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Tel 646/761-3016
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Originally Written by:


Bob Tzudiker & Noni White

Song Score by:


Jack Feldman and Alan Menken

Rewrites by:
David Fallon and Tom Rickman

Stage Adaptation and Score by:


Philip McBride
2

Music and Lyrics Copyright 1992 Wonderland Music Co., Inc.


International Copyright Secured
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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law.

NEWSIES
Cast of Characters

The Newsies
Jack Kelly
David Jacobs
Les Jacobs
Racetrack
Crutchy
Boots
Mush

Dutchy
Snoddy
Skittery
Bumlets
Pie Eater
Swifty
Kuehn

Kid Blink
Spot Conlon
Snitch
Jake
Itey
Snipeshooter
Specs
Brooklyn Newsies

The Friends of the Newsies


Jacob Denton
Medda Larkson
Sarah Jacobs
Mayer Jacobs
Esther Jacobs

Kloppman
Nuns
Patrick's Mother
Fat Max Cohen
Teddy Roosevelt

The Opposing Forces


Joseph Pulitzer
Weasel
Snyder
Seitz
Morris Delancy
Oscar Delancy
Jonathan
Judge Crane

Mayor Van Wyck


Chief of Police Devery
Captain McSwain
Bailiff
Bunsen
Gammon
Policeman
World Employee

Chorus
Shoe-Shiner
Family
Noisemakers
Two Lovers
Customers
Women with Funny Hats
Seven Blind People
Sleeping Man
Jugglers
Announcer
Street People
Cops

Neighborhood Children
Spike
Boy with Banjo
Vendors
Workers
Drivers
Man
Inmate
Scabs
Waiter
Restaurant Owner

The Kid
Weasels Thug Army
Meddas Maid
Meddas Bodyguard
Bailiff
Pulitzers Butler
Lady
Work Kids
Sweatshop Kids
Womens Groups
Neighbors
Messenger

NEWSIES
Scene by Scene
Song by Song

ACT ONE
Prologue A
Prologue B
Scene One
Scene Two
Scene Three
Scene Four
Scene Five
Scene Six
Scene Seven
Scene Eight
Scene Nine
Scene Ten
Scene Eleven
Scene Twelve
Scene Thirteen
Scene Fourteen
Scene Fifteen
Scene Sixteen
Scene Seventeen
Scene Eighteen

The Newsies Lodging House/


The Street
The Courtyard/The Street
Pulitzers Office
The Street/The Chase
The Street
Irving Hall/
The Street
Davids Apartment
The Fire Escape/
The Street
Pulitzers Office
The Courtyard
Tibbys Restaurant
Brooklyn
The Street
Davids Apartment
The Refuge
Newsies Square
Pulitzers Office
The Street

Carrying the Banner

My Lovey Dovey Baby

Santa Fe

The World Will Know

Seize the Day


Proud of Your Boy

Seize the Day (Reprise)

NEWSIES
Scene by Scene
Song by Song

ACT TWO
Scene One
Scene Two
Scene Three
Scene Four
Scene Five
Scene Six
Scene Seven
Scene Eight
Scene Nine
Scene Ten
Scene Eleven
Scene Twelve
Scene Thirteen
Scene Fourteen
Scene Fifteen
Scene Sixteen
Scene Seventeen
Scene Eighteen
Scene Nineteen

Tibbys Restaurant
The Refuge (Snyders Office)
The Lodging House
The Street
Davids Apartment
Pulitzers Office
Irving Hall (The Rally)
The Courtroom
Tibbys Restaurant
Pulitzers Mansion
The Alley/The Refuge
The Courtyard
Davids Apartment
Worlds Basement
The Courtyard
The Street/The Alley
Dentons Apartment
Worlds Basement/The Street
The Courtyard/Pulitzers Office

King of New York

High Times, Hard Times

Santa Fe (Reprise)

Once and For All


World Will Know (Reprise)
Carryin the Banner (Reprise)

NEWSIES
ACT ONE
(As the audience enters, they see a huge curtain that looks like a giant newspaper. Various headlines and
articles cover the curtain. The curtain is actually a scrim with images of newspapers projected on it.)

Prologue A
(A single light shines down on RACETRACK who is standing DR in front of the scrim. During RACETRACKS
speech, a few lights come up behind the scrim. We can see a few NEWSIES miming the action of selling papers.
The action should be done in slow motion so it will not be distracting to the audience.)
RACETRACK
In 1899, the streets of New York City echoed with the voices of Newsies, peddling the newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer,
William Randolph Hearst and other giants of the newspaper world. On every street corner you saw 'em, carrying the
banner, bringing you the news for a penny a pape. Poor orphans and run-aways, the Newsies were a ragged army,
without a leader, until one day when all that changed.
(Blackout. HE exits)

Prologue B
(A single light shines down on JACOB DENTON who stands DL. HES a sharp dresser with an equally sharp
sense of opportunity.)
DENTON
Jacob Denton, New York Sun. Photojournalist. I have taken it upon myself to write stories and photograph the world
of the underprivileged, and have chosen to do my story on the Newsies.
(Suddenly, there's a blinding flash from DENTONS camera. At the same time, bright white lights come up
behind the scrim. The lights should be as far back as possible as to not light any of the NEWSIES from the front.
A silhouette is created and shows the NEWSIES frozen in a set pose. The lights slowly fade to black. ALL exit
and take their respective places for Scene One.)

Scene One
(The curtain opens to reveal the interior of the Newsies lodging house. We hear snoring, coughing, whistling,
etc. Many NEWSIES are sleeping in canvas hammocks, stretched between wooden beams. THEY are the
NEWSIES, rocking in THEIR hammocks, dreaming of being in better places. From the innocent looks on
THEIR faces, you'd hardly know THEY are the orphans of the city. This is the lodging house for newsboys.
KLOPPMAN, the owner, enters the bunkroom, finding the BOYS still in bed.)
KLOPPMAN
Boots!
(BOOTS awakens startled)
Skittery! Skittery! Skittery!
SKITTERY
(still half asleep)
What? I didnt do it!
KLOPPMAN
(joking with HIM)
What do you mean you didn't do it? Will you get up? When you get up, it's time to get up!
(walks over to SNITCH)
Snitch! Get up! Get up! Everybody's sleeping.
(continues walking around and nudging the sleeping NEWSIES.)
They sleep their lives away these kids! The presses are rolling! Sell the papers, sell the papers!
(HE is now at JACKS hammock)
Come on, come on. You dreaming of selling papers?
JACK
(groaning.)
Mmmm.
(angry for having being awakened.)
Whats the matter with you?
KLOPPMAN
(nudging HIM)
Whats the matter with me?
JACK
(shoving HIM away)
Whats the matter with you? I wannagobackto

KLOPPMAN
Come on!
(gives HIM a shove.)
JACK
(rolling over.)
Get away from me, youre mad!
KLOPPMAN
(continuing to bother HIM)
9

Ha! Ha! Get up, boy. Come on.


(JACK forces HIMSELF out of bed)
All right!
(beginning to exit)
Carry the banner! Sell the papers!
(HE exits.
By now, all the NEWSIES are awake and getting ready for the day doing various morning duties. The NEWSIES
are getting dressed; boots being laced up, mittens being put on, shirts and vests being pulled over NEWSIE
heads, a NEWSIE shaving. All action is choreographed. This opening sequence will be break-into-song musical,
choreographed, semi-realistic. The intent of the sequence is to establish the world of the NEWSIES through our
main character JACK, and introduce us to the NEWSIES themselves. The sequence will take place in a series of
scenes, bursting from real action to choreographed movement. We will meet most of the members of the
NEWSIES in this scene. The main NEWSIES are: RACETRACK, 18, tall, skinny, gambling Italian beanpole.
BOOTS, 15, black. CRUTCHY, 14, Irish, red-headed missing teeth. MUSH, 11, cross-eyed, small, skinny, and
with a dirty face. KID BLINK, CHARLIE, etc. RACETRACK looks around for HIS cigar, noticing that
SNIPESHOOTER has it.)
RACETRACK
THATS MY CIGAR!
Carrying the Banner
SNIPESHOOTER
YOULL STEAL ANOTHER!
KID BLINK
(walking past)
HEY BUMMERS, WE GOT WORK TO DO!
KID
(mocking HIM)
SINCE WHEN DID YOU BECOME ME MOTHER?
CRUTCHY
(looks up from a wash basin)
AW, STOP YOUR BAWLING!
NEWSIES
(throwing various items at HIM)
HEY! WHO ASKED YOU?
MUSH
(to JACK)
So howd you sleep, Jack?
JACK
On my back, Mush.
MUSH
(HE laughs and tries to retell the joke to the other NEWSIES)
Ha! Ha! You hear that, fellas? Hear what Jack said? I asked Jack how he slept and he said On my back, Mush.
10

(MUSH and JACK separate. JACK heads over to the washbasin and takes a place next to CRUTCHY.)
CRUTCHY
Jack, when I walk, does it look like Im faking it?
JACK
No, who says youre faking it?
CRUTCHY
I dont know. Its just there are so many fake crips on the street today, a real crip aint got a chance. I got to find me a
new selling spot where they aint used to seeing me.
MUSH
(passing RACETRACK)
TRY BOTTLE ALLEY OR THE HARBOR.
RACETRACK
(passing JACK)
TRY CENTRAL PARK, ITS GAURANTEED.
JACK
(passing SKITTERY)
TRY ANY BAKER, BUM OR BARBER.
SKITTERY
(passing KID BLINK)
THEY ALMOST ALL KNOWS HOW TO READ.
KID BLINK
(passing CRUTCHY, who is still sitting at the washbasin)
I SMELL MONEY!
CRUTHCY
(looking up from the wash basin)
YOU SMELL FOUL!
MUSH
(reaching in front of CRUTCHY for soap)
MET THIS GIRL LAST NIGHT
CRUTCHY
(to MUSH)
MOVE YOUR ELBOW!
RACETRACK
(face covered in soap)
PASS THE TOWEL!
SKITTERY
(jumping up on a chair with a towel in hand)
FOR A BUCK I MIGHT!
11

