NEWSIES Opens at the Paper Mill Playhouse 9/25

By: Sep. 25, 2011
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Paper Mill Playhouse's production of a new Disney stage musical, Newsies, will officially open tonight. Revolutionary newsie Jack Kelly will be portrayed by Jeremy Jordan of Broadway's West Side Story and Rock of Ages. Tony® Award nominee John Dossett will play newspaper giant Joseph Pulitzer.

Featuring music by eight-time Academy Award®-winning composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Sister Act, The Little Mermaid), lyrics by Jack Feldman and a new book by four-time Tony® Award winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy), Newsies is adapted for the stage from the 1992 live-action Disney feature film musical. Newsies will be directed at Paper Mill Playhouse by Tony® nominee Jeff Calhoun (The Will Rogers Follies Brooklyn The Musical, Grey Gardens). Tony® nominated Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific, Altar Boyz, Silence: The Musical) serves as choreographer.

Jeremy Jordan (Jack Kelly) recently starred on Broadway as Tony in the revival of West Side Story. This winter, Jordan will return to Broadway to star in the new musical Bonnie and Clyde. This holiday season, Jordan will play Dolly Parton's grandson in the new film Joyful Noise.

Jordan will be joined by fellow newsies: Ben Fankhauser as Davey; RJ Fattori and Vincent Agnello sharing the role of Les; Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie; Tommy Bracco as Spot Conlon; Brendon Stimson as Oscar Delancey, Mike Faist as Morris Delancey; Aaron J. Albano, Ryan Breslin, Kyle Coffman, Max Ehrich (Jack U/S), JP Ferreri, Garett Hawe, Corey Hummerston, Evan Kasprzak, Andy Richardson, Scott Shedenhelm and Ryan Steele.

Tony® Award nominee and Broadway veteran John Dossett will portray newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer. Dossett has appeared on Broadway in The Constant Wife, Democracy, Gypsy (2003 Tony, Drama Desk nominations), Dinner at Eight and Ragtime. His television and film credits include: (TV) Hack; Law & Order; Sex and the City; Gossip Girl; HBO's John Adams; (FILM) That Night; Longtime Companion and Little Manhattan. Dossett was previously seen at Paper Mill Playhouse in Applause and Paper Moon.

Kara Lindsay will play Katherine, a role created for the stage version of Newsies. Lindsay comes back for another premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse after playing Laura in Little House On The Prairie: The Musical before heading out on the national tour. Other roles include: Sally Bowles in Cabaret at Kansas City Rep; Quilters at Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Lone Star Love at the 5th Ave Theater.

Rounding out the cast are: Mark Aldrich (Seitz), Helen Anker (Medda), John E. Brady (Wiesel), Kevin Carolan (Roosevelt), Julie Foldesi (Ms. Baum), Stuart Marland (Snyder), Michael McArthur, Jack Scott, Nick Sullivan (Bunsen) and Laurie Veldheer (Hannah).

The film Newsies has grown into a cult phenomenon with a generation having grown up on the movie's driving, infectious score since its 1992 theatrical release and subsequent DVD. Newsies has for years been the single most requested title by professional and amateur theater groups, according to the world's largest dramatic licensing agent, MTI. This new stage version keeps many of the film's beloved songs and adds several new numbers by the original team of Menken and Feldman.

Newsies is inspired by the real life '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. Set in New York City at the turn of the century, the musical is the tale of newsie Jack Kelly, who dreams of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when Pulitzer and Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsies' expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies his army of newsies to strike.

Newsies begins at Paper Mill Playhouse on Thursday, September 15, and will be performed eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday, through Sunday, October 16. Three, four and five show subscription packages are available now, starting at $84. Single tickets are now on sale and range in price from $25-$96. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973-376-4343, or at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Groups of ten or more can receive up to a 35% discount on tickets and should call 973-315-1680. Newsies is generously supported by a grant from The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation. Investors Savings Bank is the proud sponsor of Paper Mill Playhouse's 2011-2012 season.


Jeremy Jordan (Jack): starred on Broadway as Tony in West Side Story. Other Broadway roles include the original cast of Rock of Ages. Other regional roles include Bonnie & Clyde at Asolo Repertory, Big River at Goodspeed Musicals and The Little Dog Laughed at Hartford Theater Works. Readings include: Pretty Dead Girl at Playwrights Horizons, Bubble Boy: The Musical at Cherry Lane Theater, The Flamingo Kid at Roundabout Theatre Company and Calvin Berger Manhattan Theater Company.

Ben Fankhauser (Davey): starred in the 1st national tour of Spring Awakening. Other regional roles include Steve in Blues Clues Live!, The Nerd, And the World Goes 'Round. Ben has a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Ithaca College.

Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Crutchie): was seen on Broadway in Mary Poppins, The 25th Annual.Spelling Bee (1st National tour), Seussical, Beauty & the Beast, The Grinch, Ragtime, A Christmas Carol. Andrew's film credits include Marci X, Beauty & the Beast: Enchanted Christmas. He could also be seen on television in the Naked Brothers Band, FNMTV Premiers, One Life to Live, Big Bag and Fred the Fish on Cartoon Network.

