BWW Interviews: NEWSIES's Zachary Sayle

BWW Interviews: NEWSIES's Zachary Sayle

In just over a week Disney opens its national tour of Newsies in San Francisco for a month-long run. BroadwayWorld interviewed Zachary Sayle about the show's "fansies," life on the road, the banner the musical carries, and even Sayle's other Disney favorites. Sayle started his career at a young age, playing the child roles in tours of shows including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Sound of Music. He now plays Crutchie in the hit Broadway musical based on an actual Newsboy strike of 1899 New York. Check out the full interview below, then seize the day and buy your tickets at

Well the first thing I have to ask you is if, when you were in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, do you recall if you played Indianapolis? I saw the show on tour there when I was in college and found your name as an alternating lead in my program.

There's about 50 percent chance that you saw me, but I was definitely on stage.

You grew up with theatre, but did you grow up with the original Newsies?

Not really. I didn't know about Newsies until I heard they were making it into a musical. That was when I started to gain interest in the movie and listen to the soundtrack. Ever since the musical came around, it became a hit. Everyone in the industry knew about it. But I think the movie was a little before my time.

Does that make it easier for you to make your character original?

Definitely. I don't feel like I have to live up to whatever the movie was, but I think it's always good for actors to take their characters and put their own spin on it, no matter what the circumstances.

You started acting in your youth and have made it into a career, which is somewhat like the Newsies, who are young in the show and are working hard. How's life on the road treating you now?

It's really a blast. You get to travel around, you get to see all these cool cities, and then you get to go and do a fun show at night. We're in Miami right now. So, during the day you can go to the beach, come back home, get ready, take a shower, and you get to go and do Newsies. It's a really fun way to do a show.

You're coming to San Francisco next. We're happy to have you. What are you most looking forward to in visiting the area? Have you been here before?

I have been to San Francisco only on vacation one or two days at a time. I've never played San Francisco. So I'm really excited to be there, because we're going to be there for a whole month, and it's really nice when you go to cities for long periods of time because you get to... for instance, instead of staying in a hotel, I'm going to rent an apartment for the month and actually live in the city. It will be nice to to explore and see the bay. It's a really beautiful city, and I'm excited to go back.

There's a lot to relate to in this show. Dreams of a better life. The fight for justice. What do you most relate to? Is there a particular cause you carry the banner for?

I think that the story of the show is really powerful. I think it's a really good message. And everyone comes to see the show because its such a cool thing that actually happened. And I think its really important for people to be able to stand up and fight for what's right, when they know they are being wronged. And I think that can also go across the board. The first thing that comes to mind for me is bullying. I think it's important that we teach the young people in our country to know that they can stand up for what they know is right, and they do have a chance at winning.

There are a variety of characters to relate to on a personal level, as well.

The cast of characters in the show is so much fun just to be able to perform and play with because it's not very often you get a show where it's a bunch of young guys on the stage and so the energy is really high, and youthful, and it's just really fun. I think that's something everyone in the cast can relate to as far as the youthfulness of the show goes.

As far as my character goes, I think that He's just such a positive force and a positive energy that he's just really fun to get out on that stage and play. If you are having a bad day or aren't in the best mood, you just need to be able to let that go and go to that positive place when you go on stage for that character. It really puts you in a great mindset, and that's what I love about playing Crutchie.

You get to sing a brand new Alan Menken song not found in the Broadway production or film. That's pretty amazing.

Yea, that's such a cool thing. But I didn't actually know that coming into rehearsals. That was kind of a surprise to me on day one. It was a really cool thing to get to workshop and see the development happen. It was a really awesome experience.

I know there are a lot of Fansies in the Bay Area who can't wait to see you. I see that you have a photo page on your website dedicated to Fansies at the stage door. You must get a real kick out of all the frenzy over this show. Do you find the fan demand stronger than past shows since Newsies has a sort of cult following?

Oh, yea. No other show has the type of fan following that this show has. It's like a phenomenon. Very rarely do shows get this much attention from young people, which I think is so cool, a neat thing about the show that it can get young people excited about theatre. That can be a hard thing to do. That's what is so cool about this show. It gets all these people to be so passionate about it, and they're so dedicated. It's just an awesome thing as a performer to have. It's a great inspiration.

Do you have a favorite moment or song from the production?

I personally love "Seize the Day." Due to my crutch, I don't get to do that much dancing, and it's really fun to be able to watch those guys do that choreography every night because it's so fun, it's so hard, it's so cool to watch them do that, and they're so good at it.

What can BroadwayWorld San Francisco audiences expect from the tour?

They can expect to come to the theatre and have a lot of fun. It's a high-action performance. There's lots of really good dancing and some awesome singing, and it will be a great time.

Well, I look forward to seeing the show. I know you and the rest will deliver all the best news. Why don't we end our chat with a few fun Disney questions. Is there another Disney role that you'd like to play someday?

I have to say Timon in The Lion King. I think that would be really fun to play.

Speaking of Disney, it looks like you're in Florida right now for the tour. Did you carry the banner to Disneyworld?

We did, we were in Orlando last week.

What is your favorite Disney film?



I have to say Lion King again because I love "Hakuna Matata."


I like the sea turtles from Finding Nemo.

Catch Sayle in Disney's Newsies, playing February 17 - March 15 at SHN Broadway San Francisco's Orpheum Theatre. Buy tickets and learn more at

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Follow Harmony Wheeler's theatre and opera adventures on Instagram and Twitter @HarmonyWheeler.

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From This Author Harmony Wheeler

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