NEWSIES to Play Toronto as a Part of Mirvish's 2014-15 Season!
Torontonians who love musical theatre seem to have something to shout about this morning, as The Toronto Star is reporting the Broadway smash hit musical 'NEWSIES' will grace our stages in 2015 as part of the Mirvish 2014-2015 season. The newspaper states this is as yet unconfirmed by Mirvish Productions or Disney Theatrical, but suggests that Toronto will see "an exclusive six-week premiere engagement at the Princess of Wales"
The musical is based on the 1992 Disney film which starred a then unknown Christian Bale as 'Jack Kelly', a rough and tumble street kid who helped assemble a group of newsboys to rally against newspaper giants Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst at the turn of the century. The film was initially poorly received at the box office, yet won the hearts of millions of fans (myself included) and ended up becoming a commercial success on DVD.
In fact, it was so beloved that when the musical was originally announced, fans expressed concern and outrage at 'changes' which included re-writing some of the score (courtesy of Alan Menken) and a book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein that replaced the character played by Bill Pullman in the film to make room for a female heroine/love interest for Jack.
Given that I'm an unabashed fan of the 'Big Broadway Musical', protective of the film and always root for the underdog, I traveled to NYC to see the production shortly after it opened at the Nederlander. Any concerns I had vanished as soon as Jeremy Jordan delivered the powerful closing note of the 'Santa Fe Prologue (which opens the show). By the time I left the theatre I was convinced this was a show that Toronto audiences would love and embrace, as it has all the elements of a 'sure fire hit'. In fact, it's original Broadway run was intended to be 'extremely limited' and yet 700 shows later, it's still going strong.
Newsies has everything you can hope for in a musical. It's a true underdog story that everyone can relate to, the music is catchy, beautiful and stunningly arranged and the choreography is some of the best I've seen on Broadway or Toronto stages in a long time. Add in that touch of Disney magic, and this is a show that you can't help but love. It's had quite the journey, and I can't wait for Toronto to experience Newsies first hand. To quote one of my favourite songs - 'someday has become somehow'. Seize the Day!