Disney to Stream ‘Newsies’ Facebook Live Event

Disney will bring the singing and dancing paperboys of hit musical “Newsies” to Facebook Live next week, in the Mouse House’s biggest project to date taking advantage of the social giant’s live video capabilities.

The live performance of the show’s hit number “Santa Fe” will be broadcast from the actual city of Santa Fe, N.M., featuring current touring cast members Joey Barreiro (as Jack Kelly), Morgan Keene (Katherine), Andy Richardson (Crutchie) and Stephen Michael Langton (Davey). The event, starting at 4 p.m. Pacific on Monday, June 20, will be broadcast live on Disney’s Facebook page.

The Facebook Live broadcast will be produced by Disney Interactive Media, which has established a production team exclusively dedicated to producing broadcast-quality live video. The division has delivered Facebook Live content before, including red-carpet coverage and Q&As with stars of Disney movies (including one earlier this week with Bryce Dallas Howard, who stars in the upcoming film “Pete’s Dragon”). But the “Newsies” event marks DI Media’s first foray into creating a live, multi-cam musical production on social media.

“We wanted to do something that we feel hasn’t been done before, to create entertainment content for our fans on Facebook,” said Dan Reynolds, VP of content, social and programming at Disney Interactive Media.

Disney won’t be generating revenue directly from the “Newsies” broadcast, although Reynolds said it is partly designed to drive audiences to the theater. “The No. 1 priority is, ‘How do we use this platform as a new form of broadcast for entertainment?’”

For Facebook, driving up the amount of video content on the massive service has been a top priority. The company is even paying select partners and celebs to produce content for Facebook Live. In the case of “Newsies” broadcast, Disney is fully footing the bill. “It’s an example of the power and capability of the platform for the future,” Reynolds said. “We look at this as an investment.”

Why Facebook, instead of YouTube or other video platforms? Reynolds explained that Facebook is Disney’s top social platform by a long shot, with the main page garnering more than 50 million followers. “We have spent the last five years really building this network around the Disney brand, franchises and characters on Facebook,” he said.

The “Newsies” broadcast on Facebook Live will run about 20 minutes. It will be staged at in front of Santa Fe’s Inn and Spa at Loretto, which has “an iconic adobe New Mexico feel,” Reynolds said.

The show isn’t actually making a stop in Santa Fe, however. The Facebook Live event is timed for the show’s debut in Albuquerque, N.M., where it opens June 21.

The show, based on the 1992 film starring Christian Bale, has attained a cult following among millennials. “Newsies” was Disney’s most-requested show (prior to “Frozen”), according to Jack Eldon, VP of domestic touring and regional engagements for Disney Theatrical.

“‘Newsies’ has surprised us at every turn,” Eldon said. “Because of the demo who love this as their favorite movie, it’s been very active on social.”

The Tony-winning stage musical has been touring since the fall of 2014, and will conclude its national run Oct. 2 in Austin, Texas. Starting in 2017, “Newsies” will be produced through licensing agreements with regional theaters. The show’s music is by Alan Menken with lyrics by Jack Feldman and book by Harvey Fierstein.

Disney Interactive Media, which sits in the Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media group formed last year,  creates content for about 250 properties across the Walt Disney Co. The Mouse House’s social channels have an aggregate of 1.15 billion followers across Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Tumblr.

From Variety

D23 Announces 2016 Event Schedule


In 2016, D23 will expand member events with more experiences on the East Coast and new twists on current favorites.*

D23 Behind-the-Scenes Experiences

In 2015, D23 Members had the opportunity to explore hidden Disney gems—such as the Animation Research Library—while hearing stories from Disney luminaries such as Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith and animator Andreas Deja. In 2016, D23 will bring back this popular event with incredible guests and new locations, while adding even more surprises and a special gift.

Special Screenings on the Disney Studio Lot and at Walt Disney World Resort

 In 2016, D23 will once again offer special screenings on both coasts of Disney favorites including Alice in WonderlandFinding Nemo, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Plus, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Reluctant Dragon, D23 will hold a special screening event on the Studio lot including special guests, picture spots, and more surprises.