NEWSIES
(At this point, the NEWSIES all do a simple dance that will be the basis for the rest of the song.)
AIN'T IT A FINE LIFE
CARRYING THE BANNER THROUGH IT ALL?
A MIGHTY FINE LIFE
CARRYING THE BANNER TOUGH AND TALL
EVERY MORNING, WE GOES WHERE WE WISHES
WE'S AS FREE AS FISHES
SURE BEATS WASHIN' DISHES
WHAT A FINE LIFE
CARRYIN THE BANNER HOME-FREE ALL!
(the NEWSIES leave the lodging house and head toward Newsies Square. A curtain closes to cover the lodging
house set while the NEWSIES continue in the next setting. They are now on the streets of New York heading off
to work. Various accouterments of city life are already happening in the street: A shoeshine, a family on a walk,
etc.)
JACK
IT TAKES A SMILE AS SWEET AS BUTTER
CRUTCHY
THE KIND THAT LADIES CANT RESIST
RACETRACK
IT TAKES AN ORPHAN WITH A STUTTER
JACK
THAT AINT AFRAID TO USE HIS
KID BLINK
FIST!
NEWSIES
SUMMER STINKS AND WINTER'S WAITING
WELCOME TO NEW YORK
BOY, AIN'T NATURE FASCINATING
WHEN YOU'S GOTTA WALK?
GROUP ONE
STILL, IT'S A FINE LIFE
CARRYING THE BANNER WITH
MY CHUMS
A MIGHTY FINE LIFE
BLOWING EVERY NICKEL
AS IT COMES.

GROUP TWO (echoing)


ITS A FINE LIFE
CARRYING THE BANNER WITH MY CHUMS
A MIGHTY FINE LIFE
BLOWING EVERY NICKEL
AS IT COMES.
CRUTCHY

(stepping forward)
IM NO SNOOZER!
SITTIN MAKES ME ANCY
I LIKES LIVIN CHANCEY
NEWSIES
12

HARLEM TO DELANCEY
WHAT A FINE LIFE
CARRYIN THE BANNER THROUGH THE SLUMS.
(Through the course of the previous section, a trio of NUNS has set up an area for service to the needy behind
THEM. The NEWSIES part to reveal the NUNS as THEY sing)
NUNS
BLESSED CHILDREN THOUGH YOU WONDER LOST AND DEPRAVED
JESUS LOVES YOU, YOU SHALL BE SAVED!
(PATRICKS MOTHER makes HER way through the NEWSIES looking for HER son. As SHE passes each
NEWSIE, SHE realizes how much SHE truly misses HER son. The NUNS pass out food to the NEWSIS. The
following parts are sung in counterpoint.)
PATRICKS MOTHER
PATRICK,
DARLING
SINCE YOU LEFT ME,
I AM UNDONE
MOTHER LOVES YOU
GOD SAVE MY SON!

RACETRACK
JUST GIVE ME HALF A CUP.
MUSH
I GOTTA FIND AN ANGLE
GROUP ONE
PAPER IS ALL I GOT
SURE HOPE THE
HEADLINES HOT
GOD HELP ME IF ITS
NOT

KID BLINK
SOMETHING TO
WAKE ME UP
GROUP TWO
WISH I COULD CATCH
A BREEZE
ALL I CAN CATCH IS
FLEAS
SOMEBODY HELP ME,
PLEASE.

CRUTCHY
I GOTTA SELL MORE
PAPES.

(PATRICKS MOTHER exits crying as the NUNS exit in a mission to find another place to serve the needy. The
curtain closes. The NEWSIES continue.)
NEWSIES
IF I HATE THE HEADLINE, I'LL MAKE UP THE HEADLINE
AND I'LL SAY ANYTHING I HAFTA
'CAUSE IT'S TWO FOR A PENNY, IF I TAKE TOO MANY
WEASEL JUST MAKES ME EAT THEM AFTER.
(Sung in counterpoint)
GROUP ONE
LOOK! THEY'RE PUTTING UP THE HEADLINE
THEY CALL THAT A HEADLINE?
I GET BETTER STORIES FROM THE COPPER
ON THE BEAT
I WAS GONNA START WITH TWENTY BUT A
DOZEN'LL BE PLENTY
TELL ME HOW IM GONNA MAKE ENDS MEAT!

NEWSIES
WE NEED A GOOD ASSASSINATION!
WE NEED AN EARTHQUAKE OR A WAR!
SNIPESHOOTER
(steps out)
HOW BOUT A CROOKED POLITITION?
13

GROUP TWO
WHAT'S IT SAY?
THAT WON'T PAY!
SO WHERE'S YOUR
SPOT?
GOD, IT'S HOT!
WILL YA TELL ME HOW
IM GONNA MAKE ENDS MEAT!

NEWSIES
(The NEWSIES throw stuff at SNIPESHOOTER.)
HEY STUPID, THAT AINT NEWS NO MORE!
UPTOWN TO GRAND CENTRAL STATION
DOWN TO CITY HALL
WE IMPROVES OUR CIRCULATION
WALKIN TILL WE FALL.
(the following parts are sung in counterpoint)
GROUP ONE
STILL WE'LL BE
OUT THERE
CARRYING THE
BANNER MAN TO
MAN!

YES, WE'LL BE OUT


THERE
SOAKING EVERY
SUCKER THAT WE
CAN!
SEE THE HEADLINE
NEWSIES ON A MISSION
KILL THE COMPETITION
SELL THE NEXT
EDITION
WHILE WE'RE OUT
THERE
CARRRYIN THE
BANNER IS THE

GROUP TWO
LOOK, THEY'RE
PUTTING UP THE
HEADLINE
THAT
A HEADLINE?
THE IDIOT WHO WROTE
IT MUST BE WORKING
FOR THE SUN
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT
THE FIRE?
HEARD THE TOLL WAS
EVEN HIGHER.
HITCHED IT ON A
TROLLEY.
LITTLE ITALYS A
SECRET.

GROUP THREE
HEARD IT KILLED OLD
MAN MAGUIRE.
WHY DO I MISS ALL THE
FUN?
MEET YOU FOURTYFOURTH AND SECOND
BLEECKERS FURTHER
THAN I RECONED

AT THE COURTHOUSE.
NEAR THE STABLES
ON THE CORNER
SOMEONE BECKONED
AND I

(The NEWSIES arrive en masse at Newsies square, home of Newspaper Row and the World headquarters. The
NEWSIES wait for the World gates to open so that THEY can get THEIR papers to sell. Across the street is a
statue of Horace Greeley sitting in a chair. Above Newspaper Row are two huge blackboards. We see TWO
MEN writing the day's headlines in chalk. PEOPLE stand below reading the boards and waiting for the papers.
The DELANCY BROTHERS arrive in the square and spot JACK. By the looks in THEIR faces, we see instantly
that JACK and the DELANCYS are archrivals. The DELANCYS are goons hired by the World to keep the
NEWSIES in line. The DELANCYS make life for the NEWSIES miserable.)
RACETRACK
(obviously making fun of the DELANCY BROTHERS)
Dear me! What is that unpleasant aroma?
(SNIPESHOOTER smells HIS armpit)
I fear the sewer may have backed up during the night.
BOOTS
(egging HIM on)
NahToo rotten to be the sewers.
14

CRUTCHY
It must be the Delancy Brothers!
(the NEWSIES all laugh and poke fun as the BROTHERS walk by)
RACETRACK
Hiya, boys!
(SNIPESHOOTER steps up to THEM)
OSCAR
(to SNIPESHOOTER)
In the back, you lousy shrimp.
(the DELANCY BROTHERS cuff SNIPESHOOTER and push HIM toward the back. JACK sees this and HE
moves toward THEM. JACK takes SNIPESHOOTERS hand, helps HIM to HIS feet and walks HIM back to the
front. JACK, boldly ignoring the DELANCYS, puts SNIPSHOOTER in HIS place. The BROTHERS watch
turning red - slow boil. JACK turns and faces THEM.)
RACETRACK
Its not good to do that. Not healthy.
JACK
(HE approaches OSCAR)
You shouldnt call people lousy little shrimps, Oscar, unless youre referring to the family resemblance in your brother
here.
RACETRACK
(the NEWSIES see the confrontation brewing. There is excitement in the air. RACETRACK turns to the
NEWSIES around HIM; HE takes off HIS hat to start a gamble)
Five to one says that Cowboy skunks them. Whos betting?
JACK
Thats right. Its an insult. Sos this...
(JACK knocks MORRIS' hat off HIS head. The DELANCYS chase JACK around the Square to the thrill of the
NEWSIES - a morning tradition. On the DR side of the stage, a porch unit comes on. We see a loving MOTHER
on the porch with HER TWO SONS saying goodbye for the morning. The older son DAVID, DAVID JACOBS,
15, with dark intense eyes. HES a keen observer, a bit wary of the world. HIS kid brother, LES, 10, has an
innocent enthusiasm. DAVID and LES put THEIR caps on and say goodbye to THEIR mother ESTHER, 38, a
fading Polish beauty, who kisses HER sons goodbye and sees THEM off. The BOYS exit as the porch unit is
pulled off. DAVID and LES arrive UR into the street scene. Out of nowhere, JACK tears out from behind the
Horace Greeley statue, nearly crashing into DAVID and LES)
DAVID
Hey, watch it! What are you doing?
JACK
Running!
(JACK turns and smiles at DAVID, catching LES' eye. The pursuing DELANCYS can't stop in time and crash
into DAVID and LES, sending THEM sprawling. The CROWD stops breathing as, before the World gates, the
DELANCYS grab JACK and lift HIM high into the air, about to smash HIM into the cobblestones.
The following action takes place throughout the rest of the number:
15

JACK grabs the bars of the gate and, like a monkey, jerks free of the DELANCYS grasp. The NEWSIES howl,
loving the show as JACK avoids the BROTHERS, moving from bar to bar. DAVID and LES watch amazed,
fascinated with JACKS antics. At the gate, JACK taunts the BROTHERS, savoring the moment, high above the
CROWD.)

