Theater fans across the world dread the month of August 2014 for several reasons. Those reasons happened to be called Heathers: The Musical, Violet, Bullets Over Broadway, Rocky: The Musical, and Newsies. All of these wonderful musicals are closing this month despite the fans pleading for longer runs. The Broadway hit we’re focusing on now is Newsies. Here is a Newsies lookback for all of the fansies this week.
Newsies started out as a cult classic movie that premiered in 1992. It was based on the true story of the 1899 Newsboys Strike in New York City. People kept asking the writers for the rights to perform the movie-musical as a play. Finally in 2011 a rewritten version of Newsies premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse for a limited engagement allow schools around the country to perform the musical. However, the musicals popularity led them to the Nederlander Theater and the Great White Way! Their twelve-week run was then extended indefinitely. The show and movie has gained a large amount of intense fans calling themselves “fansies” who dedicate their time into seeing the show, watching the movie, and writing some creative fanfiction! After two whole years in NYC, Newsies has announced the closing date of August 24th, 2014. Fans are now flocking to the City that Never Sleeps just to see the beautiful show one more time before it’s gone.
I’m thankful to be one of these fans going to see it one more time. I had seen it once previously. The show was performed with 100% more energy. The crowds applauded for what seemed like minutes. Everyones hands were red, swollen and aching by the end of the show! A standing ovation was immediate and utterly genuine. I’ve never heard such an enthusiastic audience before! Of course, it was also a very special night. It was likely Adam Kaplans’ (Morris Delancey, Jack Kelly Understudy) last time playing Jack. (Also, Tommy Braccos’ birthday!)
There is no doubt that Newsies has changed the lives of many theater fans across the world. The story is a bunch of misfit underdogs who rise up to take on one of the most powerful men in one of the most powerful cities in the world. It’s an unlikely victory, but it proves that no matter how small and weak you are; if you fight back, you always have a chance at winning. It teaches perseverance, determination, and bravery.
When Disney announced the closing of the show, fans were distraught. Not only the fans were grieving. Past and present cast members began to voice their upset. They admitted that tears were shed during the more emotional scenes of the show, providing a rollercoaster that the audience would never forget. Ever since, the show has been performed harder and more genuinely than ever before. Newsies is already a gripping show, however, adding the extra emotion on top of the intense theater, you get something that is truly magical.
I think I can speak for everyone who has ever seen the show when I say Newsies is going to be missed extraordinarily. Its presence on the Broadway community will not fade. The National Tour will travel around the United States starting in October. The cast has yet to be announced. Even though we’re not going to be able to go see our favorite newsboys past August, we must remember to “Seize the Day” and “Watch What Happens” because you never know what good things can come of a heartbreak like this one.