For one night only, the original Broadway cast of Newsies has reunited to perform for a live recording of the play!
Originally intended for a limited run of 3 weeks at the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey in 2011, it received such strong support, that it shortly went to Broadway, and stayed there for 2 years! After that 2 year run on Broadway, Newsies began a National Tour of the US, which will end in October 2016.
But today is special. Today many of the original Cast Members from the Broadway production are returning for a live recording, which will be released in theaters in 2017.
How'd we get here? A couple weeks ago, Ruston mentioned that he might be able to get us all tickets! Awesome!
Okay, guilty admission. I've never watched Newsies... Not the movie or the play. Not like I've intentionally not seen it. I like Disney musicals. J just haven't ever made it a priority to watch it. Still, I knew it'd be a really fun experience, and I was excited to go watch it.
Theresa and I left the kids with the grandparents and headed to Hollywood!
Ruston had arrived earlier in the day to pick up our tickets. There were lots of fans lined up hoping to fill the unclaimed seats! Ruston spoke to the first person in line, who said they got there at 1am!
The line stretched around the block!
So it was really great that Ruston had tickets already.
The four of us arrived early so we could do dinner together before the show. Ruston chose a place nearby call Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop. A quick google search lists this as a health food restaurant... Hmm. Luckily amongst the salads and fish, a hamburger and sweet potato fries were available.
Normally I'll just have ice water with dinner, but when I got to the soda fountain, I saw this and immediately went back to buy a soda cup. Snozzberries? Who ever heard of a snozzberry?
We are the music makers. And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Taste-wise, it was yummy. Can't quite put a finger on which berry it is, but it was a tasty berry soda. After I finished that glass, I went back and had a brown sugar root beer that was also quite good. Nice job from the Batch Craft Soda company.
Theresa also enjoyed her salmon plate with a huge side of lentils. I tried them as well and they were also good.
The doors to the Pantages opened at 5pm, and the doors closed at 6pm. When they're filming live, they want to allow plenty of time to get the auditorium set.
The four of us meandered around the lobby, seeing Ruston's co-workers and discussing future travel plans together (Shanghai Disneyland, I'm talking about you).
Inside the theater, no photos or videos are allowed while the show is going on, so you're not going to get too many more photos from me.
Ruston, you got us excellent seats!
Everything started at 6:30pm, and if rows weren't filled, we were directed to scoot towards the center of the theater to allow people standing by open seats.
Tom Schumacher, the president of the Disney Theatrical Group, and Jeff Calhoun, the director of Newsies, took the stage to give us brief history of the production, and introduce some notable guests there tonight. Alan Menken, who wrote the music for Newsies was in the audience, along with Bob Tzudiker and Noni White who wrote the Disney movie adaptation, Christopher Gattelli who choreographed Newsies, and more.
Finally they gave us the do's and don'ts of the night. First off was "we are recording this, not you!" Please put away your cameras and enjoy the night. You can watch it all again when it comes to theaters in 2017. Do make noise when appropriate. Laugh, clap, and cheer. Don't make noise, open candy, etc, which would distract from filming. And lastly, there might be portions that need to be re-done during filming (fortunately it didn't happen).
The first half was excellent! We then had a 15 minute intermission.
Theresa and I found the Newsies display in the lobby and grabbed a photo.
Back in our seats, we were given newspapers for us to crumple and throw into the air for a special shot the director wanted for the movie. I'm curious to see how it turns out.
I had a really good time tonight! I'm going to have that music stuck in my head for a while, I'm sure, and now I'll have to make it a point to watch the movie.
Exiting and heading back to the car, I took just a couple photos of the exterior.
Thank you Ruston for inviting us to join you for this awesome night!