Newsies - The Show that Cemented my Love of Theater
Above: The Newsies sign from when it ran at the Nederlander Theatre. Photo labeled for reuse, sourced from here.
Newsies was a Broadway miracle. It originated at Paper Mill Playhouse and was slated to come to Broadway for a limited engagement. It ended up staying for over 2 years. I never saw it on Broadway. I never saw it on tour. I had the cast album, and later I had the recorded version, bought on Amazon Instant Video and I watch it on repeat for days at a time.
In September 2015 I saw Kara Lindsay play Glinda in Wicked, I knew of her because of the Newsies cast recording. In true fan fashion I kept up with what she was doing, even after she left Wicked. About a year later I found out she was returning to Newsies alongside Ben Fankhauser, Jeremy Jordan, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, and others alums from Broadway and the national tour including Ben Cook, Tommy Braco, and more. My excitement grew when I discovered that they were going to be filming it, to be released in movie theaters the following February.
But I didn't get to see it at the movies. When they said they were re-releasing it, I still didn't see it. I finally saw it when it was released for sale on Amazon Instant Video. I had spent over a year picturing what it would have looked like, watching any performances I could find on YouTube and I finally had it in front of me. I watched it in one sitting the first time, no breaks other then between acts.
Since then Newsies has become a staple in my life. If I'm working, I'll have the soundtrack on in the background. Written work? The filmed version is up on my computer. Having a bad day? Newsies became a good way to cheer up.
Around the time Newsies was released digitally was when I really started to see more shows. If there was one thing it had taught was that I loved musical theater. I would typically follow the same path of falling in love with cast albums and taking in any clips I could. That continues. Newsies introduced me to a whole world of theater outside of the classics and it made me appreciate it and love it more than I could have realized.