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‘Newsies’ opens in N.J.

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Disney’s 1992 cult musical finally has an official stage version. And it’s good. Stage editor Thom Geier traveled all the way to Millburn, N.J., to check it out, while Tanner Stransky saw Theresa Rebeck’s latest in Los Angeles, and I hiked downtown for drag-legend Joey Arias’ return to New York City. Read the highlights below (click on the bolded titles for the full reviews).

Poor Behavior: “[It’s] a hoot,” says writer Tanner Stransky about Theresa Rebeck’s “hilariously farcical” new play about two married couples on a minibreak in the country. He gives the comedy an A, applauding Rebeck for yet “another character driven, relationship-heavy story.”

Arias with a Twist: I give this wild, multimedia musical collaboration between singing female-impersonator Joey Arias and award-winning puppeteer Basil Twist a B+, praising Twist’s colorful puppets and calling Arias “stylish, camp, macabre, and with a major set of pipes.”

Newsies: The Disney adaptation earns an A- from Geier, who thinks the Jersey production definitely has Broadway potential. He calls it “the rare stage show that dramatically improves upon its source material,” a “more audience-pleasing show than either of Disney’s last two Broadway attempts,” and better than “most new musicals of the last several seasons.”

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