D23’s Lunch With a Disney Legend

 Following a year that included exclusive luncheons with such luminaries as former Imagineer Orlando Ferrante and voice actress Kathryn Beaumont, D23 will be bringing back the popular event series on the Walt Disney Studios lot, as well as adding events on the East Coast. The first event will be at Walt Disney World Resort with Disney Legend Charlie Ridgway, who helped open Walt Disney World, Epcot Center, and Disneyland Paris.

D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives

 D23 Gold Member-exclusive tours of the historic Studio lot and Walt Disney Archives in Burbank return, highlighting historic moments from Disney film, television, and theme parks—and in 2016 we will be enhancing the experience with a very special new location to be announced soon.

Advance Screenings

This year, D23 Members were able to attend previews of Cinderella and Inside Out in cities such as New York, Orlando, Chicago, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Next year, in partnership with The Walt Disney Studios, D23 will screen a selection of upcoming releases. And for those guests who may not live in the cities where movies are screened, D23 Gold Members across the country will be selected at random to receive complimentary movie passes, which will be included in issues of Disney twenty-three, D23’s quarterly publication.

D23 Member Nights at Newsies—On Tour

 Disney fans are cheering for the Tony® Award-winning Newsies, now on tour. In 2016, guests in Salt Lake City, Portland, and other cities around the country are invited to see the show with premium seats on special nights and a talk-back with the cast following the show.

Member Mixers Around the Country

After giving members a peek at the reimagined Disney Stores in Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, and Kentucky, in 2016, Disney Store will once again invite D23 Members for exclusive mornings of shopping, discounts, games, and goodies. Also this past year, D23 held mixers including Breakfast on Broadway in New York and Never Had a Friend Like D23 events to celebrate Aladdin in Phoenix, Sacramento, and Seattle. Look for more mixers in cities around the country in 2016.

Mickey’s of Glendale

The Walt Disney Imagineering employee store will once again offer shopping opportunities to D23 Gold Members at Walt Disney World Resort and in Southern California. Guests will be able to peruse collectibles and pick up official Imagineering merchandise. Dates to be announced in 2016.

D23 Disney Fanniversary Celebration—Beauty and the Beast

Following D23’s first “Home Edition” of Fanniversary, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Lady and the Tramp, D23 in 2016 will bring fans around the world unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the spectacular, Academy Award®-winning animated feature Beauty and the Beast, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year.

 Signature Events

Look for the return of some favorites, including Sip & Scream (a Halloween twist on D23’s Sip & Stroll event at Walt Disney World in the fall), as well as special holiday events on both the East and West Coasts. More details will be announced in 2016.

The following is the full even schedule as it currently stands:

January 29
D23 Behind-the-Scenes Experience
Burbank, California

February 20
Alice in Wonderland
Burbank, California

March 18
Lunch with a Disney Legend: Charlie Ridgway
Walt Disney World Resort

March 19
Alice in Wonderland
Walt Disney World Resort

April 8
Lunch with a Disney Legend
Burbank, California

April 9
D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives
Burbank, California

April 20
D23 Member Night at Newsies—On Tour
Portland, Oregon

May 21
Finding Nemo
Walt Disney World Resort

June 4
Finding Nemo
Burbank, California

June 8
D23 Member Night at Newsies—On Tour
Salt Lake City, Utah

June 25
D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives
Burbank, California

July 18
D23 Behind-the-Scenes Experience
Burbank, California

August 20
The Reluctant Dragon 75th anniversary screening event
Burbank, California

September 23
Lunch with a Disney Legend
Walt Disney World Resort

September 24:
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Walt Disney World Resort

D23 Disney Fanniversary Celebration: Beauty and the Beast
(More information coming in 2016)

October 8
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Burbank, California

October 22
Sip & Scream
Walt Disney World Resort

November 18
Lunch with a Disney Legend
Burbank, California

November 19
D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives
Burbank, California

*All events and dates are subject to change.

Casting Announced for North American Tour of Disney’s Newsies


Disney Theatrical Productions is pleased to announce full casting for the eagerly anticipated North American tour of Broadway’s Tony® Award-winning smash hit musical, Disney’s Newsies. Rehearsals began on Wednesday, September 3 in New York City in preparation for the first performance on Saturday, October 11 in Schenectady, New York, at Proctors. During its first year of touring in the 2014–15 season, the production will play 25 cities, over 43 weeks.

