“Newsies” has been a hit on Broadway since it opened just over a year ago, and now the musical reportedly will make the jump to West End for its first London run.
Though no official details have yet been announced, London’s The Daily Mail reports that a West End transfer for the musical will open next spring at either the Piccadilly theatre or the Savoy theatre.
The Broadway version, which plays at the Nederlander Theatre, has been a surprise hit for Disney Theatrical Productions. The musical, based on the 1992 film of the same name, first appeared at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey in 2011. After receiving abundant acclaim, it opened on Broadway in March 2012 for a limited engagement. After receiving even more critical acclaim and two Tony Awards (out of seven nominations), the production was changed to an open-ended run.
Here’s how a press release describes the musical, which is based on a true story:
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, [“Newsies is a] 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.
The production features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, as well as a book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein. Tony-nominee Jeff Calhoun directs, and Christopher Gattelli is the choreographer. Gattelli won the Tony Award for Best Choreography, and Menken and Feldman won for Best Original Score.
The original film starring Christian Bale and Robert Duvall was a flop at the box office, but later gained something of a cult following.