Original NEWSIES Star Capathia Jenkins Set to Return as 'Medda' on 7/15
Newsies, the Tony Award® winning "Critics' Pick," just announced that original cast member Capathia Jenkins will return to the show in the role of Medda Larkin. Jenkins, who originated the role on Broadway, begins performances onTuesday, July 15 and will remain with the hit musical through its final performance on August 24.
Newsies, the highest-grossing show of the 2011-12 season, will play its 1005th and final performance on August 24, 2014, prior to launching its national tour in October.
Capathia Jenkins. Broadway: Martin Short-Fame Becomes Me, Caroline or Change, The Look of Love, Civil War. Off-Broadway: (mis) Understanding Mammy-The Hattie McDaniel Story (Drama Desk Nomination), Love Loss and What I Wore, Caroline, or Change, Godspell. Television: "30 Rock," "The Practice," "Law & Order," "The Sopranos," "Third Watch," "Law & Order-SVU." Film: Musical Chairs. Movie Soundtracks: Nine, Chicago, Mission to Mars, Legally Blonde 2. capathiajenkins.com
Newsies features a Tony Award-winning score with music by eight-time Academy Award® winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, with a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, Newsies is directed by Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, who won a 2012 Tony Award for his work.
When it opened on March 29, 2012, Newsies was intended for a Broadway run of just 101 performances. The show's fiercely devoted fans had other ideas, however: they propelled the show to a run that will total 1005 performances, attendance of more than 1 million and a gross of over $100M. At the time ofNewsies' closing, only the landmark musical Rent will have played the Nederlander Theatre longer in its 93 year history.
The Newsies North American tour launches in October 2014 and will play 25 cities over 43 weeks during the 2014-15 season. For itinerary and ticket information, visit NewsiesTheMusical.com/Tour, Facebook.com/Newsies and Twitter.com/Newsies.
Since bursting onto Broadway, Newsies has set and broken seven Nederlander Theatre house records and become the highest-grossing show of the 2011-12 Broadway season. The show received 23 major theatrical nominations - including eight Tony Award nods - and won Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Score and Choreography.
Included in the best-of lists for Entertainment Weekly, USA Today and The Daily News, Newsies can be counted one of the most critically-praised shows of recent seasons. Entertainment Weekly raves, "stop the presses! Newsies is an irresistible, high energy winner... a surprise sensation!" Time Out New York callsNewsies, "an invigorating extravaganza! A barnstorming, four-alarm delight," and The New York Times hails it, "a musical worth singing about," praising the "terrific songs - buoyant melodies by Alan Menken and rousing lyrics by Jack Feldman - and a sweet, funny, emotionally satisfying book by Harvey Fierstein."
Though intended only as a pilot production before the title was licensed for regional, professional and amateur productions, Newsies' initial production at Paper Mill Playhouse in September 2011 engendered extraordinary interest from the media and public alike, prompting Newsweek.com to call the show, "one of the biggest surprises of the season...the talk of the town." It was then that Disney Theatrical Productions decided to move the production to Broadway for what was intended to be a strictly limited three-month run.
The current Broadway company of Newsies features Corey Cott as Jack Kelly, John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer, Liana Hunt as Katherine Plumber, Lavon Fisher-Wilson as Medda Larkin, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Andy Richardson as Crutchie, and Luca Padovan and Zachary Unger alternating the role of Les.
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged 'newsies,' who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys' expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what's right.
Newsies is inspired by the real-life 'Newsboy Strike of 1899,' when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst and other powerful newspaper publishers.
Photo Credit: Deen Van Meer