Show History



On July 20, 1899, the newsboys of New York City refused to sell Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal to protest the higher prices that they were charged for newspapers. Their strike, which lasted nearly two weeks before it was resolved through a historic compromise, was a harbinger for child labor reforms in the twentieth century.

To pay tribute to the newsboys’ story, The Walt Disney Company premiered Newsies on April 10, 1992. The live-action musical feature was written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White, and directed by Kenny Ortega, with songs by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman. After receiving generally poor reviews, the movie quickly disappeared from theatres.

On October 14, 1992, Disney released Newsies on VHS and Beta home video. The movie premiered on the Disney Channel as part of a “Free Spring Preview” on March 28, 1993. In the following years, home viewing and the advent of the Internet spawned a passionate fan base.


Due to overwhelming requests to license a live-stage version of Newsies, Disney Theatrical Productions put the title into development. Harvey Fierstein joined the project as bookwriter in 2009, and Menken and Feldman complemented their original film score with several new songs. Developmental readings took place in New York City in 2010.

On September 25, 2011, a test production of Newsies: The Musical opened at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey; it was directed by Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli. Positive critical and “Fansie” responses opened unexpected doors.

Newsies began previews of a limited Broadway run at the Nederlander Theatre on March 15, 2012, and opened on March 29. After the show sold out its initial twelve weeks and a ten-week extension, Disney announced an open-ended run on May 16, 2012. The musical earned eight 2012 Tony Award nominations and won for Best Original Score and Best Choreography.

Newsies ran for 1,004 performances on Broadway, playing to over 1.2 million audience members before closing on August 24, 2014. Preparations began immediately for a North American tour, which opened in Schenectady, New York, on October 11, 2014. The tour played over 784 performances to over 1.5 million audience members before closing on October 2, 2016, in Austin, Texas.