I had a fantastic weekend with my Disney fan 12-year old daughter. We got to see Disney’s Newsies on Broadway – the nationwide tour!
I introduced my kids to the movie Newsies a couple of years ago. It was one of my favorite movies as a girl…yes, I am sure Christian Bale had something to do with that, but I love the music, the dancing and the story. I am a history buff and as a young teen, this story before the turn of the century regarding children and work in America is one that I found very intriguing, with the backdrop being that of the iconic New York Cityscape. An intriguing place indeed to this gal from a small town Idaho, having never had opportunity to venture to this iconic city until later into adulthood.
All of these factors added up to be an opportunity to love the movie, share it with my kids and sing the songs on a regular basis (how could you not sing ‘King of New York’ once you hear it?).
Well, this obsession with wanting to see the Newsies Broadway Spectacular Musical started a few years ago.
I mentioned that I got to have my first visit to NYC as an adult. It was me and my hubby. A couple’s trip (something we do each year – you have to when you have 6 kids!) and that particular year we chose a trip to NYC.
It has been our best couple’s trip to date…yes, perhaps even over the two of us going to Disneyland or Disneyworld, although both of these would be a close second! But the reason is because I have wanted to go to NYC for so long, I finally got to go!
Well, we had an extended weekend, not long to visit and it certainly wasn’t long enough. The plans did not include a Broadway – we thought next time!
We stayed in a hotel right on Times Square and Broadway (the hotel Daniel Radcliffe stays when he’s there to perform on Broadway). There were flashy signs of all of the broadway spectaculars playing at the time…one of those being Newsies.
Although it was the best trip ever, I wished we had gone to the Broadway show of Newsies. It was the one I really wanted to see.
Then four years after entering Broadway, I got notification that Newsies was hitting the road in a nationwide tour and our city (Salt Lake City) was one of the stops. I immediately registered to be notified when the tickets went on sale. They tickets wouldn’t be going on sale for 3 months.
I waited with anticipation.
The tickets opened and I jumped on it as soon as I saw my email…a couple of hours after it arrived. I was so excited! I jumped right onto the site and began my quest for the best seats…only to find out that they were SOLD OUT!
Yes, SOLD OUT…two hours after they went up for sale. Five shows over a few day period and they were all gone.
I was so bummed out!
Well, a couple of days later, I received a follow-up…they were coming back 2-months later for encore performances. Disney and Co. did not anticipate the overwhelming response from the Utah fans. We are home to the high school and filming location of High School Musical and home of some of the biggest (in fandom and size) Disney traveling families. So we showed them!
Just like we rocked the Comic Con world when the fans here shook up the outcome with surprising turnout numbers. Yes, Utah has real fans like no other.
I jumped on the encore performance schedules. Four shows over three days…again sold out in two hours! But I was one (or two) of those sold out tickets this time!!
So although I had to wait two additional months, I finally got to see it.
And see it is an understatement.
It was spectacular!
All of the original music, the original dancing, the original character names. The ONLY thing that would have made it better is if Christian Bale was Jack Kelly, it’s hard to replace an original. But the Broadway Jack Kelly did a mighty fine job!
The set was perfect for setting the stage for iconic NYC 1899. I felt it. It was real. I was there.
The storyline is slightly different than that of the Disney Movie, but I sorta liked this story-line better than the original. It makes a bit more sense to me. I don’t want to spoil it, but know that the role Bill Pullman played is a bit different.
And I was especially excited to see the cast accolades in the program and see that Joseph Pulitzer was played by none other than Steve Blanchard who played the Beast and Gaston on Broadway in Beauty and the Beast. He’s had many other notable roles including The Phantom from the Phantom of the Opera national tour. He has an impressive portfolio.
Since most of the cast are young boys, many were starting their entertainment careers, but none the less, very impressive performances.
My 12-year old daughter went with me. It was such a special time – downtown, dressed up, dinner out and entering the ye’ ol’ Capitol Theater.
I love the Capitol Theater. Let’s be honest, when 1899 NYC rolled around, here in the wild, wild west, sagebrush was the structure of choice. However, the Capitol Theater has been standing since 1913, so only a couple of dozen years younger than the setting. It made for a much more authentic experience.
I also like the coziness of the theater. Although we didn’t have amazing seats, we had good seats. I actually enjoy being up in the mezzanine, it’s a little cheaper, and we can overlook the stage. These tickets were $85 each. The lowest priced tickets were $65. Then you had tickets that were in the mid $100’s.
The actors did an amazing job. I didn’t see a spot or place where a step seemed to be missed, where a word or two was misspoken, or the enthusiasm not being genuine! Kudos to the amazing cast!
And now the music…Oh, the music! It’s just as classic and true to the real thing as it gets. My favorite part.
My favorites in this order are:
- King of New York
- Carrying the Banner
- The World Will Know
- Seize the Day
- Santa Fe
- Brooklyn’s Here
- Once and For All
And there are a few others that I enjoy but the above ones are the ones I sing and dance to at home!
Let’s not forget, the music is written by the famous, Academy Award-winning Alan Menken – with way too many accolades to even begin to list, but certainly recognizable with his music being heard in many Disney Animated films. And the lyrics by the Tony Award-winning Jack Feldman. The music was done by a live orchestra and the lyrics sung live (only because at one point in the beginning a secondary character’s mic was not on for his one line in the song and I heard his faint voice in the distance, identifying live singing).
The show is a heart-pounding, foot-tapping 2-hours and 15 minutes production with a 15 minute intermission half way through for a 2.5 hour event.
And the time drifts by so fast….
After the performance, we visited the merchandise stands. They had a simple store:
– a few t-shirts from $30 – $40
– newsboys hats $25
– bracelets $35
– Full-color programs $10
– Ornaments that were $20 or $1o with purchase
– Newsies satchels $20 or $5 with purchase
So I bought a program, ornament (we always buy ornaments as our travel and activity record – fun to review every Christmas) and of course, who could pass up the Newsies Satchel at $5!?!
Overall, it was an amazing experience and I am so glad they came to our area in the first place, but especially for the encore performances. If you get a chance to see it…do!
We have Cinderella and Lion King coming up next year….