Smash, the NBC Monday night show that will be going on to a second season despite all evidence that it should have been canceled three episodes in, is getting a new star. Jeremy Jordan, currently starring in Broadway’s Newsies, will be joining the cast of Smash, helping replace Jaime Cepero and Raza Jaffrey and Brian D’Arcy James (Ellis, Dev, and Frank, respectively), who are leaving the show.
The Tony nominations were released this morning, and the musical film adaptation Once leads the field with 11 nominations; it’s nominated for Best Musical alongside Newsies, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Leap of Faith. The nominees for Best Play include Clybourne Park (a Pultizer-winning play), Other Desert Cities, Peter and the Starcatcher, Read More
From their vast catalog of whimsical mermaids, flying nannies, royal lions, talking cars, sleeping beauties and singing teapots, the folks at Disney have plucked another gang of family-friendly folk heroes and landed them on Broadway, and if the performance I saw of Newsies the Musical is any evidence, the Disney marketing geniuses will make it a solid success. There wasn’t one available seat, not even in the men’s room, and the Nederlander Theatre was packed like a jar of maraschino cherries with school groups, parents, teachers and ticket buyers young and old, desperate for good old-fashioned entertainment. They left with sore throats and callouses on their hands from screaming so loud and applauding so long. They got their money’s worth, and so will you.
“Pulitzer and Hearst, they think we’re nothing! Are we nothing?”
The opening chords of “The World Will Know,” the anthem of 1992’s live-action Disney film Newsies, are as recognizable to a generation of cult fans as “A Whole New World,” “Under the Sea” or Celine Dion crooning “Beauty and the Beast.”
Led by Christian Bale’s horrendous “New Yoik” accent, first-time director Kenny Ortega’s film about the 1899 newsboy strike was, superficially, a huge flop. It cost $15 million to make and brought in only $2 million at the box office. And the critics hated it: Roger Ebert called it “warmed-over Horatio Alger” and included his review in his 2000 book, I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie!
David Rooney of The New York Times was even harsher, saying that the film “suffers from sluggish storytelling, a vocally challenged cast (led by an uncomfortable-looking Christian Bale) and poorly shot dance numbers bursting with anachronisms.
“It’s Oliver! meets Annie with quasi-breakdance moves,” he added derisively.
Yet somehow the cult of Newsies survived the film and now, two decades later, it’s back and headed for Broadway; the show begins previews next week at the Nederlander Theater. And this time, it has the whole world on its side.
Spring Arts Preview
Newsies (Nederlander Theatre, March 29)
The next crop of child actors on par with the Billy Elliott kiddos or whoever’s riding the War Horse may be the early-edition-toting stars manqué of the season’s first movie adaptation. (They’ll be helped along by a Harvey Fierstein book and the direction of Jeff Calhoun, fresh off Bonnie and Read More
Since we first saw Christian Bale prancing across dusty Manhattan streets belting “Santa Fe,” we’ve held a torch in our heart for the 1992 Disney live-action flop Newsies. We don’t even care the Roger Ebert once likened the film to “warmed-over Horatio Alger,” since deep down we knew that one day, we’d have the chance to audition for a stage production of the show. (In our fantasy, we weren’t Christian Bale/Jack Kelly’s love interest, Sarah, because she was a goody-goody. We were always Ann-Margret‘s brassy saloon singer, Medda Larkson.)
Now our dreams are that much closer to coming true, as the New Jersey production of Newsies at the Paper Mill Theater has just announced the full line-up for its Broadway debut on March 15th.
In the grand tradition of adaptation films reviled by Roger Ebert into musical productions (see also: Flashdance, The Wedding Singer, Xanadu) 1992′s musical extravaganza Newsies will be making its stage debut at the Paper Mill Theater in New Jersey September 25th.
Newsies–a (financial) bomb of a Read More