OPEN THE GATES…Newsies, the movie musical that could, has turned its box office flop into cult hit and soon will be heaidng to the stage as the season opener for New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse this fall. So far, no casting has been announced for the show but the production will include new and original songs by the film’s composer Alan Menken and lyricist Jack Feldman with Harvey Fierstein writing the book. According to Menken, some surprising moments/songs/characters are reported to be cut while others (such as Crutchy) are said to be given more importance or even added entirely as a means of correcting what went wrong with the movie.
For those unfamiliar with the film, the story is revolves around the newsboy strike in 1899 in New York where newboys rallied against powerful publishers such as William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. Directed by Kenny Ortega (who later went on to direct the High School Musical franchise) and starring 18 year old Christian Bale, the movie was originally a flop garnering a box office draw of only 3 million with a budget of 15 million. However, it then went on to sell really well on video and has since found its roots in the theatre community becoming a bonafide cult classic.