'Newsies' could be coming to the stage

Composer Alan Menken says project is still in development

Disney's "Newsies" may be heading to the stage.

The movie musical, directed by Kenny Ortega and starring a young Christian Bale, was not a box office success when it was released in the early 1990s, but that hasn't stopped theater vets from adapting it for the theater.

"Yeah, it is in development. What it's going to be is -- honestly, right now -- undetermined," Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken ("Beauty and the Beast") confirmed to Playbill.com in an interview last Tuesday.

He added: "I think Disney is still trying to decide whether it's a first-class production or whether it's stock and amateur. But there will be available a stage musical of 'Newsies.' That's all I can say."

With the current climate of phenomena like "Glee" and "High School Musical," it may be the right time to sharpen those pencils and put on that newsboy cap.

Menken also confirmed that he was developing the project with writer Harvey Fierstein ("La Cage aux Folles") and lyricist Jack Feldman, which was first reported on last year.

As for the "Newsies" score, Menken said there will be "a lot of new songs."
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