After a two-year hiatus from musicals due to COVID-19, the Sullivan High School Theater Department is proud to be back on stage with a full production of “Disney’s Newsies: The Musical.”
Newsies, Disney’s tale inspired by the true story of the 1899 Newsboys strike in New York City will take center stage at the Sullivan Performing Arts Theater with performances on Thursday, April 21 and Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. as well as Sunday, April 24 at 5 p.m. Tickets, $10 for general admission and $7 for Eagles can be purchased online at sullivaneagles. seatyourself.biz or at the door prior to the performance.
Set in turn-of-the century New York City, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged orphans selling newspapers for publishing giants, Hearst and Pulitzer. When these titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack organizes newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions. The strike becomes more than a fight for the wages of the Newsies as they realize that they are representing all of the children laborers working across the nation without labor laws protecting them.
“Even though the story is set at the turn of the century, the catchy songs and high-energy dancing makes the story relatable to modern-day experiences, which in turn helps the audience easily connect to the characters,” says Kim Wibbenmeyer, musical director, SHS Theater Program Director and Public Speaking Teacher. “Within our current climate, theater can demonstrate how standing together in solidarity and seizing the opportunities to create change can elevate our shared human experience.”
Based on the 1992 motion picture, Newsies features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act) with lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots).
The show features the now classic songs Carrying the Banner, Seize the Day, and Santa Fe. Nominated for 16 theatrical awards during its Broadway run, “Newsies” won Tonys for best choreography and best musical score. Originally planned to show only 101 times, due to its popularity with audience members, “Newsies” ended up running for 1,005 performances on the Broadway stage before touring. After touring, the film “Newsies: The Broadway Musical” was released in 2017.
Newsies will be performed by an incredibly talented array of Sullivan High School and Middle School students ranging from actors, stage managers, costume designers and tech students along with the Sullivan Elementary Music Makers. The show is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family and every audience.