'Newsies,' 2012's Surprise Broadway Hit, Closes After Just Over a Thousand Performances

By Jon Sobel on Aug 25, 2014 11:37 AM EDT

The hit Broadway musical Newsies, which opened in March 2012 for what was to be a limited engagement of just 101 shows but became a surprise long-running hit, closed last night after 1,005 performances.

The Disney musical has a Tony Award-winning score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein. Its pilot run at New Jersey's Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011 generated unexpected buzz, and when it transferred to the Nederlander Theatre it became the 2011-12 Broadway season's highest-grossing show.

Christopher Gattelli's choreography won a Tony Award as well, and both the choreography and the score took home Drama Desk Awards too. The show garnered eight Tony nominations in all, and became the fastest show produced by Disney Theatricals to recoup its investment (it took only nine months). Disney is ending the Broadway run of Newsies for strategic reasons, not because of declining popularity.

Fierstein's Casa Valentina ended its run June 29, so the impresario-of-the-moment's only remaining presence on the Great White Way is Kinky Boots, the Best Musical Tony Award winner he wrote with Cyndi Lauper, which continues its successful run at the Al Hirschfeld and opens a yearlong tour next month.

Newsies will be hitting the road too, beginning a 25-city North American tour in October 2014. The road trip is scheduled to last 43 weeks, but given the show's history, who knows how long it might really keep rolling?

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TagsNewsies, Harvey Fierstein, Kinky Boots, Tony Awards, Casa Valentina, Alan Menken, Jack Feldman, Disney Theatricals

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