|Downtown Milburn, NJ, home of the Paper Mill Playhouse,|
literally carrying the banner.
The Paper Mill Playhouse was incredibly accommodating during the Newsies run, and one of the most amazing things they managed to do for the fans was to invite the creators and actors from the original film to participate in a "fan day." Even though technically Fan Day activities were surrounding the evening performance, I went to the matinee as well. As I expected, the crowd was full of "Fansies" and very vocal in their appreciation of the show, which really seemed to amp up the cast. By the time the matinee let out, there were already groups of fans milling around the theater, waiting for the special fan reception and talk back to begin. I actually left for a little while to grab some tea at a Starbucks down the street, and by the time I got back Radio Disney was all set up and ready to go. It didn't take long for a large group of girls and guys of all ages to fill the lobby and outdoor areas in anticipation of the event. I hung around Radio Disney for a while, cause I am a trivia nerd and you don't live an hour away from Walt Disney World your whole life and not know a thing or two about the Mouse (his name was Mortimer lady, not Steamboat Willy...sheesh). It was cute they were there, and surprisingly some of their actual age demographic was in attendance, so it worked out pretty well for the tweens who came out for the show. I'll admit, I didn't take as many pictures as I should have of the ambiance. I really wanted to document the event, but I just didn't. In true Disney fashion, I got caught up in the nostalgia and forgot to be a grown up.
|The gorgeous grounds at Paper Mill. There's a stream back there|
and a koi pond (as we've seen in behind the scenes videos with the
stage Newsies). I enjoyed my time at this theater.
Anyway, here is a picture from another day that shows you the outside of the Paper Mill. Gorgeous grounds they have there, with a beautiful serene atmosphere and the theater itself is very comfortable.
So anyway, it comes time to start moving the fans with the golden tickets (not actually golden) to the mezzanine lobby area for the reception. We had been told there would be drinks and snacks, and there were, though I didn't see a single person eat or drink a thing because it was so unbelievably crowded a person could barely mingle let alone eat a piece of cake. I did mention to one of the Paper Mill people that it appeared that they didn't quite realize what this event was going to be. They pitched a lovely reception where you could mix and mingle with other fans and the film actors and creators. I imagine they pictured civilized adults sipping wine and having very classy conversations. In reality, it was a mad rush to meet every single movie Newsie in attendance and get an autograph and a photo with them before someone barged in to break up the party. It was a race. You have one hour to meet all the Newsies in the room, but we won't tell you where they are standing, and you'll have to learn to see through walls. GO! Thankfully, Newsies fans are very friendly and helpful, so when I found myself getting disoriented and unable to see over the heads of so many people, I would just say "Which way is Les?" and someone would surely point me in the right direction with a giant smile.
|David Sidoni (Pie Eater)|
|Kevin Stea (Swifty the Rake)|
|Arvie Lowe, Jr. (Boots)|
|Shon Greenblatt (Oscar Delancey)|
|David Sheinkopf (Morris Delancey)|
|Paper Mill cast members at Fan Day... and me.|
|Kara Lindsay and Jeremy Jordan (Katherine and Jack)|
|David Moscow (David Jacobs)|
|Gabriel Damon (Spot Conlon)|
Thanks, TwitterNewsies - whoever you are!
|Our movie Newsies posing for a photo at the talk back.|
|Luke Edwards (Les Jacobs) and Arvie again.|
I'll tell you, the energy that night was fantastic, and during intermission the movie Newsies took even more pics with people who recognized them. They were all super accommodating and honestly looked like they were having a great time. An older man and women sitting behind me in the orchestra tapped me on the shoulder during intermission to ask what exactly was going on; they had never seen or heard an audience like this one. They asked if there was some sort of club or group in the audience who knew the actors. I said no, they just happened to be lucky enough to get tickets on Fan Day. They were actually very pleased they came that night, and seemed overwhelmingly impressed with the support the audience was showing for the production. I believe they were Paper Mill patrons who see shows there often. I am glad we could enhance their experience that night!
When the show ended, the movie Newsies joined the stage cast on stage for a final bow. It was really a once in a lifetime experience and I can't tell you how happy I am to have been a part of it. The Paper Mill Playhouse did a fantastic job the entire run of the show keeping the fans up to date and informed, and I have to commend them for having the creative motivation to do something like Fan Day. It was absolutely appreciated by every fan in that audience, and I am sure the cast and crew of both productions. ♥