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'Newsies' to close on Broadway; national tour kicks off in October

The show that was originally intended for a 101-performance run on Broadway is finally drawing the curtain…after reaching a whopping 1,005 performances.

Disney’s Newsies will seize its last day on Broadway on August 24 at the Nederlander Theatre. The show opened on March 29, 2012 after a try-out at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse, and it went on to earn eight Tony Award nominations at the 2012 ceremony, winning two—Jack Feldman and Alan Menken for Best Original Score, and Christopher Gattelli for Best Choreography.

Since Newsies’ Broadway debut, the show has earned over $100 million, seated over 1 million patrons, and become the second longest-running tenant of the Nederlander Theatre—behind the behemoth musical Rent, of course—in the theatre’s 93-year history.

But there’s good news for pape-slinging fans. Newsies will launch a North American tour in October 2014, aiming to hit 25 cities over 43 weeks.

“From our first performance, we have been humbled by the spontaneous and genuine outpouring of affection from fans and the theatre community alike,” said Disney Theatrical Productions head Thomas Schumacher in a release. “Alan and Jack’s tuneful, rousing score, Harvey’s timely book, Chris’s muscular choreography and Jeff’s cinematic staging merged seamlessly to become a glorious work in the proudly classic Broadway tradition. When our tour launches in October, I’m thrilled that audiences across North America will be able to experience the adrenaline rush that is Newsies.”

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Starring in 'Newsies' for one night only! -- VIDEO

Here at EW, we’re all pretty big fans of Disney’s Broadway musical Newsies (deal with it, Christian Bale!), but I don’t think anyone in the office would dare suggest that he or she is a bigger fan than me. I mean, I’m sort of obsessed.

Having grown up watching the movie, I saw the show back in April and fell in love. I proceeded to talk every one of my co-workers’ ears off about it, and then wrote a feature story on the show’s success. After that, I posted some online articles, and then, whythehecknot? I posted some more. Hey, I know what I like.

So when Disney offered me the chance to step onto the Broadway stage for a cameo performance in Newsies for one night last summer – with a line and everything! – I wasn’t about to say no.

Of course I documented the whole experience (well, except the initial wardrobe fitting… that would just be awkward), and you can watch it all below. Part 1 chronicles my rehearsal and “performance,” and Part 2 features backstage interviews with the cast talking about their lives on the Broadway stage.  READ FULL STORY

Meet the new lead of 'Newsies', Corey Cott

He’s the new king of New York!

Broadway newcomer Corey Cott, a recent graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, has taken over the role of Jack Kelly in Newsies, after leading man Jeremy Jordan’s final performance on Sept. 4. (Jordan is headed to Smash.) Although Cott has already stood in for Jordan 12 times, today marks his first official day as the new lead of Disney’s smash musical.

We caught up with the budding star to hear about his time with the Newsies, and to find out what’s on his entertainment Must List:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When did you first get involved with the Broadway version of Newsies?
COREY COTT: I originally auditioned for it when they were still casting Jack when Jeremy was doing Bonnie and Clyde. It was one of my first auditions in the City. It was in December. It felt fine, but it wasn’t the right time yet. The next time around was the end of June. It’s amazing how six months can change your approach. It was a whole fresh experience, and I felt much more comfortable with what I was doing.  I’d seen the show twice at that point, so I knew the story better, I knew the character better, I knew what I was trying to accomplish in the room. READ FULL STORY

Starring in 'Newsies' for one night only! Behind the scenes of the Broadway smash -- VIDEO

Here at EW, we’re all pretty big fans of Disney’s Broadway musical Newsies (deal with it, Christian Bale!), but I don’t think anyone in the office would dare suggest that he or she is a bigger fan than me. I mean, I’m sort of obsessed.

Having grown up watching the movie, I saw the show back in April and fell in love. I proceeded to talk every one of my co-workers’ ears off about it, and then wrote a feature story on the show’s success. After that, I posted some online articles, and then, whythehecknot? I posted some more. Hey, I know what I like.

