Extra! Extra! “Newsies” will end its 2½-year Broadway run in August.
The film-to-stage adaptation from Disney Theatrical Productions opened at the Nederlander Theatre in March 2012 and was originally set for a limited run. But the unassuming musical directed by Jeff Calhoun was embraced by Broadway audiences and extended its stay.
The $5-million production has gone on to gross about $100 million in Broadway ticket sales -- carrying a more commanding tune than the $2.8 million taken in by the 1992 movie musical.
Disney did not give a reason for the show’s closing. The production will play through Aug. 24, according to a news release, riding its last wave of summer’s tourist theatergoers.
“Newsies,” which touted Harvey Fierstein (“Kinky Boots”) as its book writer, marked a turnaround of sorts for Disney’s theatrical productions, following disappointing runs for “The Little Mermaid” (2009) and “Tarzan (2007). The show won Tony Awards in 2012 for its original score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, and choreographer Christopher Vattelli.
“From our first performance, we have been humbled by the spontaneous and genuine outpouring of affection from fans and the theatre community alike,” read a statement from Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions. “Alan and Jack’s tuneful, rousing score, Harvey’s timely book, Chris’ muscular choreography and Jeff’s cinematic staging merged seamlessly to become a glorious work in the proudly classic Broadway tradition.”
Inspired by the real-life newsboy strike of 1899, “Newsies” centers on Jack Kelly, leader of a ragtag band of teenage newsboys who dream of a better life during the time of publishing giants Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.
The closing reduces some of the competition for Disney’s latest hit, “Aladdin.” Disney also still has long-running “The Lion King” on Broadway.
Word of the “Newsies” closing on Broadway comes just as it is set to begin a North American tour in October.
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