Disney’s ‘Newsies’ is coming to Millbrook

PHOTO PROVIDED Members of the “Newsies” cast, from left, Ayden Mitcheltree as Les, Mitch Connelly as Davey, Townsend J Pass as Crutchie and CJ Doss as Jack.

MILL HALL — On July 12 Millbrook Playhouse will present the Tony Award-winning Broadway phenomenon, “Newsies: The Musical.”

Set in turn-of-the century New York City, Newsies is a rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a “heroically, charismatic, plainspoken, know nothing, skirt chasing” newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.”

When the titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right!

Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, Newsies features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act) and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots). Featuring the now classic songs “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize the Day,” and “Santa Fe,” Newsies is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family and every audience. “Newsies: The Musical” was the winner of the 2012 Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Choreography.

Newsies is staged by Millbrook master Director and Choreographer Courtney Laine Self, whose ingenious staging was seen in Millbrook productions of “Fun Home,” “Mary Poppins,” and “The Little Mermaid.” Mo Ortbal serves as the Musical Director (Mamma Mia, Sister Act, Seussical.)

The newsboys’ strike in the summer of 1899 lasted two-weeks and resulted in a considerable decline in the circulation of the two most powerful papers in the country. The strike drew rallies of over 5,000 as the young newsboys called on the public to boycott newspapers The World and The Journal.

Shortly after the strike began, the public showed their support and stopped buying the offending papers. They sold newspapers in bundles of 100 at a cost of 50-cents to the newsboys who would hawk them throughout the city. When the publishers raised the price to 60-cents and refused to buy back unsold papers, it was a massive hardship on the group of poor orphans that largely comprised the child labor force of newsboys.

Hearst and Pulitzer, though not lowering prices, agreed to buy back unsold papers as a compromise. The newsies’ strike spawned similar actions in other parts of the country. The strikes would eventually lead to introducing urban child-welfare practice.

Leading the strike in Newsies is CJ Doss as Jack, Townsend J. Pass as Crutchie, Mitch Connelly as Davey, Ayden Mitcheltree as Les, Georgia VanRy as Katherine, Monica Howe as Medda, Daniel Walstad as Pulitzer, Vanessa Kolbosky as Hannah, Tim Garner as Snyder, Dan Egan as Weisel, Leron Wellington as Morris, Joshua Davis Farner as Oscar.

The Newsies Ensemble includes Gianina Mugavero, Alison Fisher, Sam Snyder, Sammy Schechter, Ever Chavez, Kelly Long, Madi Meeker, Garrett Cunningham, Kayden Guizar, Tim Garner, Leron Wellington, Joshua Davis Farner and Vanessa Kolbosky.

Set design by Stephen Cyr, costume design by Michelle Stovall, lighting design by Caleb Stroman, sound design by Chase Henderickson, props design by David Singleton and the musical directing intern is Lydia Haasl. The production is stage managed by Ericka Conklin and assistant stage managed by Anthony Martin, stage management intern is Jacqueline Adams.

Disney’s “Newsies: The Musical” is generously sponsored by Hear the Birds! Hearing Aid Center of Lock Haven.

Evening performances are July 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m. Matinees are July 14, 17, 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at the Millbrook Playhouse. Tickets cost $26 for adults, $17.50 for students and $12 for children.

The playhouse also has budget seating in select seats, $23.50 for adults, $15.75 for students, and $11 for children. The cost for senior (65+) and military/veteran tickets is $22 for all performances. Limit of two tickets per order. ID required to pick up tickets.

Continuing this summer are discounted ticket prices on Wednesday evening and Sunday matinees, all tickets are 10 percent off. Group rates are available.

Also, take advantage of the playhouse’s optional Sunday Brunch, only for the Sunday Matinee performances! For only an additional $16 per person, enjoy a lovely buffet brunch from Haywood’s On The Green that includes drink specials on Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas from the Stage Right Bar! (for those 21 and over). Brunch is served at 1 p.m. in the courtyard!

You can purchase tickets by calling 570-748-8083, online at www.millbrookplayhouse.org or by coming to the box office any day of the week. Box Office hours are Monday and Tuesday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesday through Sunday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.