16

GROUP ONE
IT'S A FINE LIFE
CARRYING THE BANNER THROUGH
IT ALL
A MIGHTY FINE LIFE
CARRYING THE BANNER TOUGH
AND TALL

SEE THE HEADLINE


NEWSIES ON A MISSION
KILL THE COMPETITION
SELL THE NEXT EDITION
WHAT A FINE LIFE
CARRYING THE BANNER!
ITS A FINE LIFE
CARRYING THE BANNER
ITS A FINE LIFE
CARRYING THE BANNER
ITS A FINE LIFE
CARRYING THE BANNER
ITS A FINE LIFE
CARRYING THE BANNER

(sung in counterpoint)
GROUP TWO
WOULD YOU LOOK AT THE
HEADLINE
YOU CALL THAT A HEADLINE?
I GET BETTER STORIES FROM
THE COPPER ON THE BEAT
I WAS GONNA START WITH
TWENTY BUT A
DOZEN'LL BE PLENTY
WOULD YOU TELL ME HOW'M I
EVER GONNA MAKE ENDS MEET
HITCHED IT ON A TROLLY
MEETCHA FORTY-FOURTH
AND SECOND
LITTLE ITALY'S A SECRET
BLEECKER'S FURTHER THAN I
RECKONED
BY THE COURTHOUSE, NEAR
THE STABLES
ON THE CORNER SOMEONE
BECKONED!
GO GET 'EM COWBOY!
YOUVE GOT EM COWBOY!
GO GET 'EM COWBOY!
YOUVE GOT EM COWBOY!

NEWSIES
GO!
(During the previous section, a set piece that looks somewhat like a bank tellers window has been brought on
DL. A WORLD EMPLOYEE enters on one of the last few lines of the song carrying a huge stack of papers.)
WORLD EMPLOYEE
These are for the Newsies!
(HE slams the papers on the counter, which signals the final chord of the song. The opening production number
ends and the moment is broken when a bell inside the World Building rings out. The huge gates begin to slide
open and JACK hangs on. OTHERS yell out HIS name as HE rides them until the last possible moment, then
leaps into the back of a wagon. Segue to next scene during the following dialogue.)
RACETRACK
Brilliant. Better than yesterday.
JACK
(standing up in the wagon)
You are too kind to me, Race. Youre too kind.
MORRIS
17

See you tomorrow, Cowboy.


OSCAR
Youre as good as dead, Cowboy!

18

Scene Two
(The following action occurs during the previous dialogue:
DAVID and LES enter the courtyard. LES keeps HIS eyes on JACK, HIS new hero. DAVID is wary of this wild
street bandit. We are now in the loading dock for the distribution center. The NEWSIES move through the gates
and up the steps to the loading dock where the papers are loaded into wagons. On the roof of the wagon, HIS
moment over, JACK watches the NEWSIES line up for papes. In the courtyard below, DAVID pulls LES
towards the gate and into line. The humiliated DELANCEY BROTHERS push through the line and enter the
circulation office late for work again. DAVID and LES take their place. OLDER BOYS cut in the front, with no
protest, including RACETRACK, MUSH, and CRUTCHY. Flushed from HIS escape, JACK saunters up to the
head of the line. BOOTS and MUD to HIS right and left. JACK leans on the counter and begins banging on the
window.)
JACK
Oh, Mr. Weasel.
WEASEL
(off stage)
Alright. Alright. Hold your horses. Im coming. Im coming.
(HE opens up the window. From behind the window where the papers are dispensed, WEASEL, disgusted, steps
forward. Behind HIS window, HIS cudgel close at hand, WEASEL sits as the NEWSIES fight for positions in
line.)
JACK
(sarcastically)
So, did you miss me, Weasel? Huh, did you miss me?
(WEASEL burns. The NEWSIES laugh. Inside the DELANCY BROTHERS bristle at JACKS boldness. JACK
turns to the smiling NEWSIES, wags HIS eyebrows for a laugh and sees LES staring at him. JACK winks at LES
and LES smiles, fascinated. DAVID is still mistrustful of this wild street kid. JACK turns, picks up a paper and
scans the headlines. WEASEL is impatient.)
WEASEL
(irritated)
I told you a million times: the names Wisely. Mr. Wisely to you.
(HE begins to count papers)
How many?
JACK
Dont rush me. Im perusing the merchandise, Mr. Weasel.
(The NEWSIES snicker. Taking HIS good old time, JACK lowers and folds the paper and finally holds up a
fifty-cent piece. WEASEL reaches for it. JACK pulls it away, then slaps it on the table. JACK leaves HIS hand
on the coin.)
The usual.
(WEASEL angrily rips JACKS hand off the coin and barks at OSCAR.)
WEASEL
A hundred papes for the wise guy.
(OSCAR slams the papers on the counter. JACK picks them up and steps aside.)
Next!
19

RACETRACK
(stepping up to the window)
Morning, your honor! Listen, do me a favor: spot me fifty papes? I got a hot tip in the fourth. You wont waste your
money.
WEASEL
(leaning in and whispering)
Its a sure thing?
RACETRACK
Yeah. Not like last time.
WEASEL
(calling to OSCAR)
Fifty papes! Next!
CRUTCHY
(stepping up to the window)
Hi, Mr. Wisel.
(The action shifts to a place along the loading dock where JACK, BOOTS and RACETRACK all scan the papers
looking for the catchy headlines as DAVID and LES, in the background, move to the window, watching JACK
and the others.)
RACETRACK
See anything good this morning?
BOOTS
(looking through the paper)
Chief Devery on the take?
JACK
(shaking HIS head)
Greasin cops aint news.
(JACK finds a headline. CRUTCHY leaves the window and heads over to where JACK, RACETRACK and
BOOTS and sitting. Another NEWSIE steps up to the window)
Heres one: Mother Gives Birth to Cow.
CRUTCHY
(taking it seriously)
She did?
JACK
No, CrutchI made it up.
(THEY laugh at CRUTCHY'S gullibility. JACK knuckles HIS head. A NEWSIE leaves the window with a stack
of papers as DAVID steps up to the window. LES stands to the side still watching JACK.)
DAVID
Twenty papers, please.
RACETRACK
(still looking for headlines)
20

Look at this: Baby Born with Three Heads. Must be from Brooklyn.
(a commotion at the window draws THEIR attention. At the circulation window DAVID holds HIS ground as
WEASEL leans challengingly into HIS face. A hush settles over the NEWSIES as LES looks around nervously at
the staring NEWSIES.)
WEASEL
You got your lousy papes, now beat it!
DAVID
(gulps)
I paid for twenty and I only got nineteen.
WEASEL
Are you accusing me of lying, kid?
DAVID
No, I just want my paper.
MORRIS
(stepping up to the window)
He said beat it.
(DAVID sweats. OSCAR and MORRIS chuckle in anticipation. JACK steps up beside DAVID and slams HIS
hand down on the little stack of papers. DAVID jumps. JACK closes HIS eyes and thumbs the stack.)
JACK
Nineteen, Weasel. One of your bums cant add. But don't worry about it. It's an honest mistake. I mean, Morris here
can't count to twenty with his shoes on.
(WEASEL glares, deciding whether a confrontation with JACK is worthwhile. HE decides against it. JACK
calls to RACETRACK)
Hey Race, will you spot me two bits?
(RACETRACK throws HIM some coins. JACK places the coins on the counter.)
Another fifty for my friend here.
DAVID
I dont want another fifty.
JACK
Sure you do. Every Newsie wants more papes.
(to LES)
Right, kid?
(LES nods confused. WEASEL throws another fifty papes onto DAVIDS stack.)
WEASEL
(calling for the next NEWSIES)
Next!
(JACK jumps down from the loading dock and heads for the gate. LES, DAVID [grabbing HIS papers] and
some of the GANG follow. DAVID and LES hurry to catch up to JACK.)
DAVID
I don't want your papes. I don't take charity from anyone.
21

(trying to hand HIM the extra papers)


Here are your papes. I don't know you. I dont care to.
LES
Cowboy. They call him Cowboy.
JACK
Yeah, I'm called that and a lot of other things, including Jack Kelly, which is what me mudder called me.
(the GANG stops behind DAVID and LES as DAVID holds out HIS hand, THEY shake hands. To LES.)
What do they call you, kid?
LES
Les, and this is my brother, David. Hes older.
JACK
No kidding. How old are you?
LES
Me? Near ten.
JACK
Near ten. Well, that's no good. If anyone asks, you're seven.
(LES is crushed)
You see, younger sells more papes and
(to DAVID)
if we're gonna be partners, we wanna be the best.
DAVID
Wait. Who said anything about being partners?
JACK
Well, you owe me two bits right? Well, I'll consider that an investment. We sell together, we split seventy-thirty, plus
you get the benefit of observing me, no charge.
DAVID
Ah-ha.
JACK
(mocking)
Ah-ha.
DAVID
Why do I need you?
CRUTCHY
Why do you need air to breathe?
BOOTS
Exactly.
JACK
I'll show you the ropes, the hot spots, teach you some tricks and keep you from gettin' shiners.
22

CRUTCHY
You're getting the chance of a lifetime here, Davey. You learn from Jack, you learn from the best.
DAVID
(hesitates, bravely)
Well, if he's the best, then how come he needs me?
(JACK smiles at DAVID, respecting HIS courage.)
JACK
Listen, I don't need you, pal, but I ain't got a cute little brudder like Les here to front for me.
(takes LES to HIS side)
With this kid's puss and my God-given talent, we could move a thousand papes a week.
(to LES)
So what do you say Les? You wanna sell papes with me?
LES
(excitedly)
Yeah!
JACK
(JACK smiles and looks at DAVID. DAVID is still dubious.)
So, we got a deal?
DAVID
Wait. Its got to be at least fifty-fifty.
JACK
Sixty-forty. Take it or leave it.
(a beat and then DAVID holds out HIS hand. JACK spits on HIS hand and reaches for DAVIDS, who pulls HIS
arm away.)
Whats the matter?
DAVID
Thats disgusting.
(By this time, the rest of the NEWSIES have gotten THEIR papers and are moving out into the street.)
JACK
The name of the game is volume, Dave. You only took twenty papes. Why?
DAVID
Bad headline.
JACK
That's the first thing you gotta learn: Headlines don't sell papes, Newsies sell papes. You know, we're what holds this
town together. Without Newsies, nobody knows nothing.
(A GIRL hurries past and the NEWSIES take off THEIR hats and make a few comments)
Gentlemen, the suckers is waiting.
SPECS
(calling out a headline)
23

Baby born with three heads!


