re: Newsies making its way to the Broadway stage with a spring reading!

gypsy4
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/07
Looks like Disney will have a new tenet in the new amsterdam theatre come 2011.

Wayman Wong of the NY Daily News has revealed that Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken has told him that he and lyricist Jack Feldman (who together provided the music for the 1992 film) are working on bringing the show to the stage, with a reading scheduled for the Spring of 2010 and a new book being written by Harvey Fierstein.

Newsies was a 1992 Disney live-action musical film starring Christian Bale, David Moscow, and Bill Pullman. Robert Duvall and Ann-Margret also appeared in supporting roles. The movie gained a cult following after its initial failure at the box office.

The film marked the directorial debut of choreographer Kenny Ortega (Dirty Dancing, High School Musical, This is It and upcoming In The Heights).

The film is based on the true story of the 1899 newsboys strike, in which the pint-sized newsboys delivering the New York papers went on strike against the unfair practices of news magnates Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. The film features 12 songs and multiple dance sequences including Carrying the Banner, Santa Fe, My Lovey-Dovey Baby, The World Will Know, Seize the Day, King of New York, Hard Times, Hard Times, Once and For All and more.
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
MusicSnob1
Broadway Star
joined:10/19/09
No where in that article does it state anything about a Broadway run, the new amsterdam, or 2011.

There is a spring reading in 2010 - that's it. Full productions take months and/or years to coherently blossom. You're getting ahead of yourself... Chill!
When I think about you, I touch myself.
jagfkb
Broadway Legend
joined:5/29/07
Also, highly doubtful they would close Poppins, a known franchise, for an adaptation of a cult-followed box office flop. Not to mention the fact Newsies sounds too small of a show to play the Amsterdam.
MusicSnob1
Broadway Star
joined:10/19/09
Have you SEEN Newsies? It's massive. So, actually, it's the complete opposite of what you just said.

eta: quick references - the opening sequence, the street fight/trolley strike, the finale protest, and many other moments in the movie.
When I think about you, I touch myself.
Updated On: 12/27/09 at 07:36 PM
gypsy4
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/07
I'm just making a prediction!

Spring 2010: Reading

Late Summer 2010: Workshop

spring 2011: Pre-engagement

summer 2011: Broadway opening.
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
I would hope that they would consider a tryout out-of-town somewhere rather than taking it right to the Big Apple.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
MusicSnob1
Broadway Star
joined:10/19/09
They will, capnhooker. Possibly Florida or Chicago.

They've been workshopping it at Disney Theatrics studios, in Florida, for the past few months. Gypsy4 - their timeline is not like that at all. Sorry!
When I think about you, I touch myself.
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
You know I never understood why Disney never has taken advantage of its Walt Disney World vacationers and tested out their theatrical productions there. Why not open a huge Performing Arts Center with two or three theaters? They could have sit-down productions of THE LION KING and/or MARY POPPINS, and use the third theater for various productions (concerts, dance shows, pre-Broadway tryouts, tours of Disney productions, etc.).

LA NOUBA is still running at Downtown Disney after however many years. Honestly, as a person who goes to WDW every year, I've literally done everything and something new here on a grand scale like this would be a breath of fresh air here.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
MusicSnob1
Broadway Star
joined:10/19/09
That's actually a very good idea. But I think they're too "commercial" to try that.

DT can be such a load of bullsh!t sometimes. I've dealt with the 'underbelly' of Disney Theatrics (in Florida) for much of my career - they get a bad rep for a reason. It's somewhat accurate. Sadly.

Their artistic relevance could use a good boost, Capn, and something like that would truly do it. But money makes the world go around, the world go around, the world go around....
When I think about you, I touch myself.
gypsy4
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/07
I'm just glad that they are on track with the project! whats it been 6 years since an announcement.
Act4ever
Broadway Star
joined:4/12/04
Thomas Schumacher talked about this during his book signing a few years back. Apparently, the intention isn't to bring the show to Broadway, but to tour the show a la HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL.
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Downtown Disney is the best place to do it. There's rumors that they are getting rid of Pleasure Island as well as closing DisneyQuest. Virgin Megastore (right next to DisneyQuest) closed down, so they could potentially place a theatre in those two adjoining lots if they do some major construction. Then they have a PERFECT entertainment corner of Downtown Disney: La Nouba, AMC Theaters, and a Performing Arts Center.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
God I hope this makes it to Broadway just so people can finally SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT IT.
dtzumbrunnen
Broadway Star
joined:6/30/08
I'm pretty sure that Disney actually has to subsidize the Cirque show, because it does not sell as well as their other shows. As a Florida resident, I think they struggle a lot with what they do at the Downtown Disney area...the end of Pleasure Island is just another example.
BroadwayBaby21
Broadway Star
joined:8/20/04
I am really excited about this. I hope it actually comes true, as I love the movie (hence my pic, lol)

Capn, I've always wondered why Disney never did that too. It just seems like the obvious solution... but hey, it's disney. they never do what is obvious...
-If you don't like your fate, change it. You are your own master.- Aida
MusicSnob1
Broadway Star
joined:10/19/09
too many costs, not enough profit. That's why they don't put any of their MILLIONS upon MILLIONS back into their productions or faithful employees - it's such a joke. Disney Theatrics only looks out for themselves.

Again, I think that's a fantastic idea Capn. But they would never.
When I think about you, I touch myself.
mariusmyhomeboy
Featured Actor
joined:7/21/08
I like your idea, CapnHook.

