For the final production of its crowd-pleasing 2017-18 season, the North Carolina Theatre will present eight high-octane performances of the 2012 Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical Disney’s Newsies on July 24-29 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh, NC. North Carolina’s premier producer of homegrown revivals of Broadway musicals will stage a new-and-improved version of the 1992 Disney movie musical, which unashamedly roots for the underpaid underdogs in the 1899 New York City newspaper strike.
NCT’s vivacious version of Newsies stars Jason Gotay as plucky turn-of-the-century New York newspaper delivery boy (i.e., “newsie”) Jack Kelly, who organizes the ragamuffin newsboys of lower Manhattan to strike against a capricious price increase by greedy New York World publisher Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911), played by fellow Broadway veteran Merwin Foard.
Newsies, which features music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein, premiered on Sept. 25, 2011 at the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, NJ. The show made its Broadway debut on March 29, 2012 at the Nederlander Theatre, where it ran for 1,004 performances before closing on Aug. 24, 2014. Nominated for eight Tony Awards®, Newsies won the Tonys for Best Original Score Written for the Theatre and Best Choreography (Christopher Gattelli), plus the 2012 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Choreography.
According to NCT’s news release:
“[Newsies was a]dapted from the  Disney film, [during which] New York City’s newsboys seize the day when they strike against unfair working conditions. Newsies addresses age-old themes of social injustice, exploitative labor practices, and David-versus-Goliath struggles as the young learn to harness their power against a corrupt establishment. High-energy with nonstop thrills, the stage version introduces eight brand-new songs while keeping many of the beloved songs audiences know and love from the film.
“Starring in the role of Jack Kelly, the leader of the Newsboys Strike, is Jason Gotay. Gotay recently starred in the world premiere of The Prince of Egypt at Theatreworks Silicon Valley. His Broadway credits include Bring It On: The Musical and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (Peter Parker/Spider-Man). Gotay’s television credits include Peter Pan Live! on NBC and regional productions including A Bronx Tale, Mamma Mia!, and Into the Woods.”
“Broadway star Merwin Foard will portray Joseph Pulitzer, the pompous businessman and publisher of the New York World. Foard’s extensive Broadway credits include Aladdin (original cast), Annie, Les Misérables, Beauty and the Beast (original cast), Sweeney Todd and more. Foard also starred in The Standbys, a theater documentary that is available on iTunes.
“Portraying Katherine [Plumber], the ambitious reporter who covers the Newsboys Strike, is Shannon O’Boyle. Her Broadway credits include Kinky Boots (Nicola) and Once, and her previous regional productions include Legally Blonde, Amélie and the rock musical Lizzie.
“Daniel Plimpton will portray the role of Davey, a young man who meets Jack Kelly while working as a Newsie with his younger brother. Plimpton’s previous productions include the national tours of The Book of Mormon and Spring Awakening. He has also appeared in concert at Lincoln Center with Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Merkin Hall with David Loud, and more.
“Steve Raymond will portray the role of Crutchie, the ‘newsie with the bum leg’ and friend of Jack Kelly. Raymond’s previous roles include the first national tour of The Book of Mormon, Bells Are Ringing (Off-Broadway), and regional roles including Spelling Bee and Spamalot.
“Yolanda Rabun returns to North Carolina Theatre as Medda Larkin, the powerhouse saloon singer and friend to the newsies. She previously starred in numerous North Carolina Theatre productions, including Mary Poppins, The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Shop of Horrors, Dreamgirls, Ragtime and Big River. Her other regional theater productions have included Smokey Joe’s Café, Avenue Q, and Violet.
“Huck Borden will portray Les, the younger brother of Davey and member of the newsies. Borden, a Fayetteville, NC native, boasts regional credits including Disney’s The Little Mermaid, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Cape Fear Regional Theatre), and Alice in Wonderland (Fayetteville State University). His television credits include co-starring roles on Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell and Swamp Murders.”
NCT also says:
“Cast as the powerful and strong-willed group of newsies are Ethan Baker, Matthew Davies, Jordan De Leon, Alex Dreschke, Joseph Gaitens, Alec Gallazzi, Melvin Gray Jr., Wayne Mackins, Timothy Charles Malboeuf Jr., Joshua Messmore, Caylie Rose Newcom, Eddie Olmo II, and Brandon L. Whitmore.
