The Five Star Theatre Company
Disney's Newsies JR.
Reading Memorial High School
William E. Endslow
Performing Arts Center
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Friday, July 22, 2022
Disney's Newsies JR. is a 60-minute version of the 2012 Broadway musical, based on the 1992 film. Inspired by the rousing true story of newsboys in turn-of-the-century New York City, Newsies, JR. features a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein.
When powerful newspaper publishers raise prices at the newsboys' expense, the charismatic Jack Kelly rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions. Together, the newsies learn that they are stronger united and create a movement to fight for what's right.
Including the now-classic songs "Carrying the Banner," "Seize the Day," and "Santa Fe," Newsies JR. is a timeless story full of spirit and heart.
Directed by William Endslow
Music Direction by Kristin Killian
Choreography by Nancy Stone
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Jack Feldman
Book by Harvey Fierstein
JR. Script Adaptation by David Simpatico
Based on the Disney film written by Bob Tzudiker and Noni White.
Presented with permission by MTI
Music Theatre International (MTI) is one of the world’s leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting theatres from around the world the rights to perform the greatest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond. Founded in 1952 by composer Frank Loesser and orchestrator Don Walker, MTI is a driving force in advancing musical theatre as a vibrant and engaging art form. MTI works directly with the composers, lyricists, and book writers of these musicals to provide official scripts, musical materials, and dynamic theatrical resources to over 70,000 professional, community, and school theatres in the US and in over 60 countries worldwide. MTI is particularly dedicated to educational theatre and has created special collections to meet the needs of various types of performers and audiences. MTI’s Broadway Junior® shows are 30- and 60-minute musicals for performance by elementary and middle school-aged performers, while MTI’s School Editions are musicals annotated for performance by high school students.
Disney's Newsies JR Show Synopisis
At dawn on a summer morning in 1899, Newsies - the young boys and girls of New York who peddle newspapers to Customers throughout the city - chaotically shout the daily headlines. Away from the others, Jack Kelly shares his dream for a better life out west with his best friend, Crutchie ("Santa Fe - Prologue"). Jack and Crutchie join the rest of the newsies in starting the day ("Carrying the Banner"). They gather at the New York World's distribution wagon, where they pick up their daily stacks of papers from Wiesel and his goons, Oscar and Morris Delancey. Jack offers to show the ropes to newcomers Davey and his kid sibling Les, and together they head out into the city ("Carrying the Banner - Reprise"). Meanwhile, Joseph Pulitzer, the publisher of the World, vows to fight declining circulation of the newspaper. He and his staff - Bunsen, Seitz, and Hannah - cook up an idea, but at the expense of the newsies. After completing a successful day of selling papes, Jack, Crutchie, Davey, and Les are chased suddenly by Snyder, the warden of The Refuge, until they find safety in Medda's theater. Medda Larkin welcomes Jack and his friends by offering her theater as a safe haven while they watch her perform with Ada, Olive, Ethel, and the rest of the Bowery Brigade ("Just a Pretty Face"). During the performance, Jack notices Katherine, a bright young reporter he had seen earlier that day. Jack offers his remarkable sketch of the performers to an impressed Katherine for use in her review. The next morning, the newsies are outraged to learn that Pulitzer has raised the price of newspapers. Prompted by Davey, the newsies decide to form a union and strike ("The World Will Know"). After a successful first day of striking, newly elected union leader Jack Kelly sends representatives to spread the word of their strike to newsies throughout New York City. Katherine begins writing what she hopes will be a front-page-worthy story about the strike ("Watch What Happens"). The next day, only a small group of newsies has gathered at Newsie Square to strike. Davey and Jack energize the newsies, successfully rejuvenating the movement ("Seize the Day - Parts 1 and 2"). Katherine and her photographer Darcy arrive just in time to snap a triumphant photo. Soon after, Snyder arrives with the police to break up the strikers. They haul Crutchie away to the dreaded Refuge. A defeated Jack once again longs for a new life away from all the pandemonium ("Santa Fe"). Meanwhile, unable to sleep at The Refuge, an optimistic Crutchie writes an encouraging letter to Jack ("Letter from The Refuge"). Bruised and battered, the newsies are about to lose hope. Fortunately, Katherine arrives with a copy of her front-page story about the strike, causing them to break out in celebration ("King of New York"). Later, Davey, Les, and Katherine find a disheartened Jack at Medda's theater, and try to convince him to return to the fight. After his refusal, the Delanceys sneak up behind Jack and drag him to Pulitzer's office to negotiate an end to the strike. Pulitzer reveals Katherine to be his daughter and offers a betrayed Jack a choice: get sent to The Refuge or renounce the strike and leave New York with pockets full of cash. The rest of the newsies from all across New York - even the intimidating Spot Conlon and the newsies of Brooklyn - gather at Medda's theater for the rally that Davey has planned ("Brooklyn's Here"). Jack arrives, having accepted Pulitzer's deal, and is booed off the stage when he encourages the newsies to call off the strike. Katherine refuses to let Jack give up, and they sneak into the World's cellar to print a paper that exposes the unfair treatment of the newsies with the help of Dorothy and Bill ("Seize the Day - Reprise"). The kids eagerly distribute the pamphlet to inspire working children all over the city to join the fight ("Once and for All"). The next morning, having read the Newsies Banner, Pulitzer is furious at the newsies' attempt to thwart him. However, after a tough negotiation, Jack convinces Pulitzer to compromise with the newsies: The price increase will remain, but publishers will buy back any unsold papers. The strike is over! The newsies rejoice as Governor Teddy Roosevelt congratulates Jack. Crutchie appears amid the celebration, followed by a handcuffed Snyder. Just as Jack is about to set out for Santa Fe, he realizes that the newsies are his family and, after all, those papes ain't gonna sell themselves ("Finale").