Newsies the Musical From Screen to Broadway Stage The Behind the Scene Journey with Movie/TV Star David Sidoni. Will this story of hope and honor inspired by a true story of Joseph Pulitzer win a Pulitzer?
When Newsises hit the big Screen in 1992 every theatre lover assumed this brilliant Musical would go straight to a Broadway stage. But no one knew it was waiting a few decades and for the economy to inspire the revamping of this magical musical that brings hope, love and honor to all.
Based on the 1899 true story of news paper boys fighting for justice from newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer who was a crusader against big business and corruption. Joseph fought for mass circulation newspapers that depended on advertisement and is best known for establishing the Pulitzer. Joseph engaged editors in a library’s chess room and was offered a job and in just a few years a controlling interest in the paper. His editorial choices and subscriptions raised monies to build the pedistal for Statue of Liberty.
Would it not be ironic that Newsies The Musical could win the Pulitzer… sharing the stroy of “honor” through “best journalism” in the form of a Musical. Theatre Chat embraces this idea of sharing arts news to the masses through new technologies like smart phones, social media and facebook. You as the reader can share live theatre productions that inspire hope, love and honor for all internatinally just by sharing the link to this article.
David Sidoni – known for his prolific dance jump Newsies screenshot taken 20 years ago “jumping in air”.used for promoting Disney’s smash musical movie hit Newsies leaves us more inspired today as we hear breaking news of Newsies making it’s way to Broadway. Newsies may be occupying wall street in ticket sales for a longer run than producers expect.
An origional Newsies- Movie Cast members or the first “Occupy Broadway’s Wall Street” musical story. David remembers the audition process and the heart warming moments on the set and why Newsies will work today in this economy and could win a Pulitzer.
Below is the journey with the prolific dancer in that Newsies promo shot. The talented David Sidoni gives the inside Theatre Chat scoop for Theatre Chat lovers who can’t wait to see Newsies hit the stands or stage.
David most Theatre Chat lovers will remember you from Disney TV Show…. Did Newsies help get you that role? “I had a lot of Disney cross over in my life, but none of it was connected. I worked as a live performer at Disneyland in high school, then I did Newsies when I was 21 (1991), and the TV show was called “Mad Libs” in 1998, none of them related at all. Newsies propelled my career by getting me an agent. I actually cattle called the audition to get the role, and in a rehearsal one day, all the big dance agents in LA showed up to support their clients, and a couple of them asked each other who I was and when did they sign me – and then I was the luckiest kid in LA having dance agents fight over signing me.”
What did you know of Joseph Pulitzer when filming? “I really was big into history in high school and beyond, so I was very aware of Pulitzer and Robber Barons that helped shape our country. I knew of his immense political influence, and his ability to buy power and influence the masses. The parallels to our modern system do not make me happy. Are the lobbyists of today a collective acting as modern Pulitzer? Perhaps we should get them all together and sing and dance a few numbers for them.”
How did you audition for the movie Newsies and what moments from the audition made you sure you were going to be in a smash new musical Movie? “The first cattle call was in Drama-Logue (yeah, that’s how long ago it was) and it was for singers and dancers at Debbie Reynolds in North Hollywood. I drove up from Orange County and freaked out to see a thousand boys trying to park their cars and stand in a huge line. It was insane. In a crazy twist of fate, somehow I ended up in line with Dominic Lucero and Kevin Stea, both featured in the film. Little did I know these friends were two of the TOP dancers in LA. Dominic was Paula’s Abdul’s #1 dancer, and Kevin had been touring and filming with Madonna. Back then being a “video-boy” for a top pop star was like being a So You Think You Can Dance winner on steroids. These guys were the “it boys” for dancers.
Well, guess who got stuck dancing right between these two…the theater dork from Orange County.” “Lucky for me, the moves were athletic enough that my style, or lack thereof, worked enough to get to me to a callback. There were several, including singing and acting, and a few weeks later I got the call. As for knowing anything about what I was getting into during the auditions. Not a clue. I was star struck and nervous and just trying to stay focused on doing a good job.”
Did you know the effect it had on people at the time and how is it simular to today. “Over the years, I have learned about the effect it has on folks. Throughout my career I have had people come up to me and mention the film. Years and years later, I have folks hunt me down in Newsies caps for a photo and then they blog about it. Amazing considering that when we made it there was no internet and the bloggers weren’t even born yet.”
“As for the similarities to the Occupy movement. I am sort of a history buff, so I am very careful to make comparisons just because it’s a hot button topic today. The Newsies story was only one of many children’s labor stories at the turn of the century. The child labor laws that resulted from the “movement” were the end of the sweatshop era. A breakthrough in American history laying the ground work for a strict public education push, and bringing the blue collar kids to the classrooms and out of the factories. Yes, this was a protest against corporations and how they divided labor, but ultimately it was a about a change in our culture and how we would handle the industrial revolution.”
Will you go se the show on Broadway? What are you looking forward to seeing what songs or scences.. bring back memories for you..? “As I mentioned, there is a big following of the film Newsies. Twenty years has created a lot of buzz, and of one of our big time fans set up a “Fansies” day at the Papermill Playhouse off-Broadway run. Kenny Ortega, our director, David Moscow (David in the film), and a few others flew out to see the show. I took my wife and son and had an amazing time. When we arrived, they had set up a meet and greet with the “Fansies” and it was beyond overwhelming. A crush of fans with t-shirts and with pictures of us, Newsies caps, DVDs to sign. It was insane.”