(The NEWSIES begin to yell out various headlines as THEY spread out over the streets. The NEWSIES may find
THEIR own path out of the theatre. DAVID, LES and JACK are to exit through the audience. The NEWSIES are
to continue barking headlines as THEY exit the theatre and segue into the next scene.)

24

Scene Three
(We are now inside Pulitzers office at the top of the World Building. The penthouse. Irreplaceable works of
art, a massive desk and a golden dome that reflects golden light onto: JOSEPH PULITZER, 52, newspaper
magnate and owner of New York World, as HE stands in all HIS luxury at a window looking down at the street.
By HIS side is HIS secretary JONATHAN, 35, an uptight English starchy. Also in the room are SEITZ and
another WORLD EMPLOYEE. PULITZER, nearly blind, holds heavy-lensed glasses on a holder up to HIS eyes
and squints. HE sees JACK, DAVID, LES and other NEWSIES begin THEIR day. In this scene there should be
the noise of hustle and bustle happening somewhere in the distance of the theatre [perhaps in the far corner of
the lobby away from the audience as not to distract too much]. As the scene progresses, the NOISEMAKERS
should slowly inch THIER way towards the door making the noise grow and can therefore segue into the next
scene as this scene draws to a conclusion.)
PULITZER
How do they get so dirty?
JONATHAN
They don't bathe, Mr. Pulitzer.
PULITZER
Only the poor abandon their children.
(JONATHAN nods)
Is there another place for them to congregate? I hate seeing them.
(JONATHAN makes a note. PULITZER sits at HIS desk and reads the morning headline.)
'Trolley Strike Drags On For Third Week' and this so-called headline drags on for infinity.
EMPLOYEE
News is slow, Mr. Pulitzer. The trolley strike's all we've got.
PULITZER
Well, that's all Mr. William Randolph Hearst has too, but look how he covers the strike.
(picks up a different newspaper and shoves it in the EMPLOYEES face.)
Look! Look!
EMPLOYEE
We'll get a new headline writer, sir.
PULITZER
Steal Hearst's man. Offer him double.
SEITZ
That's how he stole him from us. It's not the headlines, Chief. The circulation wars are cutting into our profits because
you spend as much as you make trying to beat Hearst.
PULITZER
Then we need to make more money. You do not penny-pinch when you're in a war, Seitz. Victory means everything.
Now, when I created the World
(by now the noise has grownbut not too loud)
What is that deafening noise?
JONATHAN
Just the Newsies, sir. I'll go have them quieted.
25

PULITZER
Never mind the Newsies. Where was I?
SEITZ
Creating the World, Chief.
PULITZER
(HE gets up and goes to the window and looks out at the NEWSIES selling papers.)
There's lots of money down there, gentlemen. I want to know how I can get more of it...by tonight.
(segue)

26

Scene Four
(We are now on the street. NEWSIES have entered from all areas of the theatre barking headlines. JACK,
DAVID and LES enter UR and cross DL. On the DR side, TWO LOVERS spoon on the steps of a building. An
open-air market, filled with VENDOR'S carts selling everything from candy to suspenders. Shouting and
singing in pidgin English and countless other tongues. JACK walks as if HE owns the block. HIS movements are
fluid, dance-like, as HE weaves a spell over DAVID and LES.)
JACK
The thing is, some Newsies got corners and regular customers and they know exactly
what they'll sell every day. Me, I like to work the angles, keep moving, and enjoy life. I
spot an opportunity, I sell a pape. That's the advantage of being an independent
businessman.
(points at the TWO LOVERS)
Look. A good tip, guaranteed.
DAVID
They don't want a paper.
(JACK smiles and whispers in LESS ear. LES runs to THE LOVERS, moves close, and shouts ear-splittingly.)
LES
Brooklyn Trolley crushes baby!
(the LOVERS spring apart. The MAN looks at LES murderously. LES holds out a paper. The MAN tosses a coin
at LES to get rid of HIM. LES runs happily back to DAVID and JACK.)
LES
A dime!
(JACK takes the dime. LES' face falls. JACK sees this, gives it back to HIM. DAVID looks at JACK with wary
respect.)
JACK
Keep it, kid. You earned it.
(HE grabs DAVID by the arm who in turn grabs LES by the arm and leads THEM to another spot on stage.)
C'mon, I'll show ya some more.
(The BOYS are catching JACK'S rhythm and movements as THEY weave through the CROWD chanting/singing
the headlines.)
DAVID & LES
Crooked cops! Bulls on the take!
JACK
Spring a penny, buy a pape!
(suddenly JACK jumps atop a crate, yells.)
Extra! Extra! Ellis Island explodes!
(DAVID looks skeptically at HIM. JACK just smiles as eager BUYERS rush to HIM. The rumor spreads in
several languages. Low, to DAVID)
Page nine. Trash fire next to the immigration building.
(calls)
Extra! Ellis Island explodes!
(DAVID is offended. HE steps away from JACK.
27

Now, papers are handed to CUSTOMERS. Money handed back to LES [repeat twice]. WOMEN with funny
hats fawn over LES. ONE WOMAN gives LES a kiss. LES turns to JACK and DAVID and winks.
A saloon door has been moved on stage. The BOYS move over to the door and shove LES in. JACK and DAVID
wait outside. JACK reads a battered dime western novel. DAVID waits nervously. LES comes running out of the
saloon with no papers. JACK takes money from HIM, hands HIM a paper.)
Startin' in back, like I tol' ya?
(LES nods)
Show me again.
LES
(HE assumes a bedraggled look, holds out the single newspaper, coughs and says pathetically)
Buy me last pape, mista?
JACK
Heartbreakin'! Get 'em, kid.
(LES runs back inside. DAVID looks at JACK disapprovingly.)
DAVID
We were taught not to lie.
JACK
I was taught not to starve to death in the gutter. Who ya gonna believe?
LES
(emerges from the saloon.)
A quarter! He gave me a quarter!
(DAVID leans and sniffs at LES.)
DAVID
Somebody spill beer on you?
LES
I drank some. That's how I got the quarter.
DAVID
(admonishingly)
Les...I told you...
JACK
(stern)
Hey! Look. Number one rule. No drinkin' on the job. Ya hear?
(LES nods, dead serious. DAVID rolls HIS eyes. JACK gives LES another paper. LES runs back inside.
From the right side of the audience, a black-suited man, NIGEL SNYDER, 49, and a burly 55 year-old Irish
cop, CAPTAIN MCSWAIN, enter the scene. SNYDER has the intensity of a religious fanatic. MCSWAIN sees
JACK and DAVID outside the saloon.)
MCSWAIN
(pointing to JACK, to SNYDER)
There's your pal.
28

(SNYDER looks and sees JACK: instant hate, HIS ears go crimson. HE goes after JACK; MCSWAIN, reluctant,
follows. As LES exits, DAVID glances up the sidewalk and notices SNYDER and MCSWAIN hurrying toward
them.)
DAVID
We doing something wrong?
(JACK turns sees SNYDER and MCSWAIN only a few feet away. HIS smile disappears. JACK stands and starts
running. LES runs after HIM. DAVID grabs papers and follows THEM.)
LES
(as HE is running)
All this for one sip of beer?
JACK
(hears THEM behind HIM and yells over HIS shoulder)
Beat it! They don't want you!
(THEY follow HIM anyway. THEY exit the stage and enter again from one of the side doors on the side of the
stage.
At the front of the stage, a backdrop covered in bricks has fallen from the ceiling to make this look like an alley.
We are now in Blind Mans Alley. The drop does not have to cover the entire stage, but it must cover enough
area to house the THREE BOYS, SNYDER, MCSWAIN, DENTON and the SEVEN BLIND PEOPLE. THEY can
run in place, but there must be enough distance between THEM. Also, if THEY are running, some lights might
flash and such to make it look as if THEY are running in and out of shadows.
DENTON photographs SIX BLIND MEN and ONE BLIND WOMAN, all with dark glasses and white canes. As
JACK, DAVID and LES sprint toward them, JACK yells out to one of the MEN)
Hey, hey Danny!
(DANNY senses the urgency in JACK'S voice as HE passes and when THEY hear the heavy footsteps of the law
behind THEM, THEY stand and block THEIR way. SNYDER and MCSWAIN have to slow down cautiously
moving between THEM. The THREE BOYS race across the front of the audience and make noises as THEY run
behind the audience seating. MCSWAIN and SNYDER blow THEIR whistles. Blind Mans Alley raises to reveal
the street once again. JACK, DAVID and LES race across the crowded street, through wagon traffic and exit
the stage and come in through one of the side doors where a small stairway has been rolled on. We are now
inside a tenement building. Dank and dark. The BOYS race up the creaky stairs. JACK, at home, hops over a
MAN slumped on the landing, warning THEM)
Sleeper!
(THEY nimbly jump the SLEEPER, run up and down various stairways of varying sizes down a hall past other
ghostly FIGURES and then fly down more steps and out another door. MCSWAIN and SNYDER in hot pursuit.
A short wall unit has been rolled on to the front of the stage. Other items resembling a rooftop are brought on.
A ramp is at the end of this wall for easier access to the auditorium ground. JACK jumps the wall screaming as
if HE has just jumped from the top of the building. DAVID and LES are in shock. JACK pops HIS head over the
top of the wall and calls THEM over. DAVID and LES run to the wall, hop over and hit the floor just as
SNYDER and MCSWAIN enter.)
SNYDER
(calling out)
Sullivan! Wait til I get you back to the Refuge!
(Blackout.)

