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Carrying the Banner - NEWSIES' Road to Broadway!

NEWSIES plays its final performance on Broadway this coming Sunday, August 24, but BroadwayWorld (and the rest of New York, we hope) isn't ready to let the musical leave just yet! All this week we're bringing you snapshots from the NEWSIES "paper route" -- from the movie to how the show got to the Great White Way, to the show's still-burgeoning fandom, and its award-winning cast and creative team.

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.

And now, back to where it all began -- a real-life strike!

The story of NEWSIES is inspired by the real 'Newsboy Strike of 1899,' when newsboy Kid Blink led the ragged orphans and runaways known as "newsies" on a two-week long action against Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst and other powerful newspaper publishers. This tale spawned the cult 1992 film starring Christian Bale (stay tuned for more on the movie later this week...).

Feb 23, 1908 - Boys Selling Newspapers on Brooklyn Bridge.
Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine/Wikipedia.
Historical photos at the NEWSIES meet and greet in August 2011.
Photo by Peter James Zielinski.

Even before NEWSIES took the stage, MTI said it had been the single most-requested title by professional and amateur theatre groups. Their prayers were answered in 2011, when Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey, announced they would be producing the first stage version of the Disney hit.

The team met the press in August that year -- scroll down for photos (by Peter James Zielinski), including some of the set and costume designs!

Director Jeff Calhoun
Jeremy Jordan
Alan Menken
Harvey Fierstein
Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay and Alan Menken
Andrew Keenan-Bolger
Costume designer Jess Goldstein
Thomas Schumacher
NEWSIES set rendering
NEWSIES set rendering

The musical opened on Sunday, September 25, 2011 (read the reviews), having added Harvey Fierstein's book-writing talents to the original creative team of Alan Menken and Jack Feldman. Among the original cast were Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, and Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie, John Dossett as newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer, Helen Anker as Medda, and Kara Lindsay in the brand-new role of Katherine.

Below, check out photos (by Stephen Sorokoff) from the opening curtain call, plus interviews with the cast and more!

Jeremy Jordan
Kara Lindsay
Ben Fankhauser and Vincent Agnello
Andrew Keenan-Bolger
Ben Fankhauser, Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay and Vincent Agnello
The Cast of NEWSIES
The Cast of NEWSIES
The NEWSIES cast after opening night at Paper Mill!

Just one month after NEWSIES closed at Paper Mill in October 2011, BroadwayWorld's headline shouted "Extra! Extra! It's Official! NEWSIES to Hit Broadway in Spring 2012 for Limited Run". Limited run, eh? What was originally meant to play for just 101 performances has now been running on Broadway for years.

Scroll down for a first look at the company in rehearsal for NEWSIES' March 2012 Broadway bow, and a glance at the cast's first day at the Nederlander, plus a peek at the show's Broadway marquee. And be sure to come back tomorrow to re-live NEWSIES' opening night on Broadway!

NEWSIES Broadway marquee
Photo by Jennifer Broski
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