Written by Paramount Artistic Director and Newsies Director Jim Corti
Presenting the story of the newsboys strike of 1899 is quite the balancing act. The show’s unique expectations have a certain weight to bear. As much as it is blockbuster entertainment featuring thrillingly popular music and spectacular dancing, it clearly speaks to current events, perhaps more so than its creators could have imagined.
Disney’s 1992 movie musical starred a terrific seventeen-year-old Christian Bale, and while it floundered at the box office, its cult following momentum continues to grow today. With lyrics by Jack Feldman, scored by the great Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, etc.) and book writer Harvey Fierstein (who later penned Kinky Boots), Newsies became a 2012 Tony winner for Menken and choreographer Christopher Gatelli. The Broadway box office bonanza toured nationally, filmed in 2017, and has been produced ubiquitously.
Today’s breaking news, headlining a CEO billionaire’s exploitation of his employees, isn’t a far cry from the defiant newsies, homeless and orphaned children of immigrants, facing off with newspaper barons Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Proud to be eking out a living by their own moxie and salesmanship, these boys are crushed by a ten-cent price hike on their “papes” that breaks their backs: “I can eat two days on a dime!” Can their championship singing and dancing teach us about being seen and heard and standing up for what is fair and just? You are about to find out.
Welcome to Paramount’s Newsies and the beginning of our Broadway Series Season No. 9!