Special FeaturesWhere Are They Now?: The Original Broadway Cast of Disney‘s NewsiesNewsies launched the careers of several Broadway favorites but where have all the citizens of New York landed?
March 29, 2021
On March 29, 2012, one of Disney and Broadway‘s biggest hits officially opened at the Nederlander Theatre: Newsies. Based on the 1992 film starring a young Christian Bale, the stage adaptation saw high-flying choreography, giant musical numbers, and an ensemble of triple threats. After newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer (John Dossett) hikes up the prices for his papers, Jack Kelly (Jeremy Jordan) rallies his fellow newsboys in an attempt to protest the change, though he falls in love with a young writer Katherine (Kara Lindsay) along the way.
The production was nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning two: Christopher Gattelli for Best Choreography and lyricist Jack Feldman and composer Alan Menken for Best Original Score.
After 1,004 performances, the musical closed on August 24, 2014. However, in 2016, some of the show’s original cast came together to film Disney’s Newsies the Broadway Musical, a theatrical release of the production filmed live onstage. The recording was released in February of 2017 to a massive reception, leading to multiple re-releases and an eventual home on Disney+.
Nine years later, original company members continue to build their résumés in film, television, and, of course, theatre.
Jeremy Jordan, Jack Kelly Before belting out “Santa Fe,” Jordan had made his Broadway debut as the male swing in Rock of Ages, thenplayed Tony in the 2009 revival of West Side Story and Clyde Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde. The success of Newsies made Jordan a household name. In the same year the show opened, Jordan appeared alongside Keke Palmer, Dolly Parton, and Queen Latifah in Joyful Noise, kicking off an illustrious screen career. His performance as Jack Kelly earned him his 2012 Tony nod. After leaving Newsies, he went on to play Jimmy Collins in the second season of NBC’s Smash. In 2014, he starred in the film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years as Jamie Wellerstein opposite Anna Kendrick’s Cathy Hiatt. Jordan reprised his role as Jack Kelly in the 2017 captured release of the musical before heading back to TV as Winn Schott in The Flash and Supergirl. He returned to Broadway in 2018’s American Son, alongside Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale, and Eugene Lee. In 2019, Jordan played a stint as Dr. Pomatter in Waitress opposite Shoshana Bean as Jenna. That same year, Jordan and his wife Ashley Spencer welcomed their first child, Clara Eloise Jordan. The star was meant to step into the role of Seymour Krelborn in the Off-Broadway revival of Little Shop of Horrors before the pandemic shuttered theatres.
Kara Lindsay, Katherine Plumber Newsies marked Kara Lindsay’s Broadway debut, and after leaving the show in 2014, she went on to join the national tour of Wicked as Glinda. In December of that year, Lindsay joined the Broadway production through January of 2016, solidifying her status as a fan favorite in the long-running musical. She left the show briefly to pursue other projects, including the filming of Newsies in September 2016, before returning to Oz in November of that year. That run lasted until July 2017, when she left the show to join the cast of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical as Cynthia Weil. Lindsay has made multiple stints in the bio-musical, even leaving briefly in 2018 to rejoin the Wicked cast on tour, before officially returning once again to Beautiful. In 2019, the star and her husband Kevin Massey welcomed their first child.
Ben Fankhauser, Davey Since his acclaimed performance as Davey in Newsies, Fankhauser has become a Feinstein’s/54 Below regular, featured in numerous of the club’s famous concerts and cabarets. In 2015, he performed in the 120-person chorus of Andrew Lippa’s I Am Harvey Milk at Lincoln Center. He also appeared in the web series Lanky Scoliosis. In September of 2015, Fankhauser originated the role of Barry Mann on the national tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and stayed on tour for two years. The performer has also appeared on Joey Contreras‘ album Young Kind of Love, and celebrated the singer-songwriter at his Green Room 42 concert earlier this year. Fankhauser originated the role of Steve in the world premiere production of The Flamingo Kid in May 2019 and played Frank Wyman in the 2020 New York City Center Encores! production of Mack & Mabel.
John Dossett, Joseph Pulitzer Prior to his run in Newsies, Dossett appeared in numerous Broadway shows, including Ragtime as Father, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as Judge Thatcher, and Mamma Mia! as Sam to name a few, and already had a Tony nomination under his belt for his performance as Herbie in the 2003 revival of Gypsy. In 2014, Dossett joined the cast of Pippin, taking over the role of Charles. The following year, he took over as the fast-talking, charming Billy Flynn in Chicago. He also performed alongside Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole in 2017’s War Paint. Dossett has also pursued a career in screen acting, making appearances in 2018 episodes of Instinct, Madam Secretary, and Elementary. He’s also performed in regional productions of Sylvia, Grand Hotel, and the Huey Lewis and the News musical, The Heart of Rock & Roll.
Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Crutchie Andrew Keenan-Bolger was no stranger to Broadway by the time he brought Crutchie to the stage in 2012. He performed as Jojo in the original cast of Seussical, Chip in Beauty and the Beast, and Robertson Ay in Mary Poppins. After leaving Newsies in 2013, he appeared on TV shows such as Looking, It Could Be Worse, Nurse Jackie, and a recurring role as Andrew in the web series The Battery’s Down. He was also featured in the 2014 romantic comedy The Rewrite. In 2015, Keenan-Bolger performed in the ensemble of the world premiere of Ever After, based on the film starring Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston, at the Paper Mill Playhouse. He returned to Broadway in his first leading role as as Jesse Tuck in 2016 with the new musical Tuck Everlasting, based on the Natalie Babbitt 1975 novel. Keenan-Bolger returned to Crutchie in the 2017 theatrical release of Newsies. He has performed in numerous concerts and cabarets, including BC/EFA‘s annual Broadway Backwards concert. (Check it out here). In 2019, the star played Seymour in Cape Playhouse's Little Shop of Horrors.
Lewis Grosso, Les After the newsies took their final bow, Grosso continued to work in television on shows like Debra Messing’s crime dramedy, The Mysteries of Laura and in the 2016 film, Better Off Single, starring Aaron Tveit and Abby Elliott.
Matthew Schechter, Les Schechter, on the other hand, stuck with theatre following his Newsies departure, appearing in 2013’s Richard III and 2014’s Act One. He also appeared in a 2015 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and was most recently seen on TV’s Elementary.
Capathia Jenkins, Medda Larkin Newsies was Jenkins’ fifth Broadway show. She had previously appeared in The Civil War, The Look of Love, Caroline, or Change, and Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. In 2015, she played the role of Dorothy’s mother in NBC’s The Wiz Live!. Jenkins has long been a concert performer, singing with orchestras around the world including the Cleveland Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony (with Marvin Hamlisch), National Symphony, and Hong Kong Symphany. Jenkins is an activist and serves on the Board of Directors of the Covenant House; she is one of the founders of the annual Broadway Sleep Out. More recently, she co-founded Black Theatre United.
Ephraim Sykes, Mush The 2019 Tony-nominee was a newsie! Though he made his debut in The Little Mermaid and understudied Gator in Memphis, his rise to fame came after the Disney musical. After the Newsies, Sykes joined the cast of Motown: The Musical. In 2016, Sykes starred opposite Ariana Grande in Hairspray Live! as Seaweed J. Stubbs and returned to the stage in the smash hit musical Hamilton as George Eacker and the understudy Hercules Mulligan/James Madison. He has appeared on TV shows like Luke Cage and Crisis in Six Scenes and in The Bobby Brown Story as Keith Sweat. Sykes was last seen on Broadway in Ain't Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations, in which he played David Ruffin. Up next, he'll star in MJ the Musical, currently eyeing a fall 2021 bow.
Mike Faist, Morris Delancey The Dear Evan Hansen Tony nominee made his Broadway debut in Newsies. He played Morris Delancey, but also understudied the lead role of Jack Kelly. Faist then participated in a 2014 workshop of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Alice By Heart with Phillipa Soo and Riley Costello. In 2015, he appeared in Classic Stage Company's A Month in the Country with Zachary Quinto, Taylor Schilling, and Peter Dinklage. Faist originated the role of Connor Murphy in Dear Evan Hansen beginning in Washington, D.C., and continued with the role to Off-Broadway’s Second Stage and then to the Main Stem. His portrayal of the troubled teen earned him a Tony nomination in 2017. He left the show in May 2018, going on to star in Days of Rage Off-Broadway, written by DEH scribe Steve Levenson. Up next, Faist will be seen on the big screen in Steven Spielberg's upcoming West Side Story film remake as Riff, the leader of the Jets. This won't be the first time Faist has been seen onscreen. He's appeared in TV shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Deception and films like Active Adults and Wildling.
Aaron J. Albano, Finch By the time Albano bowed in Newsies, he was already an alum of Bombay Dreams, Wicked, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, A Chorus Line, and Mary Poppins. After the show closed, he was in the cast of the 2015 revival of The King and I and served as the show’s assistant dance captain; he eventually replaced as Simon of Legree in the show’s famous Uncle Tom’s Cabin ballet. Later that year, he performed in the ensemble of Broadway’s Allegiance before joining the cast of 2016’s Cats as Skimbleshanks. In 2019, Albano joined the cast of the Hamilton national tour as Samuel Seabury.
Tommy Bracco, Spot Conlon Newsies marked this Broadway favorite’s debut! He went on to perform in numerous concerts and reunions with his fellow newsies following the show’s closing and rejoined the cast in the theatrical release of the musical. In November 2018, he performed in New York City Center’s A Chorus Line as Mike. In 2019,Bracco played Giulio, the endearing young bellhop in Pretty Woman: The Musical. He also made an appearance as a dancer in the Rebel Wilson comedy Isn’t It Romantic?, which was choreographed by Newsies choreographer Gattelli. Most recently, the star became a fan favorite in Season 21 of Big Brother, on which his placed fifth.
Newsies was only Adlrich’s second Broadway show. After the show closed on Broadway, he joined the national tour of the show and stayed with it until his final performance in 2016. By the time he rejoined the cast for the 2017 film, director Jeff Calhoun announced that Aldrich had performed in Newsies more than any other performer: 1,548 shows. In 2017 and 2018, Aldrich appeared on TV shows Bull, The Americans, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. In November 2018, he joined the cast of My Fair Lady on Broadway and continued with the national tour when it launched the following year.
Ryan Breslin, Race Newsies marked Breslin’s debut and launched his Broadway career. After playing a paper boy, Breslin replaced in the ensemble of The Book of Mormon on Broadway. He appeared in the 2016 film Hail, Caesar! as a dancer; the film was choreographed by Newsies choreographer Christopher Gattelli. Ryan later appeared in the ensemble of the original Broadway cast of 2017's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where he also understudied Mike Teavee. Breslin most recently appeared in the original Broadway company of the Tony-nominated Best Musical Beetlejuice.
Kevin Carolan, Governor Roosevelt Carolan originated the role of Theodore Roosevelt, in his gubernatorial days, in Newsies and returned to the show both for the 2014 national tour and the 2017 theatrical release. Most recently, he played Tom Clancy alongside Melissa McCarthy in the feature film Can You Ever Forgive Me?. Most recently, he toured the country with the cast of Come From Away as Claude and others.
Kyle Coffman, Henry Coffman made his Broadway debut in the 2009 revival of West Side Story before he became a newsie. After leaving the show in September 2012, he performed in the ensemble of the 2012 revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood. He will be seen as one of the Jets ensemble in the upcoming West Side Story remake.
Julie Foldesi, Ensemble Before Newsies, Foldesi had already appeared in three Broadway shows. But she added to her Broadway résumé with the 2017 revival of Sunday in the Park with George. In the summer of 2018, she performed in Little Orphan Danny as part of the Powerhouse season at Vassar College. Foldesi has also been focusing more on a music career, touring the New York area with her band.
Garett Hawe, Albert Hawe made his debut as a replacement for Neleus in Mary Poppins in 2011. After Newsies, he toured with the 2013 national tour of Hello, Dolly! as Barnaby Tucker before joining the Broadway cast of Matilda: the Musical in the ensemble in 2014. In 2018, he performed in the ensemble of Carousel. He is currently back on tour with Hello, Dolly!, the tour of the 2017 revival production, this time as Ambrose Kemper. Hawe will be appearing in the upcoming West Side Story film in the Jets ensemble.
Thayne Jasperson, Darcy Newsies marked Jasperson’s Broadway debut. He left the Disney musical to be part of the original Broadway cast of Matilda in 2013. As of 2020, he was one of the sole original cast members remaining in Broadway’s Hamilton. In addition to appearing as Samuel Seabury, he also understudies the roles of John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton and King George.
Nick Sullivan, Bunsen Unlike most of this list, Newsies actually marks Sullivan’s most recent Broadway credit. He went on to tour with the cast of Kinky Boots as Mr. Price beginning in 2015. Since then, has made numerous appearances on television shows like Boardwalk Empire, Madam Secretary, Bull, Younger, and Divorce.
Evan Kasprzak, Elmer Kasprzak made his Broadway debut with Newsies, as well. He briefly joined the national tour of the showin 2015 as Seitz. He also appeared in numerous productions with Encores!, including The Golden Apple and The New Yorkers. In 2019, he appeared in Fosse/Verdon’s second episode, “Who’s Got the Pain?” as a dancer.
Jess LeProtto, Ensemble LeProtto began as a young performer in 2003’s Boy From Oz and grew up in the theatre. Newsies marked his first Broadway credit as an adult performer. He left Newsies to join the original Broadway cast of the 2014 revival of On the Town. In 2016, he starred in the revival of Cats as Mungojerrie. He performed in the ensemble of Broadway’s Hello, Dolly!, understudying Barnaby Tucker, before joining the cast of 2018’s Carousel. He returned to Hello, Dolly! as Barnaby in the national tour. He is slated to be one of the Jets in the upcoming West Side Story film.
Stuart Marland, Snyder Newsies marked Marland’s fifth Broadway show, following appearances in Xanadu, Beauty and the Beast, Jekyll & Hyde, and Cyrano. He stuck with the show of Newsies for the entirety of both its Off-Broadway and Broadway runs. He even briefly joined the national tour where he reprised the role of Snyder. He played Pulitzer in Westchester Broadway Theatre’s 2019 production. Marland has spent a lot of time fundraising for BC/EFA over the years, even organizing a table for the organization’s annual Flea Market.
Andy Richardson, Romeo Richardson took on numerous roles during his run in Newsies, eventually taking over the role of Crutchie full-time in 2013 at the age of 18. He reprised his run as Crutchie on the tour of Newsies. In 2017, he joined the touring cast of Kinky Boots as one of the Angels. After graduating from NYU in 2018, he joined the national tour of Wicked, where he performed in the ensemble and understudied Boq.
Brendon Stimson, Oscar Delancey Stimson was the other half of the Delancey brothers, but also understudied Jack Kelly. Newsies marked his second Broadway credit. He was then part of the cast of Broadway‘s Honeymoon in Vegas, starring Tony Danza and Rob McLure. In 2016, he joined the ensemble of Something Rotten! and stayed with the show until it closed in 2017. Stimson was in the original ensemble of Mean Girls, for which was he also the dance captain. He appeared in The Prom on Netflix, for which he was also associate choreographer.
Ryan Steele, Specs Steele made a splash as Baby John in West Side Story and in Billy Elliot before Newsies. He appeared as Curly in NBC’s Peter Pan Live! in 2014. He then went on to join the cast of Broadway’s Matilda as Rudolpho, Mrs. Wormwood’s dance partner. In 2016, he toured the country with the cast of An American in Paris as the Jerry Mulligan alternate through October 2017. The following year, he appeared in the original cast of Broadway’s Carousel revival. In 2018, he played Larry in the City Center production of A Chorus Line and he appeared as a dancer on an episode of Fosse/Verdon. In 2019, he reprised his role as Jerry in An American in Paris with Broadway Asia.
Alex Wong, Ensemble
Newsies marked Wong’s Broadway debut. He, too, appeared in Peter Pan Live! in 2014. He has since danced on shows like Dancing with the Stars, Glee, and So You Think You Can Dance Vietnam (he made it to the top 8 in the US version in Season 7 and became an All-Star dancer after), as well as narrative series like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. He was a regular on Starz’s Flesh and Bone and appeared as a dancer in the movie musical The Greatest Showman as well as Isn’t It Romantic?. More recently, he's danced on screen in Fosse/Verdeon and Christmas on the Square, and will be seen in the upcoming In The Heights movie.
Laurie Veldheer, Hannah Newsies marked Veldheer’s Broadway debut, after which she joined the cast of Broadway’s Mamma Mia! as Sophie. From there, she joined the touring company of Into the Woods in 2016 as both Cinderella. In 2018, she starred alongside Mary Testa and Judy Kuhn in the Cape Playhouse production of Steel Magnolias. She was an understudy when Plaza Suite played a pre-Broadway engagement in Boston.
Swings Caitlyn Caughell stayed with the cast of Newsies until the show’s closing in 2014. In December of the following year, she toured across the country in the ensemble of Jason Robert Brown‘s The Bridges of Madison County. Once the tour ended in July of 2016, she joined the national tour of Finding Neverland, where she performed in the ensemble and understudied numerous roles, including Mary Barrie. Michael Fatica went on to join the casts of Matilda, She Loves Me, and A Bronx Tale. In 2017, he took on the role of assistant dance captain for the original Broadway cast of Groundhog Day. Fatica next served inThe Cher Show‘s ensemble, where he also was an understudy for Sonny Bono, and was most recently an understudy for Olaf and Duke Weselton in Frozen. Jack Scott has continued to be a major part of the Newsies family, most recently appearing in their 2017 reunion concert at Feinstein’s/54 Below. In 2014, Stuart Zagnit joined the touring cast of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, where he played Grandpa Who and understudied the role of Old Max. The following year, he performed on the national tour of Wicked as the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Zagnit reprised his roles on the tour of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in 2018.