29

Scene Five
(The stage is now set as Irving Hall, but there is no light on the actual stage. All the lights are on the THREE
BOYS who are walking the street [which is happening in front of the stage on the auditorium floor.] DL a door
labeled Stage Door is dimly lit by a lamp post close by.)
DAVID
Who was he and why was he chasing you? And what is this Refuge?
JACK
The Refuge is a jail for kids. That guy chasing me was Snyder, hes the warden.
DAVID
You were in jail?
JACK
I stole some food...
(DAVID skeptical)
...to feed my kid brother,
(crosses HIS heart)
Truth.
LES
Where's your brother?
JACK
(pulls the dime novel from HIS back pocket. Shows LES.)
Out west. With the Cowboys. My dad and him went to get settled. I'm just waitin' for the word and I'm on the ol' Santa
Fe Trail myself, headin' west.
LES
You're gonna be a cowboy?
JACK
Like Wild Bill Hickock. Except I'll learn to ranch.
DAVID
He called you Sullivan.
JACK
Well, my name's Kelly. Jack Kelly.
(a beat)
You think I'm lying?
DAVID
Well, you have a way of improving the truth. Why was he chasing you?
JACK
'Cause I escaped.
LES
Oh boy! How?
30

JACK
Well, this big shot gave me a ride out in his carriage.
DAVID
(sarcastically)
I bet it was the mayor.
JACK
No, Teddy Roosevelt. You ever heard of him?
(JACK empties the change from HIS pockets into HIS hands; all THEY made that day. DAVID counts.)
How much we got?
DAVID
(pleased)
Two dollars and seventy-five cents.
JACK
Not bad. Let's see the show.
DAVID
Show?
JACK
(signaling to the door)
At the Irving. It's new tonight.
(DAVID starts to complain as JACK starts to the door, remembers the papers and grabs them on HIS way up
stairs.)
JACK
Gotta sell these. Don't want to eat the leftovers. Right, Les?
(HE goes to the backstage door)
LES
Whatever you say.
(DAVID and LES stand on the sidewalk watching JACK at the backstage door talking to the stage manager,
FAT MAX COHEN, 65. FAT MAX enjoys talking to the BOY. MAX looks up at THEM.)
MAX
If anybody gets hurt, Jack, my ass is...
JACK
Won't happen Max. Give me a break, I'm a reg'lar customer.
(MAX hesitates, looks around, and then nods. JACK turns and waves DAVID and LES on. THEY hurry to HIM
and enter. Segue to next scene.)

31

Scene Six
(THE BOYS enter. We are now inside Irving Hall. TWO MEN juggle as a plump scantily clad WOMEN gestures
and points at THEM.)
MEDDA
What's going on down there? Out! Out! Out!
JACK
You wouldn't kick me out without a kiss goodbye, would you Medda?
MEDDA
Oh, Kelly. Where ya been, kid?
(SHE hugs JACK)
Oh, I miss seeing you up in the balcony.
JACK
Hanging on your every word. So, Medda
MEDDA
Yes.
JACK
This is David and Les.
(THEY bow)
MEDDA
Hello.
JACK
(grabbing HER hand and introducing HER)
And this is the greatest star of the vaudeville stage today, Miss Medda Larkson, the Swedish Meadowlark.
MEDDA
Welcome, gentlemen.
(SHE curtsies)
JACK
Medda also owns the joint.
(LES begins to cough and do HIS usual sales pitch)
MEDDA
Oh, what do we have here? Oh, aren't you the cutest little thing there ever was? Yes you are.
LES
(cough)
Buy me last pape, lady?
MEDDA
(SHE looks at JACK recognizing the sales pitch and then looks back at LES)
Oh, you are good. Oh yes, this kid is really good. Speaking as one professional to another, I'd say you have a great
future.
32

JACK
(getting back to business)
So, is it all right if we stay here for a little while, Medda? Just until a little problem outside goes away.
MEDDA
Sure, stay as long as you like.
(to MAX)
Max, just give my guests whatever they want.
ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
And now gents, the moment you've all been waiting for. The sensational songbird. The Swedish Meadowlark, Miss
Medda Larkson.
(MEDDA goes on stage. THE BOYS climb up a ladder and sit amongst the rigging above the stage. DAVID and
LES are in heaven sitting with JACK on the catwalk above the stage straddling the ropes as THEY watch the
show below. LES is packing away the candy. JACK glances at HIS new friends, pleased.)
My Lovey Dovey Baby
MEDDA
MY LOVEY DOVEY BABY
I BOO-HOO-HOO FOR YOU
I USED TO BE YOUR TOOTSIE-WOOTSIE
THEN YOU SAID 'TOOLDLE-DEDOO'
I MISS THE HANKY-PANKY
EACH NIGHTY-NIGHT TIL THREE
COME BACK MY LOVEY DOVEY BABY
AND COOCHIE-COO WITH ME
(After the show, THE BOYS begin to climb back down to the stage and make THEIR way to the back door of the
theatre and back out to the street.)
JACK
So, you like that?
DAVID
Oh, I loved that. It was great. She is beautiful. How do you know her?
JACK
She was a friend of me fadder's.
(THEY step out the door and notice it is now nighttime. The lights shift back to street lighting. The stage
should be black so that the set for Davids house can be set up without distracting from the action. The dialogue
should cover the scene change so that the blackout at the end will only have to be long enough for JACK,
DAVID and LES to make it to the doorway of the apartment.)
DAVID
Oh, it's getting late. My parents are going to be worried.
JACK
I'll walk with ya.
(THEY start off together.)
33

LES
(grabbing HIS stomach)
I dont feel so good.
(JACK goes to pick HIM up. THEY walk to the other side of the stage [on the street].)
DAVID
(halfway)
Next building. Want me to take'm?
JACK
Nah...I got'm.
(pause)
What floor ya on?
DAVID
Fifth.
(JACK immediately passes LES back to DAVID. DAVID and JACK exchange a smile and then walk off.
Blackout.)

34

Scene Seven
(Davids apartment. Crowded, clean and well ordered. A warm one-room apartment which serves as both
working and living area. Two windows to a fire escape look into the alley. DAVIDS mother, ESTHER
JACOBS, 38 looks up from HER piecework as the door opens and DAVID carries LES inside. HER hand comes
to HER mouth in fright; accent colors HER speech.
ESTHER
My God...
DAVID
It's okay, Momma, he's just sick to his stomach.
(ESTHER rushes to HER baby as DAVID'S sister, SARAH, 18, turns from HER piecework and faces us. SHES
pale and pretty with dark almond shaped eyes and olive skin. DAVID'S father, MAYER, 43, relieved but angry,
awkwardly folds HIS newspaper with one bandaged arm in a sling. HE sees LES is alright and gives JACK the
once over. During the excitement JACK just looks around at the apartment. A home. To HIM the Taj Mahal.
Food on the stove, sheets on the bed. Home. It hits HIM hard. DAVID sees HIS father looking at JACK.)
This is my friend Jack.
(to JACK)
My parents...
(motioning to SARAH)
and that's Sarah. My sister.
(MAYER shakes hands with JACK as ESTHER lays LES on HER bed. SARAH stands and looks at JACK; at
once defensive and curious. JACK looks HER straight in the eye, in awe of HER beauty...and speechless. To
MAYER)
Jack, Les, and I are partners.
(DAVID pulls out HIS change and puts it on the table. MAYER acts like HE robbed a bank, then counts it.)
MAYER
(amazed)
Ninety-five cents?
(DAVID nods)
You can make that everyday?
JACK
More.
DAVID
Today we were just learning.
MAYER
(MAYER looks at ESTHER, proud, then smiles at JACK.)
We've only got soup, Jack, but you're welcome to join us.
JACK
I don't know...I'm sorta expected...
(JACK looks at SARAH quickly then back to MAYER.)
Maybe just a bowl.
(ESTHER adds water to the pot.)
MAYER
(to SARAH, quietly)
35

Sarah? Go get the cake your mother's hiding in the cabinet.


ESTER
(playfully hitting HIM on the arm [not the broken arm] with HER towel)
That's for your birthday tomorrow!
MAYOR
Well, I've had enough birthdays. This is a celebration.
DAVID
(getting up)
I'll get the knife.
SARAH
I got the plates.
DAVID
(gathering up silverware)
This is only the beginning, papa. The longer I work, the more money I'll make.
MAYER
You'll only work until I go back to the factory, and then you are going back to school, like you promised.
SARAH
(bringing the cake to the table. SHE kisses him on the head)
Happy birthday, papa.
MAYER
(to the FAMILY)
This is going to heal, and they'll give me my job back.
(LES stirs, but doesn't wake up in bed.)
LES
COME BACK MY LOVEY DOVEY BABY
AND COOCHIE-COO WITH ME
(DAVID and JACK start laughing)
ESTER
And what is this David?
(THE BOYS try to stop laughing, but can't. THEY all begin to eat.)
JACK
(changing the subject)
What do you do for a living, sir?
MAYER
(pats his arm)
Not much with this arm, son. But I have worked as a tailor.
JACK
What happened to the arm?
(MAYER hesitates)
36

DAVID
He was striking. They busted it for him.
MAYER
I try to do what's right. But sometimes that makes it hard to make a living.
(THEY all get up from the table. ESTER goes over to LES. SARAH clears the table. MAYER goes back to
reading HIS newspaper. JACK and DAVID exit to the fire escape. Segue to next scene.)