I think they struggle a lot with what they do at the Downtown Disney area...
Definitely. They turned Virgin Megastore into a Princess Diana exhibit.. I don't get it.
Your latest 7in sounds obscene unless you spin it at a 45.
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Princess Diana exhibit is not there anymore.

I heard a rumor they were going to move Radio Disney in there...
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
I was NOT a fan of the movie...my students use to RAVE about this one (they are all college grads now -- well, adults anyway.) I finally broke down and watched it...not impressed. HOWEVER, I imagine that it COULD be turned into a succesful staage production. However, I'm not sure the audience it would reach: TODAY'S kids don't know it at all and the kids that WERE behind it don't have kids the right age to flock to it. (and there wasn't THAT big of a following)

I now want to ask my current students (HS) if they even know about it...perhaps that will give me a different insight.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Please do ask your students. I would be curious as to whether or not the film still has an audience. I think it's lasted so long, not only for the music, but because of Christian Bale. If he had never been cast in the Batman films and received the popularity and "hunk seal" that he did, NEWSIES would be long forgotten. When I was in high school, students would break out into "Seize the Day" routinely in theatre classes. And that was years after the film's release.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
MusicSnob1
Broadway Star
joined:10/19/09
it's not as a "popular" as Capn is making it out to be. It's a cult classic, but only in very small groups and/or specific demographics.

There's also a huge percentage of theatre people that will tell you they either never heard of it or never saw it. So take it as what you will.
When I think about you, I touch myself.
Fosse76
Broadway Legend
joined:3/21/05
"You know I never understood why Disney never has taken advantage of its Walt Disney World vacationers and tested out their theatrical productions there. Why not open a huge Performing Arts Center with two or three theaters? They could have sit-down productions of THE LION KING and/or MARY POPPINS, and use the third theater for various productions (concerts, dance shows, pre-Broadway tryouts, tours of Disney productions, etc.). "

Because it's "preaching to the choir." The people visiting Disneyworld are in the theme park mindset, so if it is tacky and theme park-ish then there is no way for the creative team to determine what's really working and what's not. An out-of-town tryout in a theater city like Chicago or any other type of city will give them feedback on how well it will play to a broader demographic.

"LA NOUBA is still running at Downtown Disney after however many years."

LA NOUBA is Cirque Du Soleil, not your typical Broadway show.

"Thomas Schumacher talked about this during his book signing a few years back. Apparently, the intention isn't to bring the show to Broadway, but to tour the show a la HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL."

That was my understanding as well. Along with making it available for local schools and community theaters.

"I'm pretty sure that Disney actually has to subsidize the Cirque show, because it does not sell as well as their other shows."

They probably don't pay any rent, and it wouldn't shock me if Disney covered the initial start-up costs for the production. The show was designed SPECIFICALLY for Disney, so Disney would have had to offer something.

Also, Disney doesn't want an arts center where things are constantly changing (Broadway shows and out-of-town tryouts are relatively short runs). They want something they can market for years. Unlike Disneyland, which is heavily populated by the local market, Disney World is almost entirely tourists. Locals stay away from Downtown Disney for that reason alone, and to that extent you need the local market to thrive. Just look at Broadway...shows that are almost entirely created for tourists (Wedding Singer, Legally Blonde, Footloose, Saturday Night Fever, etc.) have flopped miserably, because locals knew to stay away. Conversely, shows designed for the local market also flopped because they didn't have any appeal to tourists (either by subject matter or unfamiliarity). Shows that had a good balance of appeal (Wicked, Phantom, Chicago, most of the Disney shows) thrived because they offered something to both groups.
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Of course we're on vacation now....so I won't have info from them for at least a week.

I CAN say that my own children know NOTHING of it's existence. Another thought: If Disney uses their cable tv to advertise the show, they could indeed find an audience....let's just hope it's worthy.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
The movie is BOOOORING. I love the score, but the script and direction is pedestrian at best.

If they wanted to make it a viable live theatrical property I'm sure they would re-work it and add more songs and cut a lot of the extraneous scenes.

And either give Anne Margret's character a reason for being or cut her out.
....but the world goes 'round
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Fosse76, I respectably disagree with you. THE LION KING has been on Broadway for over ten years. They opened a sit-down production in Vegas. If they placed a sit-down production in Lake Buena Vista, I bet it would have lasted for a MINIMUM of 5 years. As for other productions (try-outs, POPPINS, etc.) then it's all up to how it turns out plus marketing.

A theater in Downtown Disney could be very profitable and beneficial. Theatrical productions, touring comedians, orchestra concerts for the holidays, bands (can you imagine the Jonas Brothers bringing their tour to this venue?), THE VIEW and ELLEN DEGENERES taping a week of shows there, etc. etc. etc.

I also disagree with your view on the audience not being a proper gauge for a try-out. They're not in a "theme park" mindset, they are in a "vacation" mindset. And when they go to New York, they are on vacation, too. Disney fanatics who go to the theme parks go to New York and will see the Disney shows, too. And they would have the same reaction to the show -- whether they see it in New York, Chicago, LA, Las Vegas, Orlando, or their own hometown PAC.

A pre-Broadway production of LITTLE WOMEN with Sutton Foster was produced at a theatre venue at Duke University. I don't think of Duke being a theatre school, and since I have lived in the area for 9 years now, I would say that I can accurately state that Durham is not as theatre-savvy as other areas of the state (Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro/Winsten-Salem), nor as strong of a theatre-producing city as Chicago or LA or Seattle or Boston. So why have it in Durham, NC? They could have chosen a "better" try-out city...
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle

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