So when Disney offered me the chance to step onto the Broadway stage for a cameo performance — with a line and everything! — in Newsies for a night, I wasn’t about to say no.

Of course I documented the whole experience (well, except the initial wardrobe fitting… that would just be awkward), and you can watch it all below. Part 1 chronicles my rehearsal and “performance,” and Part 2 features backstage interviews with the cast talking about their lives on the Broadway stage. Check it out below! READ FULL STORY

'Once,' 'Porgy and Bess' both get big post-Tony box office bumps

In the first full week since the June 10 Tony Awards, Once (pictured at left) and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess both posted big gains in ticket sales. Once, which claimed eight prizes, including Best Musical, earned $955,362 for the week ending June 17, an increase of 13 percent from the previous week and about 81 percent of its potential gross. According to the Broadway League, two other new shows saw gains of roughly 12 percent last week: the Tony-winning revival Porgy and Bess ($655,364, roughly half its potential gross) and the comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, starring the Best Actor in a Play winner James Corden ($648,405, nearly 70 percent its potential gross). READ FULL STORY

'Peter and the Starcatcher' gets box office bump even before Tony wins

peter-and-the-starcatcher-review

Even before Christian Borle picked up his Featured Actor Tony for Peter and the Starcatcher Sunday night, the Peter Pan prequel was winning over Broadway audiences. The play had its best week ever, earning $541,177 for the week ending June 10, according to figures from the Broadway League. That’s a healthy 27-percent jump from the previous week — certainly nothing for Borle’s Black Stache to snigger at. (In addition to Borle’s acting prize, the show earned three other Tonys in technical categories.) Overall, Broadway box office was up nearly $1.9 million last week — an impressive achievement considering that the $1 million-grossing drama Death of a Salesman had closed on June 2.

Given the promotional platform of last night’s all-time-lowest-rated Tony telecast, we should expect a box office windfall in coming weeks for the evening’s big victors, particularly eight-fold musical winner Once. (Last week, the movie-based musical played to nearly full houses and grossed $845,343, 85 percent of its potential gross. Look for both ticket prices and profitability to climb quickly.) Musicals like The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Newsies, and Nice Work If You Can Get It boasted both multiple Tony wins and solid production numbers that translated well to the small screen. Even musicals like Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Ghost that came up empty-handed in the Tony derby may see a modest uptick in advance sales thanks to their televised numbers.

Some of the Tony broadcast’s production numbers may have a more cautionary effect. I suspect that virtually no Tony viewers were swayed to buy tickets to the long-flailing revival of Godspell — or to book a Royal Caribbean cruise to see that shaky non-Equity production of Hairspray. Indeed, Godspell posted its worst box office returns ever last week, down 7 percent to $156,437. Prepare ye the way of a closing notice. And last season’s musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which will have its last performance June 24, was down 6 percent to $487,923 — the second worst full week in the production’s 15-month run.

As for straight plays, Tony winners such as Clybourne Park and One Man, Two Guvnors now have fresh promotional fodder to lure audiences. The acting prizes arrive too late to help two long-running new plays, Other Desert Cities and Venus in Fur, which are due to close this Sunday. And without Tonys to tout, some other new non-musical plays may struggle to hang on through the end of summer. The Blair Underwood-led revival of A Streetcar Named Desire was flat compared to the previous week, grossing $299,235, and The Lyons took in a mere $239,983 — in both cases, that was less than 30 percent of their potential gross.

Read more:
Tonys: 10 moments we loved
Tony Awards 2012: Broadway Style!
Tony Awards: Check out the full list of winners here!
EW’s Stage hub

Tony Awards 2012: We're live-blogging them!

