, the exhilarating musical about the 1899 New York City newsboys' strike that premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse and quickly made its way to Broadway, garned eight Tony Award nominations today, including Best Musical.
Paper Mill Playhouse's Producing Artistic Director Mark Hoebee said he is thrilled to see ' nominations, but not surprised.
"It's such a great show, and everyone who saw it here just loved it," he said. "We are so proud to have had it here. It was the first musical in our 73-year history to premier here and go right to Broadway. It was ground-breaking for us."
The premier was important not only to the Paper Mill Playhouse but to Disney as well, which was bringing its 1992 cult film to the stage for the first time.
"We knew there were some die-hard , but the great surprise was how widespread the popularity of the show was. And I think that can be attributed to the great work by Harvey Weinstein, Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, and to the cast as well," Hoebee said.
The show was popular with people too old to have been fans of the movie as well as children who were not born when the movie came out he said. And with a cast mostly of men and boys, it was a great first experience at the theater for a lot of boys who may not have been to many shows.
"Paper Mill Playhouse congratulates Disney Theatrical Group on its eight nominations for Newsies," he said. "We are proud to be a part of bringing this hit musical to the Great White Way. Our mission at Paper Mill is to preserve and nurture American musical theater and Newsies is a great example of our role in developing new works."
For a full list of nominations visit the official Tony Awards website: http://www.tonyawards.com/en_US/nominees/index.html