Normally, when I get home from work, nothing can distract me from my dinner. I mean, nothing. But last night LAST NIGHT! there was huge, exciting news. Newsies is officially coming to Broadway in the spring of 2012 for a limited 3-month engagement (March 15-June 10, 2012). Opening night is slated for March 29.
I was also happy to see that:
1. Most of the cast from Paper Mill Playhouse is expected to take part.
2. Newsies will find its home at the Nederlander Theater on 41st Street, a place that holds a very special place in my heart (as in, I sat outside the Nederlander ALL night once during college and wrote an article for my journalism class about “Rentheads” celebrating the 10th anniversary of the show). You can ask Chelle but I totally called this as the perfect place for Newsies if it did make it to B’way. I’m sort of proud of this!
Plus Alan Menken tweeted a few weeks ago that they are amending the show a bit, which is another positive. While it was a grand ole time, with tons of potential, it still needed some tightening and better flow. I can’t wait to see what the changes are. My suggestions? Like a more realistic ending, a stronger second act, better understanding of main man, Jack in general. (Here’s my review from the Papermill production.)
But the music, the set, the dancing, I’m overcome with giddiness thinking about it on the Nederlander stage with a bigger dance troupe.
One question that remains is the availability of Jeremy Jordan, who played Jack at the Paper Mill Playhouse, and is about to open in the lead role in Bonnie & Clyde. Let me tell you, I’m this close to cutting out his picture and putting them in my gym locker. I fell in love with his voice. He is unbelievable on stage, and I basically bought tickets for Bonnie and Clyde a few days after seeing Newsies just because of him. (Jeff Calhoun directs both Newsies and Bonnie & Clyde, by the way.) I had no interest otherwise. So sure, it would be heartbreaking if Jordan wasn’t able to reprise his role, but if Bonnie & Clyde is a hit (and I’m hoping it is) I can only be ecstatic for him. The role of Jack will just be another amazing opportunity for another talented (maybe unknown) actor.
A few other exciting thoughts:
1. The possibility of getting a cast album just increased!
2. Newsies would be eligible for nomination for the 2012 Tony Awards! (Not to get ahead of ourselves, but I would like to see Alan Menken take this golden medallion home!)
3. A 3-month engagement can easily turn into an open-ended run. Or at least extended. (See: The Mountain. No really, go see it. It’s theatre at its best. It already extended once and may do so again.) I think starting at 3 months was a smart move to make. (Especially with many unable to pay full ticket prices.) With Lion King and Beauty and the Beast prospering (and even Aida), they were able to put on Tarzan and The Little Mermaid. Sure, they didn’t reach the level of success that the first two had (ouch, all I can think of is the horrid New York Times review of The Little Mermaid) but the time has come for them to take a chance once again. With Billy Elliot closing in January and Peter & the Starcatcher being the only show (so far) looking to open in the spring (maybe) that comes close to a “family” show. And that’s a stretch — the New York Theater Workshop website says it is not appropriate for children under 5. Sounds a bit like Mary Poppins to me.
So don’t forget to mark your calendar for January 30th at 10am. The Broadway debut of Newsies is right around the corner! And until then, you can rewatch the movie 100 times and brush up on some of the songs…
Be sure to keep an eye on: