Well, the moment we've been dreading has arrived: Yesterday, Newsies ended its Broadway run, after its 1,005th show. Of course, this isn't the show's true ending(!), Newsies kicks off its national tour this October. Still, the closing was an incredible event. I was fortunate enough to be in the audience at the Nederlander Theater, and while the afternoon ended on a teary note, the show couldn't have gone out with a bigger bang. Here are just a few of the ingredients that helped make the final performance so spectacular:
5. The fans. Newsies held a lottery for a limited number of tickets to the final show. This is how many #Fansies showed up:
4. Sitting with celebs. To quote an awestruck (and totally correct) girl sitting behind me, I got to "share the same breathing air" with former Newsies dancers—including Alex Wong, Ryan Steele, JP Ferreri, Mike Faist, Ryan Breslin and Jess LeProtto. Oh, and also director Jeff Calhoun and choreographer Christopher Gattelli.
3. The dancers' energy. It's been a long time since I've seen so many dancers on one stage give as much love to the choreography as the guys did yesterday. Every battement was 180-degrees. Every back flip went soaring.
Every split jump by every dancer literally looked like this:
Iain Young (photo by Matthew Murphy)
Which brings me to number 2...
2. The standing ovations. The audience (starting with my crew in rows D–F) leapt to its feet after every deserving number—which, of course, was all of them. The energy in the theater was buzzing.
1. The final curtain call. There was not a dry eye in the house—or onstage. It was heart wrenching—and heart warming!—to watch Newsies come to a close, especially since many members of the current cast had been part of it since day one. (I'm looking at you, Aaron Albano!) And after the final bow by Corey Cott (you know him as Jack Kelly), the creative team also walked onstage to take a bow, and everyone totally lost it.
Take a look at the last dance number and curtain call, and I dare you not to tear up, too:
The Newsies boys will be seizing the day in 25 cities across the U.S. (photo Matthew Murphy)
Today brings both good and bad news. Go grab a tissue, because the bad news is first.
Got one? OK. This just in: Newsies is closing. In two months. After a final show on August 24, the Disney musical extravaganza will leave it's home at the Nederlander Theater on Broadway, meaning there are only 72 performances left.
Ready for some good news? The 2-year-old show isn't gone for good. Newsies will embark on a 25-city national tour, beginning this October in Schenectady, NY. As of now, the tour plans to finish next August in Toronto. But when Newsies opened on Broadway back in 2012, it was only scheduled to have 101 performances. By August 24, 2014, it will have exceeded that number by 904 shows—and 904 standing ovations. Something tells me this musical isn't going away quietly in a year.
For now, the on-sale date for Newsies tour tickets hasn't been announced. But click here to see if the show is coming to a city near you, and sign up to get emailed ticket alerts.