When I was a little girl NEWSIES came out and when I watched it I was bored out of my mind. I think that because of the NEWSIES I decided that musicals must not be my thing. I actually hated the NEWSIES when it came out so long ago and Steve Fickinger, VP of Creative Development and Licensing for NEWSIES on Broadway, said the movie wasn’t the best. “I can’t imagine many of you saw it in the theaters, because I think it played for one week.” Because it failed. “Well, as you might know, oddly the film failed. Failed, failed. I think it made maybe three million bucks. It was in the theater for one week, one week, a famous failure.” He said, “It’s not a great movie.” But NEWSIES the Broadway Musical is going to be fantastic.
Talking to Steve and watching the preview of NEWSIES the Broadway musical gives me hope that N on Broadway it actually has a chance at being something really special. The songs are better the dancing is better and they incorporated more girls into the show. I wish I lived in New York so that I could see it in March when it starts it’s run. I guess my other hope would be that it’s so successful that it goes on tour and comes to Seattle so I can watch it locally. I bet my kids would like it this go around.
Steve Fickinger was great to interview, funny and candied with us. He admitted that Disney had a problem with parents in movies and LOVES to kill them off and if a parent actually gets to survive then only one! You know it’s true and that he was being quite silly telling us not to quote him. His honesty with us made me feel I could trust his judgment.
NEWSIES is the number one requested Broadway musical. So Steve talked with Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, who did the original film, and also spoke with Bob Tzudicker and Noni White who wrote the original film. They didn’t have Broadway experience so Steve had to find more help. He told us a story about how he found more help. “Alan Menken, who I’m sure you all know from Beauty and the Beast and etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, Enchanted, Sister Act, many wonderful things, he happened to be at Leo’s Grocery Store. He lives, uh, kind of slightly upstate New York in some beautiful, leafy suburb where I’ll never be able to afford a home, and he happened to run into, uh, Harvey Fierstein, who you probably also know from Mrs. Doubtfire, he wrote the La Cage aux Folles, he wrote towards some trilogy. “ …..”they fell to talking, they’d never met before, and Harvey says, what do you do, what are you working on? And Alan, well, I’m doing this, and I’m doing this, and I’m doing this, and he happened to throw Newsies into the conversation, and Harvey said, let’s talk more about that. So they went over to Alan’s house, and, uh, as they talked more about it, Alan, uh, Harvey watched the film, and Alan picked up the phone, and he said, you know, you’re never going to believe who actually is interested in writing the book for Newsies. Harvey Fierstein.”
Together they created NEWSIES and they had to use the best parts of the movie because believe it or not there is a cult following that loves the movie. So he took the songs, the emotion, sort of the bravado of the musical and created an adaptation that I’m ready to go see right now! Advance tickets go on sale starting Monday, January 30th, previews begin on March 15th and opening night of the show on Broadway is March 29th.
Thanks to Disney and DreamWorks for covering travel expenses.