Disney’s Newsies Making Headline History Since 1992!
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Disney’s Newsies is coming to the Queen City Jan. 6-11 at Belk Theater! The New York City boys from 1899 have not only been delivering papers, but also justice on stage since the Broadway première of their smash-hit show in 2012.
Based on a true story about the Newsboys Strike, these young runaways and orphans called themselves Newsies and delivered New York City its news from well-known publishers around the area. This story follows Jack Kelly, one of the many newsies, who is always dreaming of a better life outside the skyscrapers and tall towers of The Big Apple. However when two of the esteemed publishers, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, raise the distribution prices, these rapscallions get down on their luck. Torn between following his dream and his new-discovered duty, Jack must decide if fighting for a cause is worth the price of your dreams. Don’t miss Jack and the other newsies when they deliver a high-energy explosion of song and dance in January!
With the approach of this beloved musical coming to the Blumenthal, I thought it best to shine a little light on how this amazing show came to existence.
The tale of Newsies is in fact based off of a real story about the Newsboys Strike in 1899 in New York City. These young boys delivered newspapers to the general public throughout most of the 19th century and early 20th century. When the publishers tried to increase the distribution prices thereby lowering the boys’ compensation, they fueled a strike led by a boy by the name of Kid Blink (on account of him being blind in one eye). It resulted in a win for the boys, who received more money for their work.
To this day, it left a legacy of what was to be the standard of treating young people in the workforce. Disney fictionalized the event into the 1992 movie Newsies. Fun fact: Disney included Kid Blink in the film; however, they developed a new leader of the film by the name of Jack Kelly. The film inspired a following of devoted fans over the decade, which prompted Disney in March of 2012 to produce the show we all now know and love, the musical Newsies.
Winner of the 2012 Tony Awards for best score and best choreography, this show has been nothing short of a historically heart-pounding, breathtaking masterpiece that the New York Times called “a musical worth singing about!” In Aug. 24, Newsies will close on Broadway at Nederlander Theater. Thankfully, the National Tour launches in October and travels to over 35 cities.
Here are a few fun facts about Newsies you may or may not have seen headlines about in the past:
- Newsies was actually supposed to be a drama titled Hard Promises, which would tell the tale of Jack Kelly having a younger brother who died at the hands of a runaway wagon.
- The real name of the character Jack Kelly is Francis Sullivan. He just likes being called Jack Kelly for some unknown reason.
- In the film version, most of the actors who had zero dancing experience went on to have careers in the dance field. Weird, right?
- In the film version, Christian Bale plays Jack Kelly, and Bale’s dog was actually supposed to have a role in it. Because of its lack of cooperation, they had to cast the part to another canine.
- Before filming, the Newsies set actually burned down, so they had to rebuild it (it actually ended up being better than the first one)!
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