Newsies, Disney’s popular new musical about a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenage “newsies,” has received Actors' Equity Association’s Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs (ACCA) Sixth Annual ACCA Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus. The honor is the only industry accolade of its kind and honors the distinctive talents and contributions made by the original chorus members of a Broadway musical. The award was presented in the Actors' Equity Association Council Room, overlooking Times Square, on Tuesday, November 27, 2012.
The winners of the ACCA Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus, all of whom comprised the chorus of Newsies on the musical’s March 29, 2012 opening night, are: Aaron Albano, Mark Aldrich, Tommy Bracco, John E. Brady, Ryan Breslin, Kevin Carolan, Caitlyn Caughell, Kyle Coffman, Mike Faist, Michael Fatica, Julie Foldesi, Garett Hawe, Thayne Jasperson, Evan Kasprzak, Jess LeProtto, Stuart Marland, Andy Richardson, Jack Scott, Ryan Steele, Brendon Stimson, Nick Sullivan, Ephraim M. Sykes, Laurie Veldheer, Alex Wong and Stuart Zagnit.
“This award acknowledges and honors the enormous talent and contributions members of a chorus make to a Broadway production,” said Equity Second Vice President and Chair of the ACCA Rebecca Kim Jordan. “The chorus members of Newsies are gifted professionals who exemplify the hard work, dedication and talent it takes to be outstanding in a Broadway musical.”
In reviewing the chorus of each Broadway production, the ACCA applied specific criteria to reach their decision. The ACCA considered the requirements made on each chorus by the director, the choreographer, and the musical director. They also considered the caliber of technical skill used to execute those requirements as well as the contributions made by the entire chorus to the overall production. All 13 Broadway chorus musicals that opened in the 2011–2012 season were eligible for the award.
Set in New York at the turn of the 20th century, Newsies is the story of Jack Kelly, a newsboy and leader of a band of “newsies,” who dreams of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. When distribution prices are raised at the expense of the newsboys, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies from across the city. Newsies is inspired by the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899.
Newsies features a Tony Award-winning score by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Sister Act, Leap of Faith) and Jack Feldman, and a book by four-time Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy). The musical, produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, is directed by Jeff Calhoun (Tony nominee for Big River revival) and is choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, who won a Tony for his work.