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S8 - Jess LeProtto: Hold Me Closer, Tiny Broadway Dancer


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#241

LostLostLost

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Posted Apr 15, 2012 @ 10:43 PM

Newsies will once again be featured on Good Morning America tomorrow (Mon., Apr. 15). A GMA host visits the cast and "becomes" a Newsie. I'm not sure, but I THINK that is Jess on the left of this photo:
https://twitter.com/#!/theajulieABC/status/190125254084001792/photo/1/large

Also tomorrow night: Newsies will be featured on ABC's Nightline. I saw a photo of a small sit-down group interview and Jess is among the boys in the photo. Don't know if they talk to the entire cast.

Edit: The Nightline feature was postponed, but will air soon.

Edited by LostLostLost, Apr 17, 2012 @ 6:53 AM.

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#242

mlda88

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Posted Apr 20, 2012 @ 9:13 PM

The show has given each ensemble member a set of limited edition trading cards of their Newsies character to hand out at the stage door. This is Jess'. LOL.

I want one.

http://instagr.am/p/Jk3vwdzMfc/

By the way, Jess and Ellenore will be in the Bollywood number on next Monday's episode of Smash. Usually, the entire dance--as opposed to the partial one actually shown on the show--is posted on the NBC site a day or two later, so when that pops up, I'll link it.

Edited by mlda88, Apr 27, 2012 @ 11:07 PM.

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#243

waving feather

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 7:07 AM

Jess was awesome in the Bollywood number on SMASH. I actually forgot that he was going to be on, but when watching, I was like "that dude in greenish-gold tunic is kicking ass and seems to be having a ball" and lo and behold, looked up at his face and it's Jess! Outstanding as usual.

Not to belabor a point but... Jess. So talented.

ETA: Video

Edited by waving feather, Apr 25, 2012 @ 10:06 AM.

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#244

LostLostLost

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Posted Apr 25, 2012 @ 7:31 PM

wavingfeather, the Bollywood is also on hulu. I put the link into Ellenore's thread.

I thought he and Ellenore rocked it (she is wearing a purple dress and is also dancing right up front on the ladies part) as well as Aaron Albano (a fellow Newsies cast member). You'll notice Ellenore giving K. McPhee some coaching at several points. I'm not biased or anything. Heh.

I'm posting this behind-the-scenes video of the Bollywood taping. Why? Check out what the director says as he points to the monitor at about 3:00 and note who he points to. Jess caught his eye, even if he's only identified as "that one" ("Keep that one right there... I like that one"). You'll also notice Ellenore giving K. McPhee some coaching at several points.

Bollywood taping

I think SMASH is a bit of a mess, but I hope it straightens itself out. There are lots of SYTYCD alum in the NYC area and I'd love to see all of them appearing on this show next season.
Edit to repair link.

Edited by LostLostLost, Jun 4, 2012 @ 9:04 AM.

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#245

mlda88

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Posted Apr 26, 2012 @ 6:10 PM

Enjoyed our two sytycd alums on SMASH.

--Edited out..Nightline comment

Jess tweeted that he was appearing in the opening number of the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Gala, then rushing off to an audition, then had the regular evening show of Newsies, all in one day. I don't get how he has that much stamina. They have 8 shows per week, spend a long time after each show meeting fans at the stage door--saw photos of the crowd, it's absolutely crazy--then most have to travel a bit to get home. I think Jess catches the bus back to NJ, other cast members try to catch the 11 p.m. ferry. A couple have tweeted that they are trying to figure out a way to just get through the weekends. How do he or the others have time and energy to seek out more work? I'm not complaining, but everybody needs to rest now and then. Guess dancers have a different operating system than I do.

Here are a few photos of the Broadway Cares event from Mon.:

Jess in the middle.