37

Scene Eight
(We are now on the fire escape outside DAVIDS. JACK and DAVID look out over the city. ESTHER, inside,
sings a lullaby to LES. SARAH sits doing HER own work while MAYER reads the paper. JACK looks longingly
back inside at the warmth...and SARAH.)
MAYER
(from inside the apartment)
David. It's late.
DAVID
(to MAYER)
Alright.
(to JACK)
Jack, why don't you stay here tonight?
JACK
Ah, no, thanks. I got a place of my own. But you're family's real nice, like mine.
DAVID
(hesitates, then starts back inside the open window.)
See you tomorrow.
JACK
Alright.
DAVID
Carrying the banner.
JACK
Carrying the banner.
(JACK nods. DAVID slips inside and closes the window. JACK starts down, stops and looks back, remembering
what HES missed. HE listens to ESTHER sing a Lullaby, then, in counter point, JACK, watching SARAH,
begins to sing too.)
Santa Fe
SO THAT'S WHAT THEY CALL A FAMILY
MUDDER, FADDER, DAUGHTER, SON
GUESS EVERYTHING YOU HEARD ABOUT IT'S TRUE.
(HE continues down the fire escape.)
SO YOU AIN'T GOT ANY FAMILY
WELL, WHO SAID YOU NEEDED ONE?
AIN'T YA GLAD NOBODY'S WAITING UP FOR YOU?
WHEN I DREAM ON MY OWN
I'M ALONE, BUT I AIN'T LONELY
FOR A DREAMER, NIGHT'S THE ONLY TIME OF DAY
WHEN THE CITY'S FINALLY SLEEPING
WHEN MY THOUGHTS BEGIN TO STRAY
38

AND I'M ON THE TRAIN THAT BOUND FOR SANTA FE


(drops off the fire escape into the alley below moves to the sidewalk and walks the streets)
AND I'M FREE
LIKE THE WIND
LIKE I'M GONNA LIVE FOREVER.
IT'S A FEELING TIME CAN NEVER TAKE AWAY
ALL I NEED'S A FEW MORE DOLLARS
AND I'M OUTTA HERE TO STAY
DREAMS COME TRUE
YES THEY DO
IN SANTA FE
(PEOPLE slowly begin to walk the streets. Throughout the song, HE interacts with PEOPLE as they pass.)
WHERE DOES IT SAY YOU'VE GOTTA LIVE AND DIE HERE?
WHERE DOES IT SAY A GUY CAN'T CATCH A BREAK?
WHY SHOULD YOU ONLY TAKE WHAT YOU'RE GIVEN?
WHY SHOULD YOU SPEND YOUR WHOLE LIFE LIVIN'
TRAPPED WHERE THERE AIN'T NO FUTURE
EVEN AT SEVENTEEN
BREAKING YOUR BACK FOR SOMEONE ELSE'S SAKE
IF THE LIFE DON'T SEEM TO SUIT YA
HOW BOUT A CHANGE OF SCENE?
FAR FROM THE LOUSY HEADLINES
AND THE DEADLINES IN BETWEEN SANTA FE
(dance)
SANTA FE,
ARE YOU THERE?
DO YOU SWEAR YOU WON'T FORGET ME?
IF I FOUND YOU WOULD YOU LET ME COME AND STAY?
I AIN'T GETTING ANY YOUNGER
AND BEFORE MY DYING DAY I WANT SPACE
NOT JUST AIR
LET 'EM LAUGH IN MY FACE, I DON'T CARE
SAVE A PLACE
I'LL BE THERE
(JACK sees TWO COPS coming and instinctively hides in the shadows until THEY pass: HE finishes the song in
the dark.)
SO THAT'S WHAT THEY CALL A FAMILY?
AINT YA GLAD YOU AIN'T THAT WAY?
AINT YA GLAD YOU GOT A DREAM CALLED SANTA FE?
(JACK gets out from HIS hiding place. RACETRACK enters. We are now outside the Lodging House. Walking
to the entrance of the Lodging House...)
Hiya Race.
RACETRACK
Hey Jack.
JACK
39

How was your day at the track?


RACETRACK
(THEY walk through the door)
Remember that hot tip I told you about?
(JACK nods)
Nobody told the horse.
(Blackout as door closes.)

40

Scene Nine
(Pulitzers office. PULITZER sits at HIS desk, eyes closed, HIS staff before HIM. JONATHAN, HIS secretary,
reads a report in softly measured tones. EVERYONE speaks softly to PULITZER.)
JONATHAN
Circulation up twelve percent, advertising revenues down ten percent, projected losses...
(HE drones on. DON SEITZ, 45, more like a coach than a business manager, sips quietly at HIS coffee.
PULITZERS hearing is so oversensitive that slight noises can fray HIS delicate nerves.)
PULITZER
So...We're winning the circulation war but losing our shirts...
SEITZ
Yes, sir. We take a loss on every paper we sell.
(PULITZER nods, distressed)
We could raise the street price to two cents...
PULITZER
In deference to your imperious sensibilities, Mr. Seitz, if we held to that course Hearst and the others would stay at a
penny and cut our throats.
(PULITZER spins in HIS chair and looks out over the city, HIS hand resting on the head of a bronze statue of
Napoleon.)
What would the Newsies do if we raised their price?
SEITZ
They'd howl for sure, but we have people in place to control them.
PULITZER
What do they pay now?
SEITZ
Fifty cents per hundred.
PULITZER
Charge them sixty.
SEITZ
Yes, sir.
PULITZER
And coordinate it with Hearst, Mr. Seitz. Strict secrecy. He's still afraid of his boys.
(Blackout.)

41

Scene Ten
(Newsies Square. Next morning. There are chalkboards above Newspaper Row. We see the headlines being
written in chalk. "July 18, 1899: POLICEMAN KILLED IN TROLLEY STRIKE". We hear the sound of the bells
ringing as we see the gates opening to The World loading dock. The NEWSIES move toward the window to buy
THIER morning papes.
RACE, DAVID, LES, MUD, MUSH, BOOTS. A fight breaks out. KID BLINK, 15, Polish, with a busted nose and
a bad eye-tic, slugs it out with MORRIS DELANCEY. The NEWSIES crowd in, yelling and screaming as the
TWO BOYS fall off the loading dock onto the cobblestones below. A BEAT COP passing, sees the action and
wades into the crowd. Beyond the gates, JACK, arriving late, sees the commotion and runs to it. The COP
separates the FIGHTERS with the help of the BOYS as JACK forces HIS way through the crowd. KID BLINK,
nose bleeding, sees JACK coming.)
KID BLINK
They jacked up the price! You hear that Jack? Ten cents a hundred! You know, its bad enough that we gotta eat what
we dont sell, now they jack up the price! Can you believe that?
SKITTERY
Thisll bust me, Im barely making a living right now.
BOOTS
Ill be back sleeping on the streets.
MUSH
It dont make no sense. I mean, all the money Pulitzers making, why would he gouge us?
RACETRACK
Because hes a tight wad, thats why!
JACK
Pipe down, its just a gag.
(JACK approaches the window)
So, why the jack up Weasel?
WEASEL
Why not?
(HE looks at the sky. Sarcastically)
Its a nice day. Why dont ya ask Mr. Pulitzer?
KID BLINK
They cant to this to me Jack.
RACETRACK
They can do whatever they want. Its their stinkin paper.
BOOTS
It aint fair. We got no rights at all.
RACETRACK
Come on, its a rigged deck. They got all the marbles.
42

MUSH
Jack, we got no choice, so why dont we get our lousy papes while they still got some, huh?
JACK
No! Nobodys going anywhere. They cant get away with this!
LES
(shoving NEWSIES out of the way)
Give him some room, give him some room. Let him think.
(HE sits next to JACK)
RACETRACK
(after a few seconds)
Jack, you done thinkin yet?
WEASEL
(calling out)
Hey! Hey! Hey! World employees only on this side of the gate!
(a commotion breaks out)
JACK
(quieting THEM down)
Well, listen. One things for sure, if we dont sell papes, then nobody sells papes. Nobody comes through those gates
until they put the price back to where it was.
DAVID
(sarcastically)
You mean like a strike?
JACK
(a beat)
Yeah, like a strike!
(DAVID gets a weary look on his face)
RACETRACK
Are you out of your mind?
JACK
Its a good idea!
DAVID
Jack, I was only joking. We cant go on strike. We dont have a union.
JACK
But, if we go on strike, then we are a union, right?
DAVID
No, were just a bunch of angry kids with no money. Maybe if we got every Newsie in New York, but
JACK
(overlapping)
Yeah, well we organize. Crutchy, you take up for collection. We get all the Newsies of New York together.
43

DAVID
Jack, this isnt a joke.
(grabs JACK by the shoulders)
Stop and think about this Jack. You cant just rush everybody into this.
JACK
(to DAVID)
Alright. Let me think about it.
(to the NEWSIES)
Listen. Daves right. Pulitzer and Hearst and all them other rich fellas, I mean, they own this city. So do they really
think a bunch of street kids like us can make any difference? The choice has got to be yours: Are we just gonna take
what they give us, or are we gonna strike?
(there is silence)
LES
(a beat)
Strike!
BOOTS
Keep talking Jack. Tell us what to do!
JACK
Well,
(turns to DAVID)
you tell us what to do Davey.
DAVID
(to JACK)
Pulitzer and Hearst have to respect our rights.
JACK
(relaying DAIVDS message)
Hey listen! Pulitzer and Hearst have to respect the rights of the working boys of New York!
(the NEWSIES cheer. To DAVID)
Well, that worked pretty well. So what else?
DAVID
(to JACK)
Tell them that they cant treat us like we dont exist.
The World Will Know
JACK
(relaying DAVIDS message)
PULITZER AND HEARST, THEY THINK WERE NOTHING.
ARE WE NOTHING?
NEWSIES
No!

