WHAT’S HAPPENING BROADWAY FANS?! We are only 7 days away till Broadway’s biggest night of the year, the 71st Annual Tony Awards. We have more spectacular toe-tapping performances coming your way on our TOP 30 TONY AWARDS countdown.
At # 7, we travel back in time to NYC in the year 1899 during the historical time of the Newsboys Strike. This is of course Disney’s acclaimed smash hit Newsies. It features music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein. It’s based on the cult 1992 Disney film of the same name.
From the 2012 telecast, Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan as the rebellious leader “Jack Kelly” and the company perform a medley of ONCE AND FOR ALL and the show’s showstopping anthem SEIZE THE DAY.
NEWSIES initially was a huge box office flop when the original 1992 film was released. However, following numerous airings on the Disney Channel and because Disney was already getting success with Broadway, fans of the cult petitioned it to become a musical. Alan Menken and the Disney team decided to give it a shot.
Following an acclaimed 2011 sold out engagement at Paper Mill Playhouse, the show finally arrived on Broadway in 2012 at the Nederlander Theatre. It was originally supposed to be a limited run but because it was selling out and people were dying to see it, the show became open ended before ending in 2014 for a complete total of 1,005 performances. The cast starred Jeremy Jordan (later Corey Cott) as “Jack Kelly”, Kara Lindsay (later Liana Hunt) as “Katherine Plumber”, Tony nominee John Dossett as “Joseph Pulitzer”, Andrew Keenan-Bolger (later Andy Richardson) as “Crutchie”, Capathia Jenkins (later LaVon Fisher-Wilson) as “Capathia Jenkins”, Ben Fankhauser as “Davey”, Tommy Bracco (later Clay Thomson) as “Spot”, and more. The show was nominated for 8 Tony Awards in 2008 winning only 2 for Best Original Score (for Alan Menken) and Best Choreography (for Christopher Gattelli).
Following it’s Broadway run, the show embarked on an acclaimed 2 year North American National Tour. Towards the end of the tour, the final stop in LA was captured on film for a theatrical Disney and Fathom Events release. The filmed performance was at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre which majority of the original cast (including Jeremy Jordan, Kara Lindsay, Andrew-Keenan Bolger, Ben Fankhauser, and Tommy Bracco) all returned to reprise their Broadway performances for one night only with some of the replacement Broadway and Touring cast members. It was released for 4 days in selected Movie Theatres and is now available for a digital download.
Currently, the licensing is now available for all FANSIES to put on their own productions of NEWSIES worldwide.
Doesn’t this show make you wanna join in the fight?!!
#Newsies #TonyAwards #NewYorkBroadwayTours #CountdownToTheTonys #NYBTTonysCountdown #NYBTTop30TonyAwardsCountdown #BroadwaysGreatestHits
The cast of the Broadway hit musical NEWSIES perform a medley of “Once and For All” and “Seize The Day” live at the 2012 Tony Awards.
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WHAT’S HAPPENING, BROADWAY FANS! We are only 26 days away from Broadway’s biggest night of the year, the 71st annual Tony Awards. Our TOP 30 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN continues playing you some of the best toe-tapping performances from the past telecasts.
At #26 today is one of the most iconic and romantic musicals of all time. A boy and a girl from two rival neighborhood groups fall into a forbidden love that will change their lives forever. This is Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim‘s legendary musical classic West Side Story on Broadway. The musical also features a book by Arthur Laurents and legendary staging by Jerome Robbins. The show is a modern-day retelling of William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet.
From the 2009 telecast, Matt Cavanaugh as “Tony,” Tony-nominee Josefina Scaglione as “Maria,” Tony-winner Karen Olivo as “Anita,” and the cast perform the show’s iconic “DANCE AT THE GYM” scene (where “Tony” and “Maria” first meet).
West Side Story was originally conceived in 1947 when Jerome Robbins told Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents about doing a contemporary retelling of ROMEO & JULIET. The original script was completely different from the verses that we know now about the show. It was actually set during the Passover-Easter time with the original rival gangs being Irish Catholic “Jets” and the Jewish “Emeralds” living on the Lower East Side (originally conceived as EAST SIDE STORY). After that original script was completed, Laurents and the team realized that there have already been a few plays with that same theme, including ABIE’S IRISH ROSE. The project was canceled and put back on the shelves. In addition, Laurents, Robbins, and Bernstein went their separate ways. Five years later, the three reunited on another project but decided to go back to EAST SIDE STORY by adding a fourth member of the team….Stephen Sondheim. One day in Los Angeles, the four came across stories in the newspaper about a group of juvenile delinquents and decided to change the setting to LA. However, Laurents said to keep it in New York City getting used to the life of the Puerto Rican immigrants and Harlem residents, instead of Mexican Americans and Olvera Street. At the same time, Jerome Robbins was familiar with Latin music and was stoked when he heard they would use that music style in the story. The team went back to NYC and changed everything, making the story the way we all know it featuring the American “Jets” and Puerto Rican “Sharks” of the Upper West Side.
The show officially opened on Broadway in 1957 (following a smash sold-out-of-town run in Washington, D.C.) at the Winter Garden Theatre for 732 performances. The cast originally starred Larry Kert as “Tony,” Carol Lawrence as “Maria,” and Tony-winning legendary Chita Rivera in her breakout role as “Anita.” It was nominated for 6 Tony Awards in 1958, winning only 2 including Best Choreography (by Jerome Robbins). Following its original Broadway run, WEST SIDE STORY went on to wow audiences around the world.
It was later revived twice on Broadway starting in 1980 playing Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre for 333 performances. That cast starred Ken Marshall as “Tony,” Josie de Guzman as “Maria,” and Debbie Allen as “Anita.” It was nominated for 3 Tonys that year including Best Revival of a Musical, but lost in all of its categories.
The most recent revival played Broadway’s Palace Theatre for 775 performances. This cast featured (as mentioned) Matt Cavanaugh, Josefina Sacglione, and Karen Olivo. For this revival, the production was well known for including translated dialogue and lyrics into Spanish by Tony-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda. It was nominated for 4 Tony Awards winning only 1 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (for Karen Olivo).
WEST SIDE STORY also became a worldwide hit when the iconic film version was released in 1961 starring Richard Beymer as “Tony,” the late Natalie Wood as “Maria,” and the legendary Rita Moreno as “Anita.” It received critical acclaim during its opening week, receiving 11 Academy Award nominations and winning 10, including Best Picture. The film also made history as the only Musical movie ever to receive the most Oscar nominations.
FUN FACT: The film version of WEST SIDE STORY was filmed in the area of what a few years later was torn down to become Lincoln Center.
Doesn’t this musical make you wanna “MAMBO”?!!!
#WestSideStory #TonyAwards #CountdownToTheTonys #NewYorkBroadwayTours #NYBTTonysCountdown #NYBTTop30TonysCountdown #BroadwaysGreatestHits
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