Pictured: The White Theatre at the Jewish Community Center
The Coterie Theatre and the White Theatre at “The J,” the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, have announced a co-production, and the Kansas City premiere, of Disney’s NEWSIES.
Scheduled for a limited run in the Summer of 2018, NEWSIES is the first collaboration between the two organizations, and will feature a cast comprised of “professional and non-professional” Kansas City actors.
Co-directed by Coterie Producing Artistic Director, Jeff Church, and Jerry Jay Cranford, who will also serve as choreographer, with musical direction by Pam Williamson, auditions for NEWSIES will take place December 17th and 18th. Information about auditions will be available online at thecoterie.org/auditions and thejkc.org/auditions.
“We are thrilled that The Coterie and The J have found the perfect piece to collaborate on. We’ve hit on the idea that this show will showcase each of our company’s strengths,” said Church. “The Coterie has long been dedicated to producing high-caliber professional productions of substantive plays, especially those with stories that address social issues or will challenge our young audiences. Combine that with The J’s long history of producing first-rate community productions of hit Broadway musicals in their state-of-the-art facility and NEWSIES is the obvious choice for our first collaboration.”
Set in New York City at the turn of the century, NEWSIES tells the tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city to strike for what’s right.
NEWSIES features music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN, SISTER ACT), lyrics by Jack Feldman, book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, TORCH SONG TRILOGY) and adapted from the 1992 feature film musical. The multiple Tony Award-winning stage production of NEWSIES, which ran on Broadway from 2012-2014, adapts many of Menken’s memorable melodies, including “Carrying the Banner,” “King of New York,” “Santa Fe,” and “Seize the Day,” and expands the score with new songs that help tell the inspiring real-life story of the ‘Newsboy Strike of 1899,’ when newsboy Kid Blink led a band of orphan and runaway newsies on a two-week-long action against Pulitzer, Hearst and other powerful newspaper publishers.
Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City Director of Art and Culture, Jonathan Jensen, said of the collaboration: “We hope by bringing the two companies together on NEWSIES we’ll be able to give the show the passionate production it deserves, while also offering each organization the opportunity to introduce itself to a larger audience. When both parties discovered Disney had recently released the rights for regional productions and discussed the possibilities to collaborate, we immediately knew we had to ‘seize the day,’ as they say in the show.”
Tickets for Disney’s NEWSIES will be $14 for youth and $25 for adults and go on sale September 1. Tickets will be available online at thejkc.org/boxoffice, by phone at (913) 327-8054, or in person at The White Theatre Box Office, located at 5801 W 115th St, Leawood, KS 66211.