“Rounding out the cast are Jeff Aguiar, Noah Daulton, Carly Grissom, Charles Machalicky, Maggie Poole, Joel Rainey, Jack Russell Richardson, and Bill Saunders. The kids’ ensemble includes William Spencer Fitzgerald, Sawyer Parker, Carter Phillips, Evan Tylka, and Isabella Zimmermann.
“Steve Bebout will direct North Carolina Theatre‘s production of Disney’s Newsies. Bebout’s previous associate directing credits include The Book of Mormon (Broadway, Tour), Something Rotten (Broadway, Tour), The Addams Family (Broadway, Tour, Brazil, Australia), and more. His past directing credits include I Got Fired, The Full Monty, The Buddy Holly Story, and Little Shop of Horrors.
“‘I’m thrilled to be directing North Carolina Theatre‘s production of Newsies,’ said Bebout. ‘It’s a beloved Disney story, and the entire team is excited to present a powerful, exciting, athletic, fast-paced show that will surprise audiences with its heart. Parker Esse’s choreography will be thrilling, Alan Menken’s tunes will be rousing, and a story about kids standing together to change the world will feel more relevant than ever. I can’t wait to work with this fantastic group of actors to bring this Broadway hit to the Raleigh audience in July!’
SECOND OPINION: July 23rd Durham, NC BroadwayWorld.com Raleigh BWW TV interview with choreographer Parker Esse, conducted by Jeffrey Kare: https://www.broadwayworld.com/raleigh/article/BWW-TV-Choreographer-Parker-Esse-on-North-Carolina-Theatres-NEWSIES-20180723; July 17th Raleigh, NC B93.9 FM: New Country interview with actors Shannon O’Boyle and Steve Raymond, conducted by Madeline Drake: https://b939country.iheart.com/content/2018-07-17-newsies/; and July 7th Raleigh, NC News & Observer mini-preview by Roy C. Dicks: https://www.newsobserver.com/entertainment/article214205869.html.
The North Carolina Theatre presents Disney’s NEWSIES at 7:30 p.m. July 24-27 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. July 28 and 29 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.
TICKETS: $25.15-$108.15, except $25 college-student tickets.
BOX OFFICE: NCT Box Office: 919-831-6941, ext. 6944, or http://www.nctheatre.com/tickets/season-tickets.
Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or https://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/369155/2485834.
2017-18 SEASON: https://nctheatre.com/show-season/201718-season.
NCT NEWS RELEASE: https://nctheatre.com/blog/nc-theatre-announces-cast-disneys-newsies-0.
PRESENTER: http://www.nctheatre.com/, https://www.facebook.com/nctheatre, https://twitter.com/nctheatre, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina_Theatre, and http://www.youtube.com/user/nctheatre.
NCT BLOG (Stage Notes): http://www.nctheatre.com/stage-notes.
NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show’s 2 p.m. Saturday, July 28th, performance.
Newsies (1992 movie musical): http://movies.disney.com/newsies (official website), http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/21492/Newsies/ (Turner Classic Movies page), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104990/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newsies (Wikipedia).
Newsies (2011 Paper Mill Playhouse and 2012 Broadway musical): http://www.newsiesthemusical.com/ (official website), http://www.mtishows.com/show_detail.asp?showid=000427 (Music Theatre International), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-show/newsies-the-musical-491209 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.facebook.com/Newsies (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/Newsies (Twitter page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newsies_%28musical%29 (Wikipedia).
Alan Menken (music): http://www.alanmenken.com/ (official website), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/alan-menken-12135 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.facebook.com/AlanMenkenStudio (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/aimenken (Twitter page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Menken (Wikipedia).
Jack Feldman (lyrics): https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/jack-feldman-79622 (Internet Broadway Database) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Feldman_%28songwriter%29 (Wikipedia).
Harvey Fierstein (book): https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/harvey-fierstein-6157 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.facebook.com/harvey.fierstein (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/harveyfierstein (Twitter page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Fierstein (Wikipedia).
Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing email@example.com and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)