What was once news cocoons into “olds.” It was only a matter of time before Disney’s Newsies became “oldsies” on Broadway.
The musical is finally ending its run in the country’s famed theatrical district, as Newsies will stage its final show in New York on Aug. 24, it was announced.
However, unlike the newspaper industry, Newsies still has life with a national tour scheduled on the heels of the curtains closing on its primary stage.
“It’s been an amazing journey on Broadway but our last performance in New York will be August 24. Come see us this summer before we hit the road and begin our North American Tour in October,” a status update posted June 22 on the Newsies Facebook page reads.
Newsies opened at the Nederlander Theater on March 29, 2012, meaning the musical will have completed about two-and-a-half years on Broadway before the final curtain. According to news reports, the musical grossed about $100 million in the box office during its relatively short Broadway run.
The reported Broadway box office gross far outpaces what the film version of Newsies earned at movie theaters. Disney released the film version of Newsies, which the musical is based upon, in 1992 with a cast of Christian Bale, Robert Duvall, and Bill Pullman. According to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), Newsies the film was produced on a $15 million budget but only earned $2.8 million in movie theaters.
On Broadway, Newsies has been performing in front of large audiences, with Nederlander Theater failing to reach the 80 percent capacity mark only once during the show’s tenure.
During the show’s first full season during the 2012-13 calendar Newsies sold out 18 of its first 22 dates, with the other four performances doing no worse than 96 percent capacity.
Newsies won two Tony Awards in 2012, including Best Choreography and Best Original Score Written for Theatre. It was also nominated for six other Tony Awards that year, including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical, and Best Orchestrations.
Also in 2012, Newsies earned two Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Music.
The North American tour of Newsies will kick off in October.
Other Disney titles that have had significantly longer runs on Broadway, according to Variety, include Beauty and the Beast (13 years) and The Lion King (still running since 1997).
According to multiple news reports, Newsies is ending its Broadway run due to softening box office sales.
Follow Parimal M. Rohit on Twitter: @ParimalRohit