44

DAVID
(to JACK)
If we stick together like the trolley workers then they cant break us up.
JACK
PULITZER AND HEARST, THEY THINK THEY GOT US.
DO THEY GOT US?
NEWSIES
No!
DAVID
(to JACK)
Were a union now, the Newsboys Union. We have to start acting like a union.
JACK
EVEN THOUGH WE AINT GOT HATS OR BADGES
WERE A UNION JUST BY SAYING SO
AND THE WORLD WILL KNOW!
BOOTS
Whats to start somebody else from selling our papes?
JACK
Well, we'll talk with them!
RACETRACK
Some of them dont hear so good!
JACK
Well then well soak em!
DAVID
No! We cant beat up kids in the streets. Itll give us a bad name.
CRUTCHY
Cant get any worse.
JACK
WHATS IT GONNA TAKE TO STOP THE WAGONS?
ARE WE READY?
NEWSIES
Yeah!
DAVID
No!
JACK
WHATS IT GONNA TAKE TO STOP THE SCABBER?
CAN WE DO IT?
45

NEWSIES
Yeah!
JACK
WELL DO WHAT WE GOTTA DO UNTIL WE
BREAK THE WILL OF MIGHTY BILL AND JOE!
NEWSIES
AND THE WORLD WILL KNOW
AND THE JOURNAL TOO!
MR. HEARST AND PULITZER
HAVE WE GOT NEWS FOR YOU!
NOW THE WORLD WILL HEAR
WHAT WEVE GOT TO SAY
WEVE BEEN HAWKING HEADLINES
BUT WERE MAKING EM TODAY.
AND OUR RANKS WILL GROW!
CRUTCHY
AND WELL KICK THEIR REAR!
NEWSIES
AND THE WORLD WILL KNOW THAT WEVE BEEN HERE!
JACK
WHEN THE CIRCULATION BELL STARTS RINGING
WILL WE HEAR IT?
NEWSIES
No!
JACK
WHAT IF THE DELANCEYS COME OUT SWINGING
WILL WE HEAR IT?
NEWSIES
NO!
WHEN YOUVE GOT A HUNDRED VOICES SINGING
WHO CAN HEAR A LOUSY WHISTLE BLOW?
AND THE WORLD WILL KNOW
THAT THIS AINT NO GAME
THAT WE GOT A TON OF ROTTEN FRUIT AND PERFECT AIM
SO THEY GAVE THEIR WORD
BUT IT AINT WORTH BEANS!
NOW THEYRE GONNA SEE WHAT STOP THE PRESSES REALLY MEANS
AND THE DAY HAS COME
AND THE TIME IS NOW
AND THE FEAR IS GONE
BOOTS
AND THEIR NAME IS MUD!
46

NEWSIES
AND THE STRIKE IS ON
BOOTS
AND I CAN'T STAND BLOOD!
NEWSIES
AND THE WORLD WILL
JACK
PULITZER MAY OWN THE WORLD BUT HE DONT OWN US!
NEWSIES
PULITZER MAY OWN THE WORLD BUT HE DONT OWN US!
JACK
PULITZER MAY CRACK THE WHIP BUT HE WONT WHIP US!
NEWSIES
PULITZER MAY CRACK THE WHIP BUT HE WONT WHIP US!
AND THE WORLD WILL KNOW
AND THE WORLD WILL LEARN
AND THE WORLD WILL WONDER HOW
WE MADE THE TABLES TURN
AND THE WORLD WILL SEE
THAT WE HAD TO CHOOSE
THAT THE THINGS WE DO TODAY
WILL BE TOMORROWS NEWS
AND THE OLD WILL FALL
AND THE YOUNG STAND TALL
AND THE TIME IS NOW
AND THE WINDS WILL BLOW
AND OUR RANKS WILL GROW
AND GROW AND GROW AND SO
THE WORLD WILL FEEL THE FIRE
AND FINALLY KNOW!
NEWSIES
(yelling)
Strike! Strike! Strike! (etc.)
JACK
We gotta get word out to all the Newsies of New York. I need some of those
(to DAVID)
what do you call em?
DAVID
(quietly to JACK)
Ambassadors?
47

JACK
(pats DAVID on back)
Yeah, right.
(to NEWSIES)
Okay, you guys, you gotta be am-bastards and go tell the others that were on strike.
KID BLINK
Say, Jack, Ill take Harlem.
(HE exits)
RACETRACK
Yeah, I got Midtown.
(HE exits)
MUSH
I got the Battery, Jack.
(HE exits)
CRUTCHY
Hey, Ill take the Bronx.
(HE exits)
JACK
Alright. And Bumlets, and Specs and Skittery, you take Queens.
(BUMLETS, SPECS and SKITTERY exit)
Pie Eater! Snoddy! East Side!
(PIE EATER and SNOODY exit)
Snipeshooter, you go with em.
(SNIPESHOOTER exits)
So, what about Brooklyn?
(silence)
Come on, Spot Conlons territory.
(silence)
Whatsa matta? You scared of Brooklyn?
BOOTS
(courageously)
Hey, we aint scared of Brooklyn.
(backing down)
Its Spot Conlon that makes us a little nervous.
JACK
Well, he dont make me nervous. So you and me, Boots, well go to Brooklyn. And Dave here can keep us company.
DAVID
Sure, just as soon as you deliver our demands to Pulitzer.
JACK
Me? To Pulitzer?
DAVID
Youre the leader, Jack.
48

JACK
(stands motionless. A beat. HE then grabs LES)
Well, maybe the kidll soften him up.
(JACK and LES enter the World Building. The NEWSIES cheer)
NEWSIES
Strike! Strike! Strike! (etc.)
(The rest of the NEWSIES go off in different directions. DENTON enters and approaches DAVID.)
DENTON
Hey, what is the strike? Whats going on?
DAVID
Were bringing our demands to Pulitzer.
DENTON
What demands?
DAVID
The Newsies demands. Were on strike.
DENTON
Im with the New York Sun. Bryan Denton.
(THEY shake hands)
You seem like the kid in charge.
(taking out a pen and pad)
Whats your name?
DAVID
David.

DENTON
David. David as in David and Goliath? You really think old man Pulitzers going to listen to your demands?
DAVID
He has to.
(JACK and LES are thrown out the door.)
JACK
(to the PERSON inside the door)
Well, sos your old lady! You tell Pulitzer he needs an appointment with me!
LES
(copying HIS idol)
Yeah!
(Blackout.)

49

Scene Eleven
(We are now in Tibbys Restaurant. JACK, DAVID, LES and DENTON are sitting in a booth. DENTON takes
notes as JACK, DAVID and LES eat like THEYVE never seen food before.)
JACK
(mouthful)
What did I know? I just started talkin' and the next thing I knew it was goin'. So this snooty mug says to me, You
cant see Mr. Pulitzer. No one sees Mr. Pulitzer. Real hoity-toity, you know the type.
LES
Real hoity-toity.
JACK
So thats when I says to him, Listen, I aint in the habit of transacting no business with office boys. Just tell him Jack
Kellys here to see him now!
LES
Thats when he threw us out.
DENTON
Does he scare you? Youre going up against the most powerful man in New York City.
JACK
(sarcastically)
Oh yeah, look at me. Im trembling.
(a beat)
So, this will be in the Sun tomorrow?
DENTON
Can't miss. You're riding a hot story here. "Little Davids take on twin Goliaths!" Could hit the national wire.
(rises, pays bill)
My boss'd love to see The World and The Journal off the streets.
(HE begins to walk out)
Alright, keep me informed. I want to know everything thats going on.
DAVID
Are we really an important story?
DENTON
(stops and turns to the NEWSIES. HE slowly walks back to THEM)
Well, whats important? Last year I covered the war in Cuba. Charged up San Juan Hill with Colonel Teddy Roosevelt.
That was an important story. So, is the Newsies strike important? That all depends on you.
JACK
So my names really gonna be in the papers?
DENTON
Any objections?
JACK
Not as long as you get it right. Its Kelly, Jack Kelly. Oh, and Denton? No pictures.
50

DENTON
Sure Jack.
(DENTON pats LES on the head and exits. The BOYS sit silently, slowly realizing what this will mean.)
DAVID
The whole country will read about us.
JACK
(astounded)
My eyes!!
LES
Is that good?
(JACK and DAVID look at LES and smile. Blackout)

51

Scene Twelve
(The stage is set to resemble Brooklyn. On one side of the stage, there is a small bridge unit. A milk wagon
rattles its way off the bridge and crosses the stage. DAVID, JACK and BOOTS riding on back. JACK, DAVID
and BOOTS hop off the back of the wagon and walk down the street quickly and warily, as if in enemy territory.
The NEIGHBORHOOD CHILDREN stop their play to stare as THEY pass.)
DAVID
Ive never been to Brooklyn, have you?
BOOTS
I spent a month here one night.
DAVID
So, is this Spot Conlon really dangerous?
BROOKLYN NEWSIE
Going somewhere, Kelly?
(JACK pushes past HIM. DAVID and BOOTS follow. A seven year-old, SPIKE, born to be tough, steps off a
stoop and blocks their way. SPIKE looks them over silently. DAVID, JACK and BOOTS face a dozen toughlooking NEWSIES by a shack in a vacant lot. One BOY plucks a banjo, eyeing the strangers. A freckled gnome
saunters out: SPOT CONLON, 19.)
SPOT
Well, if it aint Jack be nimble, Jack be quick.
JACK
I see you moved up in the world, Spot. Got a river view and everything.
(The TWO BOYS spit-shake.)
SPOT
Heya Boots. Hows it rollin?
BOOTS
(offering HIS bag of marbles)
I got a couple of real good shooters.
(SPOT takes the marbles and takes out HIS slingshot.)
SPOT
(through HIS speech, HE shoots marbles with HIS slingshot)
Yeah. So, Jacky-boy. Ive been hearing things from little birds. Things from Harlem, Queens, all over. They been
chirpin in my ear. Jacky-boys Newsies is playing like theyre going on strike.
JACK
Yeah, well we are.
DAVID
Were not playing. We are going on strike.
SPOT
Oh yeah?
(to JACK, referencing DAVID)
52

What is this, Jacky-boy? Some kind of walking mouth?


