Jason Gotay to Lead NC Theatre's Cast of Disney's NEWSIES

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Jason Gotay to Lead NC Theatre's Cast of Disney's NEWSIES

North Carolina Theatre, the region's premiere nonprofit professional theatre, is proud to announce casting for its final production of the 2017-18 season, Disney's NEWSIES, playing July 24-29 at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh.

Adapted from the Disney film, New York City's newsboys seize the day when they strike against unfair working conditions. NEWSIES addresses age-old themes of social injustice, exploitative labor practices and David-versus-Goliath struggles as the young learn to harness their power against a corrupt establishment. High-energy with non-stop thrills, the stage version introduces eight brand-new songs while keeping many of the beloved songs audiences know and love from the film.

Starring in the role of Jack Kelly, the leader of the Newsboys Strike, is Jason Gotay. Gotay recently starred in the world premiere of "The Prince of Egypt" at Theatreworks Silicon Valley. His Broadway credits include "Bring It On: The Musical" and "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" (Peter Parker/Spider-Man). Gotay's television credits include "Peter Pan Live!" on NBC and regional productions including "A Bronx Tale", "Mamma Mia!" and "Into the Woods".

Broadway star, Merwin Foard will portray Joseph Pulitzer, the pompous businessman and publisher of the New York World. Foard's extensive Broadway credits include "Aladdin" (original cast), "Annie", "Les Misérables", "Beauty and the Beast" (original cast), "Sweeney Todd" and more. Foard also starred in "The Standbys", a theatre documentary that is available on iTunes.

Portraying Katherine, the ambitious reporter who covers the Newsboys Strike, is Shannon O'Boyle. Her Broadway credits include "Kinky Boots" (Nicola) and "Once", and her previous regional productions include "Legally Blonde", "Amélie" and the rock musical "Lizzie".

Daniel Plimpton will portray the role of Davey, a young man who meets Jack Kelly while working as a Newsie with his younger brother. Plimpton's previous productions include the national tours of "The Book of Mormon" and "Spring Awakening". He has also appeared in concert at Lincoln Center with Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Merkin Hall with David Loud and more. Steve Raymond will portray the role of Crutchie, the "newsie with the bum leg" and friend of Jack Kelly. Raymond's previous roles include the first national tour of "The Book of Mormon", "Bells Are Ringing" (Off-Broadway) and regional roles including "Spelling Bee" and "Spamalot".

Yolanda Rabun returns to North Carolina Theatre as Medda Larkin, the powerhouse saloon singer and friend to the newsies. She previously starred in numerous North Carolina Theatre productions including "Mary Poppins", "The Drowsy Chaperone", "Little Shop of Horrors", "Dreamgirls", Ragtime" and "Big River". Her other regional theatre productions have included "Smokey Joe's Café", "Avenue Q" and "Violet".

Huck Borden will portray Les, the younger brother of Davey and member of the newsies. Borden, a Fayetteville, N.C. native, boasts regional credits including "Disney's The Little Mermaid", "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" (Cape Fear Regional Theatre) and "Alice in Wonderland" (Fayetteville State University). His television credits include co-starring roles on "Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell" and "Swamp Murders".

Cast as the powerful and strong-willed group of newsies are Ethan Baker, Matthew Davies, Jordan De Leon, Alex Dreschke, Joseph Gaitens, Alec Gallazzi, Melvin Gray Jr., Wayne Mackins, Timothy Charles Malboeuf Jr., Joshua Messmore, Caylie Rose Newcom, Eddie Olmo II and Brandon L. Whitmore.

Rounding out the cast are Jeff Aguiar, Noah Daulton, Carly Grissom, Charles Machalicky, Maggie Poole, Joel Rainey, Jack Russell Richardson and Bill Saunders. The kids ensemble includes William Spencer Fitzgerald, Sawyer Parker, Carter Phillips, Evan Tylka and Isabella Zimmermann.

Steve Bebout will direct NC Theatre's production of Disney's NEWSIES. Bebout's previous associate directing credits include "The Book of Mormon" (Broadway, Tour), "Something Rotten" (Broadway, Tour), "The Addams Family" (Broadway, Tour, Brazil, Australia) and more. His past directing credits include "I Got Fired", "The Full Monty", "The Buddy Holly Story" and "Little Shop of Horrors".

"I'm thrilled to be directing NC Theatre's production of NEWSIES," said Bebout. "It's a beloved Disney story, and the entire team is excited to present a powerful, exciting, athletic, fast-paced, show that will surprise audiences with its heart. Parker's choreography will be thrilling, Alan Menken's tunes will be rousing, and a story about kids standing together to change the world will feel more relevant than ever. I can't wait to work with this fantastic group of actors to bring this Broadway hit to the Raleigh audience in July!"

Other members of the production team include Parker Esse (Choreographer), Edward G. "Eddy" Robinson (Music Director/Conductor), Casey Hushion (Artistic Director) and Carolee Baxter (Producer).

Disney's NEWSIES will open Tuesday, July 24 and run through Sunday, July 29 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Visit nctheatre.com to purchase tickets or call (919) 831-6941 x6944. For groups of 10 or more, call (919) 831-6941 x6949.

About North Carolina Theatre

Established in 1984, North Carolina Theatre is Raleigh's premier, non-profit professional regional theatre. With its successful formula of producing top quality musicals with top national performers and local talent, North Carolina Theatre has been instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Raleigh over the years. Through its conservatory, it has provided exceptional arts training to hundreds of local youth. By offering broad access to live theatre, while strengthening economic growth, the organization continues to fortify the cultural vitality of the region.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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