Will Porgy and Bess star Audra McDonald win her fifth Tony Award and Death of a Salesman director Mike Nichols accept his ninth? Will Smash star Christian Borle upset Amazing Spider-Man‘s Andrew Garfield in the featured actor in a play category? And which movie-based stage musical — Once or Newsies — will take Broadway’s top prize? More importantly, will host Neil Patrick Harris persuade special Tony winner Hugh Jackman to join him for another song-and-dance duel as spectacular as the one they performed last year? Join Laura Hertzfeld and me this Sunday for EW.com’s annual live blog of the Tonys, beginning at 8 p.m. EST. We’ll have reports from EW’s stage gurus Marc Snetiker and Melissa Rose Bernardo on the red carpet, in the press room, and around the auditorium of the Beacon Theatre. READ FULL STORY

Inside the Tony Award nominees: Best Musical

As we look ahead to the Tony Awards on Sunday, June 10, EW is taking a closer look at this season’s nominated selection of new musicals, plays, and revivals, all of which will be competing for Broadway’s highest honor! Today, we dive into this year’s nominees for Best Musical:

Newsies

Opened: March 29, 2012

Starring: Jeremy Jordan, Ben Fankhauser, Kara Lindsay, Andrew Keenan-Bolger

Music by Alan Menken; lyrics by Jack Feldman; book by Harvey Fierstein; choreographed by Christopher Gattelli; directed by Jeff Calhoun

Synopsis: Disney’s latest outing is an adaptation of the 1992 film, which brings to full singing and dancing life the Newsboy Strike of 1899. The story follows a gang of paper-hawking ‘newsies’ — led by restless street vet Jack Kelly (Jordan) — as they launch a workers’ strike against newspaper bigwig Joseph Pulitzer. READ FULL STORY

Tony Awards 2012: We predict the winners

Now is the time for Newsies fans and theater geeks everywhere to seize the day! It’s Tony time! This Sunday, Neil Patrick Harris will be donning his tux once again to host the annual celebration of Broadway’s finest moments (and we’ll be live-blogging the Tony Award ceremony, so please watch with us!). In a repeat from last year’s NPH-led event, expect another rash of jokes at the expense of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Fellow EW critic Melissa Rose Bernardo and I here offer our predictions in all the Tony categories (you’ll see our names after each of our picks). Disagree? Please let us know who you think will win — or should win — in the comments section. (For more Stage coverage, go to EW.com’s Stage hub.)

Best Play
Clybourne Park (Thom)
Other Desert Cities
(Melissa)
Peter and the Starcatcher
Venus in Fur

It’s one of the strongest years in recent memory for new American plays. While Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities won wide acclaim when it opened last year, I give the edge to Pulitzer winner Clybourne Park.

Best Musical
Leap of Faith
Newsies
(Melissa, Thom)
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Once

This is a two-way race between movie-based hits that each have an underdog story: Once and Newsies. The former is charming but relatively small-scale. And since a sizable number of Tony voters handle Broadway tours throughout the country, a more traditional, broader-based hit like Newsies is likely to win out. READ FULL STORY

Broadway's 'Death of a Salesman' topped $1 million at the box office last week

In a rare feat for a non-musical on Broadway, Mike Nichols’ acclaimed revival of Death of a Salesman grossed just over $1 million last week, according to figures released by the Broadway League. The hit show, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman and Andrew Garfield as his wayward son, Biff, set a new record for the 1,036-seat Barrymore Theatre. What’s even more remarkable is that Salesman scored at the box office despite playing only seven performances (most Broadway shows are mounted eight times per week). The production isn’t exactly a dime a dozen, to quote one of Biff’s lines: It’s been boosted by an A-list cast, stellar reviews, multiple Tony nominations, and a strictly limited engagement that’s let producers charge a premium for tickets. Last week’s average ticket price was a whopping $140.68, which enabled the show to earn 107 percent of the theater’s potential gross. That’s good news for the show’s investors, who announced May 16 that they’d already recouped their $3.1 million commitment to the show.

READ FULL STORY

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