The production features Dan DeLuca as Jack Kelly, Steve Blanchard as Joseph Pulitzer, Stephanie Styles as Katherine, Angela Grovey as Medda Larkin, Jacob Kemp as Davey, Zachary Sayle as Crutchie, and Vincent Crocilla and Anthony Rosenthal alternating the role of Les.

Rounding out the cast are Mark Aldrich, Josh Assor, Evan Autio, Bill Bateman, Joshua Michael Burrage, Kevin Carolan, DeMarius Copes, Benjamin Cook, Julian DeGuzman, Nico De Jesus, Sky Flaherty, Steve Greenstein, Jon Hacker, Jeff Heimbrock, Stephen Hernandez, James Judy, Meredith Inglesby, Eric John Mahlum, Ginna Claire Mason, Michael Ryan, Jordan Samuels, Jack Sippel, Melissa Steadman Hart, Andrew Wilson and Chaz Wolcott.

Newsies, the new American musical, features a Tony Award-winning score with music by eight-time Academy Award® winner Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman, a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein and is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions. Newsies is directed by Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun and choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, who won a 2012 Tony Award for his work. The entire creative team is reuniting to bring the breakout, smash musical to audiences across North America.

Newsies to End it’s Unexpected Broadway Run


After a 2½ year run that defied initial expectations to become the fastest-recouping show in Disney Theatrical’s history, Newsies will conclude its Broadway stay on Aug. 24 before embarking on a national tour.

The decision comes as something of a surprise given that the show continues to play to 85 to 95 percent capacity houses at the Nederlander Theatre, and has been in profit since earning back its initial $5 million investment in record time just nine months after opening.

However, unlike other producers who tend to stick it out as long as possible, Disney has a history of shuttering productions like Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast before any anticipated decline in box office has time to set in.

With a little north of $100 million in grosses and admissions of just over 1 million to date, Newsies is small potatoes compared to Disney’s unstoppable behemoth The Lion King, which last year was the top-selling show on Broadway and the first in history to cross the $1 billion box office threshold. But the success ofNewsies is remarkable nonetheless, given the modest original ambitions of the production.

Retooled out of the 1992 Kenny Ortega film that starred a youngChristian Bale, the show was developed in response to numerous licensing requests and was intended as a vehicle for nonprofessional productions. While the movie was a costly flop in theaters, it later built up a devoted following in Disney Channel showings and as a home-entertainment title.

Enthusiastic critical and commercial response to the stage show’s pilot run at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011 prompted Disney to try a limited 13-week Broadway engagement. Brisk early box office around the New York opening in March 2012 dictated an immediate extension, and then a subsequent switch to an open-ended run.

“From our first performance, we have been humbled by the spontaneous and genuine outpouring of affection from fans and the theater community alike,” said Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions.

Newsies won two Tony Awards in 2012, for the score by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Jack Feldman, and for Christopher Gattelli’s athletic choreography. Adapted for the stage by book writerHarvey Fierstein and directed by Jeff Calhoun, the show supplements the handful of anthemic tunes from the movie with seven new songs.

Inspired by the New York City newsboys strike of 1899, the musical pits a scrappy band of orphans and runaways against such publishing titans of the era as Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst in demanding a fair deal.

The Broadway production will have played 1,005 performances by the time it closes this summer. That makes it the second-longest run in the Nederlander Theatre’s 93-year history, bested only by Rent.

The national tour kicks off in October and is scheduled for 25 cities over 43 weeks during the 2014-15 season. That includes a Los Angeles leg, running March 24 through April 19, 2015, at the Hollywood Pantages.

Disney continues to be represented on Broadway by The Lion King, now in its 17th year, and Aladdin, which opened in March and has been doing stellar business of more than $1 million a week. The latter show earned a Tony this year for featured actor James Monroe Iglehart’s scene-stealing performance as the Genie.

Newsies Celebrates Second Anniversary on Broadway


Newsies, the Tony Award-winning musical based on the Disney feature film, celebrated two years on Broadway on Saturday, March 29, at the Nederlander Theatre in New York. The musical was originally announced for 101 performances in 2012, and is now approaching its 900th performance.Newsies, which embarks upon a national tour in Fall 2014, won Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Score and Choreography.

%d bloggers like this: