If there were any doubts that the long-under-used National Theatre is back in the hunt for sought-after fare, the news that it will serve as the local stop for the national tour of Broadway’s “Newsies the Musical” should put them to rest.
Disney Theatrical Productions announced preliminary plans Wednesday for a national tour of the popular Broadway show, based on a 1992 Disney movie, that will begin in October in Schenectady, N.Y., and then travel to Philadelphia and 24 other cities during the 2014-15 season. Those cities include Washington, where “Newsies” will play for an as-yet-undisclosed number of performances in the spring of 2015.
The National, which is under new management, is currently home to the Broadway tryout of “If/Then” starring Idina Menzel and written by the team behind the Pulitzer-winning “Next to Normal.” Later this year, the theater will be host to the tour of the Tony-winning revival of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess.”
“Newsies,” with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and a book by Harvey Fierstein, opened on Broadway in March 2012 to mixed reviews but has been Disney’s biggest stage success with audiences in years. It has played 674 performances at the Nederlander Theatre.