Looks like the number had representatives from current B'way shows...Book of Mormon, Sister Act, etc.
Opening number

Jess on the left

Edit: Sorry, was wrong about the Nightline airing. *shakes fist at Tommy Bracco's twitter acct.* To be fair, he posted that it was a false alarm a couple of hours beforehand, but I didn't see it until after I watched the show. Oh, well. I got to see the disaster that is "Octomom". Sigh.

Edited by mlda88, Apr 28, 2012 @ 9:15 AM.

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#246

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Posted Apr 28, 2012 @ 6:07 PM

I like this photo of Alex and Jess.
The cast had a cameo near the end of the season 2 finale of the web series "Submissions Only". This is from that taping. More photos below that one.

Also, a nice picture of Evan and Jess in the midst of the King of New York spoon duel.
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#247

LostLostLost

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Posted May 14, 2012 @ 7:14 PM

My aunt emailed me a blurry snapshot of her New York Times, with a cartoon version of this photo of Jess.

I found the article online, #5 on the list:
Tonys...Most Aerobic Performance, NYT

Cartoon Jess. Ha!

Odd question: Do the boots look really long/big to anyone else? I've noticed that in other photos of the dancers in Newsies gear. Was just wondering if that was necessary for the type of choreo they do.

Edited by LostLostLost, May 15, 2012 @ 11:42 PM.

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#248

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Posted May 28, 2012 @ 12:09 PM

Old news, I know, but my roommate found a great video of the El Fuego opening number from the Sea. 8 tour that I hadn't seen. I don't think anyone linked that particular number. Nice view of every dancer. For season 9, I think we need a dedicated tour thread, to cover all the dancers. Assuming there is a tour, that is.

El Fuego--Colorado stop
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#249

aprilrainsong

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Posted May 28, 2012 @ 1:24 PM

So I just got back from NYC, where I saw Newsies!

When the opening number started of course I was going through and picking out all the SYTYCD people. I saw Evan first, then Alex, and then I was like, but where is Jess?? And then I just watched for a second and was like, "Oh, it's the guy who's dancing really well." There's something that's so beautifully fluid about all his movements. Of the SYTYCD guys, he was also the best actor. Yes, that's right, all the guys had actual lines in the show. I don't think that it was a coincidence that it numbers like "I'm the King of New York" (which is primarily a tap number) Jess and Evan were largely prominently featured in front next to the main characters.

Everyone who loved these guys should definitely head on over to NYC and check out this Musical.... it recently got extended to an open run production, soooo yeah. Go. Go often. I know I am going back ASAP. :D
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#250

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Posted May 28, 2012 @ 5:43 PM

Go. Go often. I know I am going back ASAP.

Sure wish I could! I'm so happy for these four. And I really want to see Evan and Jess in the "tap duel" with the spoons. If you have a chance, please give some detail about that.

There has been a lot of video put out by Disney and various news sources, each with a lot of the same footage, but also with a little extra new bit added. Bit by bit, I'm getting a better sense of the show. It's sad that I have each of these guys' three outfits memorized so I can pick them out quickly, depending on the scene. That helps.

I think it's cute that, judging by Twitter, Thayne has become one of the resident hotties of the cast (along with Jeremy Jordan, of course). I think they are all adorable, to be honest. I've seen photos of the crowds at the stage door and it's kind of nuts. Someone posted a photo of an amazed Jess, a blogger who told him she had come all the way from Japan just to see him in the show.
Jess, fan
Jess, "Really?"
I suppose the SYTYCD group who went on tours know what it's like, but many of the others are stunned by the attention they are getting. So cute.

I'll definitely be watching on Tony night. I want them to do King of New York.

Edited by LostLostLost, May 29, 2012 @ 11:20 PM.

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#251

Cynthia187

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Posted May 29, 2012 @ 10:49 PM

I love that story.


