohed and ahhed over the messenger bags until the lights went down and the show started.
Wow! What a show! I'm not really sure what my expectations were for this production, as I had seen the Newsies movie before, but had not watched it multiple times as I had the movies that preceded the other shows that Disney had produced on Broadway. The tunes were catchy (I am now humming “The King of New York”), the acting was solid, and the story was compelling. But this show is really about the dancing! These guys (and they are mostly guys) can dance! And leap, and spin, and jump, and kick and flip . . . And for anyone who is a sucker for a good old-fashioned tap number, this show has a great one, and I highly recommend it!
A note about souvenirs:
While a number of souvenirs (t-shirts, mugs, tote bags, CDs and programs) are available at stands in the theater,
many of them can be purchased more cheaply just up Broadway at the Times Square Disney Store. For instance, at the Disney Store we purchased a shirt for $5 less than the price that was being charged at the stands in the theater.
The Disney Store also carries merchandise from several other Disney on Broadway shows, including Mary Poppins and The Lion King.
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