In the lead up to its one-year anniversary on Broadway March 29, Newsies is celebrating by offering the tickets distributed in its pre-show lottery for free for an entire week. Newsies is offering these free tickets as a thank you to the musical’s ardent fan base.
The lottery tickets, which will be for a limited number of orchestra seats, will be free of charge starting with the lotto for the evening performance on March 23 through the evening performance on March 29. The Newsies lottery begins accepting entries two and a half hours prior to each performance, with the actual drawing taking place two hours before the performance. One entry is accepted per person, and one person can have up to two tickets. A valid ID must be presented. The lottery is held at the show’s theater, the Nederlander Theatre, located at 208 W. 41st Street.
Newsies will also be celebrating its one-year Broadway anniversary on TV with an appearance on Good Morning America on April 1. The Newsies cast will do a special performance of “Carrying the Banner” in which they will perform the song as they walk from the Nederlander Theatre to GMA’s studio, located in Times Square.
TDF’s Autism Theater Initiative (ATI) has announced that it will be presenting autism-friendly performances of Broadway shows in the coming year. These performances will be performed in a supportive environment for an audience made up of children and adults on the autism spectrum, as well as their friends and family. The productions themselves may include slight adjustments, such as the reduction of jarring sounds or disturbing lighting effects (such as strobe lights). The lobby of the theater will have designated quiet areas and activity areas, where autism experts will be on hand if any audience members feel the need to leave the theater during the performance.
“When we piloted this program we had a sense that there was a large audience of families in need of this service,” said Executive Director of TDF, Victoria Bailey. “After the first performance it was clear that our presumption was true. Watching families experience live theatre together for the first time in an environment that was safe and supportive is a truly emotional and gratifying experience.”
Four Broadway shows are currently scheduled to present autism-friendly performances in 2013: Elf, the Musical on Saturday, January 5 at 2pm; Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark on Saturday, April 27 at 2pm; The Lion King and Newsies on Fall 2013 dates to be determined. Tickets for the Elf performance are already on sale at www.tdf.org/elf.
From the beginning, Smash, the NBC TV show about the creation of a Broadway musical, has employed many real-life Broadway stars. Christian Borle (a recent Tony Award winner for his role in Peter and the Starcatcher), Brian d’Arcy James (the man behind the big green costume in Broadway’s Shrek), Will Chase (Rent, Billy Elliot), and Meg Hilty (Wicked) are among the Broadway regulars that have populated the world of Smash, giving it a special air of authenticity for musical theater fans. The recent news that d’Arcy James and Chase won’t be series regular next year, though, made it seem that the show might be chipping away at the genuine Broadway babies.
Theater fans can relax — for now — though, since it appears that Smash is continuing its policy of hiring actual musical theater performers. One of the most recent cast additions in Jeremy Jordan, the break-out star of the 2011-2012 season for his roles in Bonnie & Clyde and Newsies. On Smash, Jordan is set to play a Brooklyn-born singer (perhaps borrowing some of the tough-guy, New York attitude that he is currently showing Broadway audiences in Newsies?).
And now there is news that Jennifer Hudson will be joining Smash. The former American Idol contestant wowed musical theater lovers in 2006 when she played Effie White in the film version of the Broadway hit Dreamgirls. Although Hudson has not actually starred in a Broadway production (her appearances on the Great White Way have been limited to a couple special benefit concerts), she will be playing a Broadway star named Veronica Moore in a multi-episode arc.
With any luck, Smash will be employing even more Broadway and musical theater talents in the future. Given that the TV show films in New York City, it creates the possibility for working Broadway performers to do both theater and television. Of course the extent to which they can do both may depend on how demanding their roles are and what the show’s shooting schedule is like. Jeremy Jordan, for instance, plans to continue playing his part in Newsies while also filming Smash. But Christian Borle, who has a starring role on Smash as a composer, will soon be departing Broadway’s Peter and the Starcatcher to begin filming.