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Bale-heads, unite! 'Newsies' may be headed for the stage!

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Image Credit: Everett CollectionChristian Bale may be too old to play a singing and dancing newspaper deliverer/labor activist, but plans are still afoot to bring his 1992 live-action Disney musical Newsies to the stage. In an interview with Playbill.com, Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid) said that he and lyricist Jack Feldman had written “a lot of new songs” for the production. Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles) is writing the show’s book, adapted from a film that was supposedly based on a real strike by New York newsboys against publisher Joseph Pulitzer in 1899. The movie, directed by future High School Music helmer Kenny Ortega, was a notorious flop, grossing just $2.8 million. But it’s developed a cult following in the years since, and modern Glee-era audiences might be more receptive to the notion of teenagers breaking into song and dance routines at the drop of a period hat.

Even so, Menken indicates that the show is still very much in development — it’s even unclear if Disney would mount a professional production (on Broadway, for instance) or develop the show for licensed amateur productions such as school theater programs. (A stage version of HSM is one of the most frequently licensed musicals in U.S. high schools.)

What do you think, PopWatchers? Is the time right for a Newsies revival on stage? After the jump, a clip of Bale’s Jack “Cowboy” Kelly delivering his aspirational solo “Santa Fe.” (As talented as I think Bale is, it’s no wonder that the actor — who went from Newsies to another peculiar period musical, Swing Kids — has pretty much abandoned the genre. I don’t see him popping up on Dancing With the Stars anytime soon.)