I would love to see the play, too, but will have to hope to see a glimpse of it on the Tony Awards.
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#252

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Posted May 31, 2012 @ 12:57 PM

I wish I could see it, too. I've said it about a hundred times, but Jess is an awesome dancer. He has great lines and manages to be both precise and fluid in his dancing. I hope he has a long and amazing career on Broadway.
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#253

newages

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Posted May 31, 2012 @ 3:06 PM

love it :)
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#254

mlda88

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Posted May 31, 2012 @ 11:21 PM

Jess is Broadway World's Gypsy of the Month!


http://broadwayworld...Protto-20120530

There's nothing really new on the first page. On the second page, I found out his character has fleas! And I'm surprised that he seems open to eventually returning to the West coast to work. I had taken him for a NYC, East Coast kind of guy all the way. There's a sweet comment at the end of the article from a wheelchair-bound friend from Jess' high school days. He comments on how Jess is dealing with his new-found success.
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#255

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Posted Jun 7, 2012 @ 9:31 PM

Earlier this week,the Newsies audience was held captive while President Obama left the theater next door. The cast entertained the crowd with a Q/A session. Jess, in the middle, serves here as an impromptu choir director as the cast sings happy birthday to someone. I wish the camera had kept rolling, because I think the next question was for Evan. The video is fuzzy, but HD is available:
Newsies sing Happy Birthday


Some guy seems to be interviewing each "Newsie" individually, as he's done four. I've already posted Thayne's on his thread and am hoping for Evan and Alex's soon. Here's Jess, between the matinee and evening show:

Jess interview
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#256

TwizzWhizz11

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Posted Jun 12, 2012 @ 8:05 AM

Thanks to everyone for the links - it helps with catching up. Seeing him at the Tonys on Sunday was such a pleasant surprise. He always stands out - he's such a phenomenal dancer. Kind of makes it hurt a little less than he didn't make it further on the show.
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#257

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Posted Jun 15, 2012 @ 9:29 AM

Since this is unlikely to happen again, I thought I'd post the Tony performance for each of the four dancers in his own thread. I watched it several times to track each dancer. Jess is wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt with wide grey/white stripes and open vest. Helps to pick him out in the fast-moving shots.

I love how all four SYTYCD alums are lined up in front at 1:36. My favorite Jess moment is when he and 5 others blow a "thank you, fans" kiss to the audience. Note that the guy to the right of the screen takes care of "tongue duty" this time. (tour reference, ha!).

Tony Awards performance, Newsies

Note: An HD option is available, so I recommend full screen.

Edited by LostLostLost, Jun 20, 2012 @ 11:10 AM.

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#258

mlda88

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Posted Jun 19, 2012 @ 6:59 PM

I got good seats to see "Newsies" and am so excited to see Jess, Evan, Alex and Thayne on stage.


Thirdmonkey, you are going this month, right? Don't forget to report back!
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#259

LostLostLost

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Posted Jun 28, 2012 @ 1:39 PM

Yes, thirdmonkey, a full report is required!
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#260

Thirdmonkey

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Posted Aug 7, 2012 @ 11:17 AM

Okay, so we finally saw "Newsies" this past Sunday. I had a very painful senior moment which resulted in us missing the show in June (lots of screaming and crying involved). I got the dates mixed up, even with the reminder that Ticketmaster sent to me. I had written it on my calendar incorrectly and was convinced of the date. I normally don't make these kinds of errors, so no one ever questioned me. At least a lesson was learned; no one from my family will ever fail to check and double-check a date of a show again.

I managed to get great seats again (thank you to my dear husband who approved a second purchase) for myself, my husband, my daughter and my son. It was very hot on the streets of NY and we got there early enough to walk around. We ducked into several stores just to get into the air-conditioning, and when it was time to head to the theatre we were very surprised to see that there was a line that snaked around the corner. That theatre had to have been packed full.

