This week's focus on Theater Talk was "Newsies," the crowd-pleasing musical nominated for eight Tony Awards. Joining the show on the grand piano were the show's composer Alan Menken, and librettist Harvey Fierstein (both also nominated for Tony Awards), who describe the popular show's incubation period, and perform several of the show's best songs, plus a couple of others that didn't make the cut. Menken also shares a tune from the score of the original 1992 movie of "Newsies," which won him that year's "Razzie "Award for Worst Song.
Watch the episode below!
The Disney musical features music by eight-time Academy Award® winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by four-time Tony® Award winner Harvey Fierstein. Newsies, produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, is directed by Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Tony nominee Christopher Gattelli.
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right.
Newsies is inspired by the real-life ‘Newsboy Strike of 1899,’ when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst and other powerful newspaper publishers.
The Broadway company of Newsies features Jeremy Jordan as Jack Kelly, John Dossett as Joseph Pulitzer, Kara Lindsay as Katherine Plumber, Capathia Jenkins as Medda, Ben Fankhauser as Davey, Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Crutchie, and Lewis Grosso, and Matthew Schechter alternating the role of Les. Jordan, Dossett, Lindsay, Fankhauser and Keenan-Bolger all reprise the roles they created in the Paper Mill Playhouse production last fall.
THEATER TALK is jointly produced by not-for-profits Theater Talk Productions and CUNY TV. The program is taped in the Himan Brown TV and Radio Studios at The City University of New York (CUNY) TV in Manhattan, and is distributed to 70+ participating public television stations nationwide. THEATER TALK is made possible in part by The New York State Council on the Arts, The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The TDF/TAP Plus Program, The CUNY TV Foundation and The Friends of THEATER TALK.