Working Kids Inspire Movie, Broadway Musical!
[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” interval=”3″ images=”2786″ onclick=”link_image” custom_links_target=”_self” img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][hb_title]It Started With Some Kids…[/hb_title][vc_column_text]
NEWSIES is based on the real-life Newsboys’
Strike of 1899. Children who sold newspapers
on the streets were called newsies. The New
York newsies went up against two newspaper
publishers, Joseph Pulitzer of The World and
William Randolph Hearst of The Journal, to
fight for a fair price for newspapers.
The Spanish-American War made New
Yorkers hungry for headlines, and circulation
boomed as a result. Once the war ended,
people were less inclined to buy newspapers—
war was bad for the world, but great for
the newspaper business. The strike was the
result of the newspaper publishers refusing to
lower the price-per-paper that the newsies had
to pay back down to the pre-war prices. The
newsies were not willing to pay more for their
papers to make up for a lack of headlines, so
they decided to strike—their goal was to
make the newspaper tycoons treat them as
legitimate members of the business.
The strike lasted two weeks, from July 19 to
August 2, 1899. During that time, the
newsboys drew support from newsies all
over the Northeast, as well as other young
workers like messenger boys, bootblacks,
and factory workers. The kids banded together
to support one another, and at times things
became violent—scabs were attacked on the
streets, their papers ripped from them and
destroyed to prevent their sale. Some boys lost
their nerve and went back to the publishers,
settling for the higher price.
The newsies eventually came to a
compromise with the publishers: they would
purchase their papers at the higher price, but
the publishers would buy back any papers
that the newsies couldn’t sell—this was more
valuable to the newsies than a lower price
would have been, as it allowed them to buy
papers without the risk of losing money for
any that went unsold. The Newsboys’ Strike
of 1899 is a significant moment in history; it
is one of the first strikes that was carried out
by children and it ended in compromise. The
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][hb_title]Then It Was a Movie…[/hb_title][vc_column_text]
In 1992 Walt Disney Studios released a live
action musical based on the real-life events
of the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899. With
a screenplay by Bob Tzudiker and Noni
White, and a score written by Oscar®-
winning composer Alan Menken and
lyricist Jack Feldman, the film was meant
to be a revival of the live-action musical
genre. Though it was not a hit in theatres,
its memorable score and athletic dance
numbers made it a fan favorite, and it
quickly gained a cult following.
[/vc_column_text][hb_title]And Now It’s on Broadway…[/hb_title][vc_column_text]
A stage adaptation of NEWSIES was in great
demand, so Disney Theatrical Group
began working on developing a stage play.
Alan Menken and Jack Feldman were called
back to work on the score, and Tony Award®-
winning book writer Harvey Fierstein signed
on to adapt the screenplay for the stage.
With this dream team of theatre makers on
board, Disney Theatrical Group began a
several year process of making NEWISES as
beloved onstage as it was onscreen.
Together with the Paper Mill Playhouse in
New Jersey, Disney mounted a four-week
engagement of NEWSIES to test the
material. When that production received
rave reviews and international interest in the
show, the producers changed course and
announced a limited Broadway run.
NEWSIES opened at the Nederlander
Theatre on March 29, 2012. The Broadway
engagement was so successful that the show
became an open-ended run. Over 110 years
in the making, the story of the New York
newsboys and their struggle for justice
finally made it to the Great White Way!
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