GENEVA — Stop the presses! “Disney Newsies, the Broadway Musical” is coming to the Geneva High School stage March 8-10.
The Tony Award-winning Broadway phenomenon is based on the historical newsboy strike of 1899 that shook the world of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst.
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly (Connor Hibbard), a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teen “newsies,” who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets.
But when publishing titan Joseph Pulitzer (Brayton Slusser) and his closest employees (Jeremy Trowbridge, Nicholas Caster) decide to raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right.
“This was the perfect year to do Disney Newsies, and we were so happy that the theatrical rights were recently released to schools and community theatres,” said Director Larry Ann Evans. “I have always been a fan of the movie way before it hit Broadway and have been waiting for an opportunity to direct the show.”
The cast is comprised of Jack’s friend Crutchie (Cassidy Prejean), newcomer Davey (Abbey Ritter) and his little brother Les (Julia McCormack), and a pack of rag-tag Newsies: Race (Kate Equinozzi), Albert (Katherine Bowes), Specs (Julian Nault), Henry (Sara Wright), Finch (Natalie Hunsberger), Romeo (Love Johnson), Elmer (Jeremy Trowbridge), Buttons (Ro-Ann Shen), Splasher (Owen Brown), Tommy Boy (Beth Cohrs), Mush (Kristen Iklé), JoJo (Audrie Fazio), Ike (Quinn Hogan), and Mike (Liam Crawley).
The Newsies are pushed into a revolution when the price of the “papes” is jacked up and Pulitzer’s distribution gang, led by Wiesel (TJ Bogart) and the Delancey Brothers (Jay Yonge and Sophia Turturo), won’t hand over the newspapers without proper payment.
Things heat up when Scabs try to cross the strike line to buy the higher priced papes (EE Springer, Moriah Pilet, and Preet Mand). The Newsies are helped in their strike by newspaper woman Katherine Plumber (Lauren Schmit), the children of William Randolph Hearst (Beth Cohrs) and Horace Greely (Laura McCormick), and burlesque star Medda Larkin (Sydney Moore).
Even Gov.Teddy Roosevelt (Quinn Hogan) makes an appearance. The cast is rounded out by an ensemble of actors including Beatrice Carson, En-Ya Shen, Manpreet Mand, Sally Young, and Jenna Kafrawi.
Musical direction of the show was carried out by Christine Sauter Milligan and Wendra Trowbridge, with choreography by Hallie Varenka. The orchestra conductor is Jim Trowbridge and the scenic design is by Kerry Crawley and Melanie Bogart.
The show has two GHS seniors as stage managers, Morgan Collins and Juli Parrotta. The light board op is Katie Buddle and the sound man is Alex Calvo; stage crew is composed of Owen Sellers, Melissa Wright, Andrew Pilet and Yiling Weng.
Disney Newsies, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and book by Harvey Firestein, is based on the Disney film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White. Newsies is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
The show will start at 7:30 p.m. March 8 and 9, and 2 p.m. March 10 in the Geneva High School auditorium. Presale tickets are $8 at the UPS store in Liberty Commons; tickets are $10 at the door.