Vincent Agnello (Les): appeared in The Applause Theater's production of Money. Money, Money.

RJ Fattori (Les): appeared as the Artful Dodger in Oliver at the Walnut Street Theater. His film credits include: Standing Ovations Musical 2008/2009, I Am Legend 200 and on the small screen in The Electronic Company (Sesame Workshop).

Tommy Bracco (Spot Conlon): had previously worked on the national tour of Beauty and the Beast. Other regional credits include Hairspray at the Palace Theatre, Footloose and Fame at Jersey Shore Entertainment, Guys and Dolls at Arizona Broadway Theater. Tommy was a dance major at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Mike Faist (Newsie/Morris Delancey): appeared in Hairspray, 42nd Street, The Four Piano Men at the Palace Theater, and White Christmas at La Comedia Dinner Theater. Faist was featured on television in Reagan's Law.

Brendon Stimson (Newsie/Oscar Delancey): appeared on Broadway in West Side Story. Off-Broadway, Stimson was featured in Where's Charley? Other Regional performances include: The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Godspell and Fiddler on the Roof at Syracuse Stage, A Chorus Line at Ogunquit Playhouse and Cats at Mt. Washington Theatre.

Aaron J. Albano (Newsie): was previously seen on Broadway in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Wicked, Mary Poppins, A Chorus Line, Bombay Dreams. He also starred in the national touring companies of The 25th Annual.Spelling Bee and Wicked (1st National tour). Aaron's regional credits include: Crazy for You, Cinderella at the MUNY, Miss Saigon at Pittsburg Civic Light Opera, The Most Happy Fella and The Music Man at the American Musical Theatre of San Jose.

Ryan Breslin (Newsie): was seen in the national tour of High School Musical. Other regional appearances include: Cats and Showboat at MUNY, and A Christmas Carol at Casa Manana. Concerts: Cincinnati Pops: HauntEd Hall (featured dancer). Breslin is a 2011 graduate University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, BFA Musical Theater.

Kyle Coffman (Newsie): appeared on Broadway in the original cast of West Side Story. Coffman was a principal dancer in Joffrey Ballet II, New York Theatre Ballet and Peridance Ensemble.

Max Ehrich (Newsie): was seen on television in: The Pregnancy Pact, Parenthood, Ugly Betty, iCarly (TV Movie), and No Ordinary Family. His film credits include: One Easy Job, High School Musical 3. Regional: A Chorus Line, Pippin and Aida at French Woods Festival.

JP Ferreri (Newsie): was seen on stage in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. His dance credits include: Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Coca-Cola Zero: International Commercial. JP was featured in the film version of Hairspray.

Garret Hawe (Newsie): is currently in the Broadway production of Mary Poppins as Neleus. Hawe was featured in the national tours of: Mary Poppins, 101 Dalmations and Oklahoma! Regional credits include: Cats, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Guys & Dolls, Hairspray, Gypsy, My Fair Lady, at Sacramento Music Circus and Disney's High School Musical, Singin' in the Rain, Cinderella and FAME: The Musical at North Shore Music Theatre.

Corey Hummerston (Newsie): was recently seen in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Other appearances include: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown; On the Town; West Side Story at Toby's Dinner Theatre; Peter Pan and Treasure Island at Prather Family of Theatres.

Evan Kasprzak (Newsie): appeared in the national So You Think You Can Dance Tour 2009. Regional performances include: Comedia Tonight! at Edinburgh Fringe, Of Thee I Sing at Mcpherson Theatre, and Broadway '04 (with Ann Reinking and Ben Vereen) at Tampa Bay PAC. His television credits include: So You Think You Can Dance (Season 5- 3RD place finalist), and a featured dancer on The Ellen Degeneres Show.

Andy Richardson (Newsie): appeared on Broadway in Gypsy and Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Regionally he was seen in The Music Man in Concert and Big River at TexARTS for the Visual & Performing Arts. Richardson was in the feature film How to Eat Fried Worms.

Scott Shedenhelm (Newsie): was previously seen in the national tour of The Music Man. Dance credits include: Albany/Bercsher ballet's The Nutcracker, Joffrey NYC Intensive Program's Suite Saint-Saens, Joffrey Midwest Workshop's Concerto, Walnut Hill's School Gala at Carnegie Hall, Walnut Hill's Spring Gala at Lincoln Center.

Ryan Steele (Newsie): appeared on Broadway in Billy Elliot and West Side Story (original cast). Ryan was also seen on television in: The Miraculous Year (Pilot) and The Ugly One. His dance credits include: XII International Ballet Festival of Miami, Youth American Grand Prix Gala 2007, The Nutcracker: Central Florida Ballet.

Rounding out the creative are: Michael Kosarin (Music Supervisor/Vocal and Incidental Music Arranger) and David Holcenberg (Music Director). Set design for Newsies is by Tobin Ost. Costume design by Tony® Award winner Jess Goldstein. Lighting design is by Jeff Croiter and projection design by Sven Ortel. Rounding out the creative team are: Randy Hansen (sound design), Chuck LaPointe (hair and wig design), J. Allen Suddeth (fight director) and Thomas J. Gates will serve as Production Stage Manager.