Disney's 'Newsies' to Close on Broadway and Hit the Road; 'Casa Valentina' Closing This Weekend

By Jon Sobel on Jun 23, 2014 12:13 PM EDT

Newsies, the surprise hit musical from Disney Theatricals that opened on Broadway in 2012, is quitting while it's ahead, ending its run of just over 1,000 performances at the Nederlander Theatre on August 24 before going on a national tour.

With a book by Harvey Fierstein, music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, Newsies was adapted from the 1992 Kenny Ortega film of the same name starring a young Christian Bale, which in turn was inspired by the 1899 New York City newsboys' strike. A classic David-vs-Goliath tale of a scrappy band of newsboys demanding a fair deal from publishing titan Joseph Pulitzer, it premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011, opened on Broadway the following year and went on to recoup its investment after just nine months, faster than any other Disney Theatricals show. It continues to play to houses 85 to 95 percent full.

Nevertheless, and true to recent form, Disney is ending the show's run before its box office has a chance to sag, and taking it on the road.

The score by Menken and Feldman and Christopher Gattelli's choreography won Tony Awards in 2012, out of eight nominations. The music and choreography also won Drama Desk Awards.

Harvey Fierstein's Broadway hat trick will actually come to an end this weekend. His play Casa Valentina, about male heterosexual cross-dressers at a Catskills resort in the early 1960s, ends its run June 29. Upon its April debut it received four Tony nominations but no wins, though Reed Birney did win the 2014 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play.

Fierstein will continue to be represented on Broadway after the closings of Newsies and Casa Valentina by Kinky Boots, which he wrote with Cyndi Lauper. The winner of last year's Tony Award for Best Musical and five other Tonys continues its successful run at the Al Hirschfeld.

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TagsNewsies, Kinky Boots, Casa Valentina, Harvey Fierstein, broadway, Tony Awards, Alan Menken, Joseph Pulitzer, Drama Desk, Disney Theatricals, disney

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