So, on to show. The set was great, with lots of metal stairs that the cast ran up and down and around on all throughout the show. Our seats were fourth row center, and we spent a lot of time looking up (enough so my neck could feel the strain). I think that seats in the first mezzanine would be great, and would allow you to see the split newspaper dance. From our seats we could not see the floor of the stage, however, as a small bonus, I caught a piece of newspaper that gets thrown out into the audience. This newspaper is not your everyday paper. It was printed for the show, complete with the dateline "The New York World, New York, Thursday, July 20, 1899". It is filled with stories of the day (though I haven't researched it for its veracity) and looks and feels like a real newspaper.

The dancing was amazing. The energy is so high and so exciting that as an audience member, you don't know where to look. To view a stage full of young men leaping and turning and singing their hearts out is a wonderful experience. Jeremy Jordan, who plays the lead role of Jack Kelly, was excellent! His voice was strong and right on, and his acting was great enough to fill my eyes with tears. Kara Lindsay was also excellent as Katherine, with a strong clear voice that fits that Disney sound. Ben Fankhauser (Davey), Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Crutchie), Lewis Grosso (Les) were all excellent. If I have any criticism, it is that there are quite a few reprises in this show. The producers know this because there's even a joke near the end of the show that goes something like, "Aren't you tired of singing that same old song?"

It was great to see Thayne and Evan in person. Alex Wong was not in the cast anymore, so I'm sorry I missed him. Jess was front and center quite often, even yelling out during the dance numbers (like he did on tour). I can't say if his leaps and turns were any higher or tighter than anyone elses. I'm sure he's supposed to match every one else. But I will say that the intensity of his expressions was constant. My daughter laughed and said, "he's very good at playing an angry young man!" I looked at the expressions of the other dancers, and some of them would be intense, and others would be smiling, for the sheer joy of the dance. But Jess was always in character.

It was a joyful experience. The story cannot match my favorite "Wicked", but for the show it is, full of great dancing and singing in the Disney tradition, it is a terrific show.
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#261

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Posted Aug 7, 2012 @ 11:46 PM

Thanks for the review, ThirdMonkey! Sorry you had such a hard time with tickets. I know they are not cheap!

we were very surprised to see that there was a line that snaked around the corner. That theatre had to have been packed full.

I see photos now and then of that line. They sell SRO tickets and are usually at 101+ percent capacity. From Twitter comments, every member of the cast gives their all, every show. Did you go to the stage door after? There’s usually a huge crowd there, too, but the actors do their best to accommodate everyone with autographs, photos, so on.

It was great to see Thayne and Evan in person. Alex Wong was not in the cast anymore, so I'm sorry I missed him. Jess was front and center quite often, even yelling out during the dance numbers (like he did on tour). I can't say if his leaps and turns were any higher or tighter than anyone elses..

Alex is back in LA, so I expect to see him as an All Star! Finally!

As far as dancing skills go, I think the entire cast is evenly matched at a very high level. Ryan Steele, with those long legs, does seem to stand out. I gather he’s the “star” of the ensemble. However, I read a discussion on the BroadwayWorld messageboard about Alex leaving & new ensemble members coming on as extra swings, etc. and several posters said they didn’t think Alex had that big an impact on the show. They weren’t meaning it as a put-down of Alex, but rather an acknowledgement of how good everyone was, that losing just one very fine dancer wasn’t going to hurt the show at all. Considering that Brandon Bryant just auditioned and didn’t make it in is a testament of the caliber of dancer they needed. I was disappointed by that. Would have been nice to have even more SYTYCD alumni in the show.

I do have a couple of plot or dialogue questions. From comments I read elsewhere, what is the significance of the word “oyster” that must be part of Jess’ dialogue? People send teasing tweets about that to him. Also, they mention where Jess yells “Awful!” after Kara Lindsay does her tap solo in King of NY. Was curious about that, too, if you don’t mind explaining. Of all the numbers they do, I'd love to see King of NY the most, mainly because of the tap-off between Evan and Jess.
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#262

OptimisticCynic

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Posted Aug 9, 2012 @ 10:48 AM

Ryan Steele, with those long legs, does seem to stand out. I gather he’s the “star” of the ensemble.


He's also the dance captain. He has quite a few impressive solo moments throughout the show: the pirouettes on top of the newspaper at the end of Seize the Day, for example. He has anestablished broadway resume so he's known within the community (and his credits are within very well received shows). Jess was in Bye Bye Birdie which wasn't received that well as a production. He was a fantastic Baby John in the recent revival of West Side Story.

Considering that Brandon Bryant just auditioned and didn’t make it in is a testament of the caliber of dancer they needed.


They need very cross trained versatile dancers on top of that. They need to be heavily trained in ballet, jazz, and tap. I think the first two are far easier to find, but to find really fantastic tap dancers is hard.

Edited by OptimisticCynic, Aug 9, 2012 @ 10:50 AM.

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#263

LostLostLost

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Posted Aug 9, 2012 @ 11:51 AM

They need very cross trained versatile dancers on top of that. They need to be heavily trained in ballet, jazz, and tap. I think the first two are far easier to find, but to find really fantastic tap dancers is hard.

OptimisticCynic, true. Plus, they have to sing while doing all of those things. Brandon tweeted something about needing a vocal lesson before his call-back, so that could be part of what did him in. I wonder if any more of our SYTYCD alums can sing? And yes, everything I've seen from Ryan is amazing.

Regarding "expend-ability", the show may have had some concern about Jeremy Jordan needing to cut back on his performances to film SMASH, but it appears that his alternate got rave reviews this week. The other two understudies have also been well-received. Harvey Feirstein tweeted this breathless video from a smitten fan, assuring her fellow fans that they didn't need to worry about who is in or out. LOL.
Corey Cott is a Sekshy Swan

Back to Jess, he is starting the fall semester of Pace University. Could be tough to squeeze it all in, with 8 performances a week and only 1 day off. And those days often end up being work days. For instance, today he is teaching a class (an acquaintance of mine goes when Jess or Evan are teaching) and Newsies also is performing in Bryant Park.
This cast is always on the move:
Jess, Jack Scott, train

I was hoping he'd have time to audition for SMASH again next season (the only way I will see him), but he'll need to go to class sometime. Darn it.

Edit: Fierstein, not Feinstein. :/

Edited by LostLostLost, Aug 10, 2012 @ 7:22 PM.

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#264

Thirdmonkey

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Posted Aug 10, 2012 @ 1:30 PM

LostLostLost To answer your questions I had to consult with my daughter. She has an amazing memory for details and dialogue.

The discussion about "oysters" refers to setting up "The King of New York" number. The Newsies are excited about being famous (if only for a day) and they start dreaming about the perks of being on top. One of them refers to "The world is my oyster" (pronounced with a thick accent 'woild' and 'erster'). He explains roughly, "oysters, ya know, them clam things with the pearl (pronounced 'poil')". In our performance, Jess did not have the 'oyster' line. He did get a line about "being first in line for the tub tonight". My daughter said that it refers to his earlier line to the nuns that he's always last in line. Anyway, when Jess did his line about being first in line, he got a good long laugh from the audience, mostly because of the facial expression he made. His delivery was like a Broadway "da-dump".

Also in our performance, Jess did not audibly say "Awful" in reference to Katherine's tap dance. He just acted it with his body--with a dismissive wave of his hand and turning his back and walking away. I guess he does whatever feels right for the day.

Jess and Evan did their spoons duet, but then the entire company then joined in with spoons as well. It was exciting and so much fun to watch.

Our audience, by the way, was amazing. The cast had to wait several times for the applause to fade before they could move on to the next number. The standing ovation began very early, so that the leads came out when everyone in the theatre was already standing.

okay, LostLostLost that video about Corey Cott is hysterical. Thanks for that link.

Glad to hear that Jess is continuing his education as well.

Edited to add: "The woild is my erster" reference.

Edited by Thirdmonkey, Aug 14, 2012 @ 9:55 PM.