“I got to meet a lot of the cast and reunite with some old friends. After the show my 5 year old son ended haging out with a fully grown man version of Luke Edwards, Les in the film. It was surreal. got to meet. As for the show it was great. The set was awesome, choreography was athletic and well staged. The songs were great and well crafted. It captured the joy and energy of the Newsies. And as cliché as it sound Newsies is a feel good show.”
Do you think a love intrest will help the screen to stage choice? “Yes. In the version I saw (because I know they may tweak it before they open on Broadway, it worked. Jack has a lot more to keep him from going to “Sante Fe”.”
If you could play any role what would it be. “Jack In Newsies, I’d love to paly Jack of course- otherwise I have two favorite musical theatre roles- Huck Finn in Big River and Action in West Side Story, which you’ve seen… ;
What is your favorite song or scene? Well, “King of New York” is the obvious answer. dancing on table and swinging on the fans.. c’mon, you can’t beat that. But I love the opening number, Carring the Banner. Originally we shot or were going to shoot (this is 20 years ago remember) like an eight minute opening number running all through the streets of New York. It was like old-time MGM musical BIG. But the studio cut it to just the tune.”
You had to be in amazing shape the shot of you juping 10 feet in the air sold tickets to the movie.. are you still dancing? “Yeah. I look back at the video and the still shots and remember how lucky I was the Newsies came around at the perfect time for me physically. I had been a soccer player all my life, and only training as a dancer for about 2 years when the audition came up. Barrel rolls were great for “jumpers” like me to look like I was trained. As for dancing now, I occasionally teach master classes for musical theater, and I recently tried my first back flip in 10 years. Nailed it!”
Did Newsies change your life? “Absolutely. When people talk about their big break, this really was mine. After the film, I signed with an agent, who sent me on a Pepsi commercial call, which I shot with the choreographer for Michael Jackson, who then cast me in Michael’s “Black or White” video…and then it was off to the races.”
David what is your favorite Broadway Show of all time? Ridiculously tough question, as I am a huge MTG (Musical Theater Geek). Big River, WWS, Les Mis, Little Shop, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and anything my friends are in.
What message do you hope Theatre Chat lovers will take home that the movie did? Before I did this movie, one of my favorite movies was “Dead Poets Society” and I’ll never forget balling my eyes out when the boys stood on their desks. O captain, my captain. The scene where Robin Williams says something to the effect of “Banking, business, law – these are all noble professions and a fine way to make a living; but love, art, music, poetry – this is what we live for.” That really stuck with me, and I started to use the Movie’s theme as my personal motto. Carpe Diem. “Seize the Day”. It’s what made me pursue my love of theater. I saw Cats at 14 and then saw this movie, and then I quit soccer to join the High School of the Arts. Carpe Diem changed my life direction, and it’s been the best.
NEWSIES played to sold out perfromances from September – October 2011 at Paper Mill Playhouse. The reviews hit the front page and now news of the five million dollar production will play a limited 101 performance run at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre located at 208 W 41st Street. The box Office opens January 31, 2012. Previews on March 15, 2012 and Opening Night is scheduled for March 29, 2012 closing on June 10, 2012.
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions the score by Academy Award® winner Alan Menken ( Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Sister Act). Book by Jack Feldman and four-time Tony® Award winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy). Directed by Tony nominee Jeff Calhoun (Big River revival) and choreographed by Tony nominee Christopher Gattelli (South Pacific revival). BONNIE & CLYDE’S Star Jeremy Jordan who played the lead in Newsies at Papermill Playhouse is back to play the lead on Broadway.
David Sidoni’s Bio: Sidoni is an energetic and knowledgeable performer and personality, with a unique and diverse background; including professional experience in live musical theater, emcee work for spectacular live events worldwide, feature film musicals, music videos, television and film acting, and hosting for television (live and taped).
David began his career singing and dancing his way through a featured role in the Disney musical “Newsies”. He can also be seen dancing in Michael Jackson’s music video “Black or White”. Next, was a long stint as a series regular singing, dancing, and acting on Nickelodeon’s incredibly popular hip-hop sketch comedy show “Roundhouse”. His other credits include hosting a number of different television shows like “Bing” and “U to U on the Road”, and “Mad Libs” on the Disney Channel. David has also appeared on Game Show Network hosting the teen version of the most popular game show ever, “Wheel of Fortune 2000”.
David tell our readers to “Go see my good friend Lindsey Mendez tear it up in Godspell! And of course don’t miss Newsies, even if you didn’t like the film, I think the stage production of Newsies is a classic Broadway musical that all theater lovers will enjoy. In the battle for the perfect rock opera/Wicked reinvented, this is a new show (not a revival), with an old Broadway feel. Classic fun.” David Sidoni is now the top relator for the stars please visit www.sidoniupdate.com for theater lovers who want to know about the Southern California real estate market.
Richard Cameron of Theatre Chat thanks our long time dear friend David Sidoni and Disney Theatrical Productions and our good friend David Sidoni for sharing this important journey of hope, love and honor – Newsies.
Cameron’s articles have featured conversations with Tony Award winning Producer Stewart Lane, Emmy Award winning Casting Director Jeff Greenberg, multiple Broadway and TV stars and creative teams bringing arts lovers together around the world for the largest social media arts movement. Tag You’re it! Share with your communities.