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#265

LostLostLost

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Posted Aug 10, 2012 @ 7:18 PM

moments throughout the show: the pirouettes on top of the newspaper at the end of Seize the Day, for example

OptimisticCynic, I forgot to mention that on the few times that Ryan has been out, Jess takes over the newspaper/pirouette role. I've seen very positive comments about how well he did. Spinning was always his thing.

Thirdmonkey, thanks for the detailed explanation. I don't have a tumblr acct., but my roommate has asked a few people to explain, but they mostly responded, "Oh, it's in King of NY". They never really explained the context. Speaking of tumblr, we did hear a "recording" (probably illegal and I'm ashamed for clicking, but it was sitting right there...) of the July 18 matinee performance of KoNY, and we could hear what sounded like 2 or 3 males voices saying "Awful!" after her tap solo, so maybe it does vary from show to show. There were also 3 of Corey Cott's songs from this Wednesday's debut, 2 with Kara and Santa Fe. I'm not sure he was a Sekshy Swan, but he sounded great. I think the show will have legs, even if really good people come and go. That gives me hope for a quality tour someday.

About the video, her ending was cute. I'm trying to figure out how Harvey Fierstein found it in the first place.

Thanks again for your detailed account!

Edited by LostLostLost, Aug 10, 2012 @ 9:37 PM.

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#266

LostLostLost

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Posted Aug 14, 2012 @ 11:56 PM

Well, Thirdmonkey, after all my questions, I found audio of the King of NY number! I'm glad you mentioned Jess doing the "Wait til my old man gets a load of dis...I won't be last in line for the tub tonight" line. I wouldn't have recognized him. It also includes the "oyster" lines and you can faintly hear one voice declare "Awful" after Kara's solo, as opposed to the several voices I heard in the tumblr clip.

I'm also struck by how spot-on their voices are, even while dancing. The Broadway cast album is gorgeous, with such great harmonies, and this is almost as good the studio version.

Jess is heard at the very beginning:
Audience recording of KoNY

On a side note, it was announced today that Jeremy Jordan will leave the show after the first week of Sept. and Corey Cott will take over the role of Jack. Trying to do both jobs (SMASH) was just too much for Jeremy, plus he's getting married in Sept. So good luck to the new Jack. The cast seems very supportive of him.
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#267

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Posted Aug 19, 2012 @ 5:47 PM

I found this at IDF and just had to bring it over. Thayne, Evan, and Jess had better watch their backs. A lot of people want their jobs!

From poster Ellemental:

I follow quite a few Broadway shows & people on Twitter. They are all very supportive of each other, but one thing is clear: just about every male dancer/actor on B'way wants to be in Newsies, including TV people from shows like Glee (Darren Criss, Curt Mega).

This is a parody of Carrying the Banner from the cast of The Addams Family about dreaming to be on Newsies. They poke a little good-natured fun. Lines like "Suddenly it's edgy to be small" and "And finally dancing on the Tonys...if only you was 5 foot 2".

And the pirouettes on the Kennedy Center brochures. haha.gif


Here's the video. It was posted on Broadway World's web site, too. So funny!

Bein' Part of Newsies, Addams Family Cast
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#268

gik910

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Posted Nov 22, 2012 @ 9:36 AM

That was an amazing video LostLostLost! Thanks for posting it! I am getting ready to get the Turkey in the oven & happend to have CBS on where they had the cast perform King of NY. Man, I miss Jess (and Evan!). Saw them on DwtS a few weeks ago too. I find that those broadway boys are really the ones I connect with on SYTYCD. Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving all!!!
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#269

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Posted Mar 14, 2013 @ 1:37 AM

I came across this piece, choreographed by Al Blackstone and danced by Jess and Melanie. Very nice work by all three.

Melanie and Jess
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#270

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Posted Jun 10, 2013 @ 7:27 AM

Jess was all over the Tonys last night. Clear shots of him in the opening number (which was amazing, by the way).


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