JACK
(taking DAVID under HIS arm)
Yeah, its a mouth. A mouth with a brain, and if you got half a one, youll listen to what hes got to say.
DAVID
Well, we started the strike, but we cant do it alone. So, were talking to Newsies all around the city.
SPOT
Yeah, so they told me. But whatd they tell you?
DAVID
Theyre waiting to see what Spot Conlon is doing. Youre the key. That Spot Conlon is the most respected and famous
Newsie in all of New York, and probably everywhere else. And if Spot Conlon joins the strike, then theyll join and
well be unstoppable. So you gotta join, I meanwell, you gotta!
SPOT
Youre right Jacky-boy, brains. But I got brains too, and more than just half a one. How do I know you punks wont run
the first time some goon comes at ya with a club? How do I know you got what it takes to win?
JACK
Because Im telling you, Spot.
SPOT
That aint good enough Jacky-boy. You gotta show me.
(Blackout.)

53

Scene Thirteen
(Several young NEWSIES play marbles beside a "Don't Buy World or Journal" sign. We see an unruly mob of
NEWSIES gathered by the statue. Playing games, throwing stones at passing carriages and generally having a
good time. MUSH and BOOTS collect rotten fruits and vegetables from VENDORS. DENTON there, setting up
a shot. RACETREACK is reading to KID BLINK from The Sun as DAVID, JACK and BOOTS arrive on the
scene. DAVID is distressed by the chaos.)
RACETRACK
Hey Jack.
(looking around)
So, wheres Spot?
JACK
Forget Brooklyn. We've got Newsies from all over the city. We're a union.
DAVID
It's not a union. It's a mob. We have to get organized. Half these kids don't even know why they're here.
JACK
Spot was concerned about us being serious. You imagine that?
RACETRACK
Well, Jack, maybe we ought to ease off a little. Without Spot and the others, there aint enough of us, Jack.
MUSH
Maybe were moving too soon. Maybe we aint ready, you know?
SKITTERY
I definitely think we should forget about it for a little while.
JACK
Oh, do ya?
SKITTERY
Yeah.
RACETRACK
Yeah, I mean, without Brooklynyou know?

JACK
Spot was right, is this just a game to you guys?
(to DAVID)
So, David. What should we do?
(Celebratory in tone, the song begins with JACK and DAVID trying to organize the KIDS. THEY realize THEY
need a "rallying cry", which becomes a slogan, turns into a cheer, then into a song that turns a mob of kids into
a unified force. The song segues to a dance as DAVID and JACK lead the BOYS to the World gates.)

54

Seize the Day


DAVID
OPEN THE GATES AND SEIZE THE DAY
DONT BE AFRAID AND DONT DELAY
NOTHING CAN BREAK US NO ONE CAN MAKE US
GIVE OUR RIGHTS AWAY
ARISE AND SEIZE THE DAY!
NOW IS THE TIME TO SEIZE THE DAY
NEWSIES
(echoing)
NOW IS THE TIME TO SEIZE THE DAY
DAVID
SEND OUT THE CALL AND JOIN THE FRAY
NEWSIES
(echoing)
SEND OUT THE CALL AND JOIN THE FRAY
DAVID
WRONGS WILL BE RIGHTED IF WERE UNITED
ALL
LET US SEIZE THE DAY!
DAVID
FRIENDS OF THE FRIENDLESS SEIZE THE DAY
NEWSIES
(echoing)
FRIENDS OF THE FRIENDLESS SEIZE THE DAY
DAVID
RAISE UP THE TORCH AND LIGHT THE WAY
NEWSIES
(echoing)
RAISE UP THE TORCH AND LIGHT THE WAY
PROUD AND DEFIANT
WELL SLAY THE GIANT
LET US SEIZE THE DAY
NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR
FATHER TO SON
ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE!
DAVID
OPEN THE GATES AND SEIZE THE DAY
55

NEWSIES
(echoing)
OPEN THE GATES AND SEIZE THE DAY
DAVID
DONT BE AFRAID AND DONT DELAY
NEWSIES
(echoing)
DONT BE AFRAID AND DONT DELAY
NOTHING CAN BREAK US
NO ONE CAN MAKE US
GIVE OUR RIGHTS AWAY
NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR
FATHER TO SON!
ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE!
(The NEWSIES surge forward to the desk and send a shower of old fruit and vegetables onto the WORKERS.
The WORKERS inside cover THEIR heads and hide. WEASEL shouts orders in vain. HE pulls HIS cudgel.
JACK leads a group of NEWSIES onto the first wagon. THEY clamber aboard beside the helpless DRIVER and
toss bundles of papers to the NEWSIES below, who tear them to shreds. DAVID stands at the edge of the action,
amazed at the frenzy of these CHILDREN, then joins THEM in tearing up the papers. NEWSIES cover the
wagons like ants, the DRIVERS fleeing. A whistle shrieks. THREE POLICEMEN come down the street, blowing
their whistles.)
JACK
(leaps onto the gate, bellowing)
Cheese it! Cheese it! Its the bulls!
(the POLICE continue to blow THEIR whistles. The NEWSIES scramble, except CRUTCHY who does not
notice anything happening.)
RACETRACK
(running off)
Crutchy! Scram! Scram!
(CRUTCHY starts to leave, but is blocked in by COPS. HE turns to find the DELANCEY BROTHERS behind
HIM.)
CRUTCHY
Hiya boys!
OSCAR
Hey!
(THEY knock HIS crutch aside and drag HIM away. DENTON has been watching all of this. The courtyard is
suddenly dead quiet, except for the rustling of newspaper scraps in the breeze. Slow blackout.)

56

Scene Fourteen
(Davids Apartment. Night. The Sun is on the table; the headline reads "Newsies in Revolt." DAVID faces down
ESTHER'S fury as MAYER, sympathetic, supports HIS wife. LES watches. SARAH sews, listening.)
DAVID
(angrily)
I can't get another job! They're depending on me.
ESTHER
Your family is depending on you!
DAVID
They're trying to cheat us!
MAYER
You're children! What do you know about making a union?
DAVID
What I learned from you.
ESTHER
And look what happened to him!
DAVID
I'm a Newsie, mom! The Newsies are on strike, so I'm on strike. That's what father taught me. And that's what I'm
going to do!
(ESTHER impulsively strikes DAVID across the face and instantly regrets it. DAVID is shocked. Then HE turns
and walks to a corner of the apartment to get away from ESTHER. ESTHER turns and looks at LES.)
ESTHER
(to LES)
From now on, you stay home.
(to MAYER, softly as SHE begins to cry)
God help us, Mayer, he's just like you...He thinks he can change the world.
MAYER
(HE comforts HER)
Maybe he can.
Proud of Your Boy
DAVID
(HE turns from the corner and looks at ESTHER)
PROUD OF YOUR BOY
I'LL MAKE YOU PROUD OF YOUR BOY
BELIEVE ME, BAD AS I'VE BEEN, MA
YOU'RE IN FOR A PLEASANT SURPRISE
(HE slowly begins to make his way across the room to HER)
I'VE WASTED TIME
I'VE WASTED ME
57

SO SAY I'M SLOW FOR MY AGE


A LATE BLOOMER, OKAY, I AGREE
THAT I'VE BEEN ONE ROTTEN KID
SOME SON, SOME PRIDE AND SOME JOY
BUT I'LL GET OVER THESE LOUSIN' UP
MESSIN' UP, SCREWIN' UP TIMES
YOU'LL SEE, MA, NOW COMES THE BETTER PART
SOMEONE'S GONNA MAKE GOOD
CROSS HIS STUPID HEART
MAKE GOOD AND FINALLY MAKE YOU
PROUD OF YOUR BOY
TELL ME THAT I'VE BEEN A LOUSE AND LOAFER
YOU WON'T GET A FIGHT HERE, NO MA'AM
SAY I'M A GOLDBRICK, A GOOD-OFF, NO GOOD
BUT THAT COULDN'T BE ALL THAT I AM
WATER FLOWS UNDER THE BRIDGE
LET IT PASS, LET IT GO
THERE'S NO GOOD REASON THAT YOU SHOULD BELIEVE ME
NOT YET, I KNOW, BUT
SOMEDAY AND SOON
I'LL MAKE YOU PROUD OF YOUR BOY
THOUGH I CAN'T MAKE MYSELF TALLER
OR SMATTER OR HANDSOME OR WISE
I'LL DO MY BEST, WHAT ELSE CAN I DO ?
SINCE I WASN'T BORN PERFECT LIKE DAD OR YOU
MOM, I WILL TRY TO
TRY HARD TO MAKE YOU
PROUD OF YOUR BOY.
(SARAH hears a tapping, looks up and sees JACK at the window. SHE quietly goes to HIM and opens the
window)
SARAH
(whispering)
Do you know what time it is?
JACK
(whispering)
I ain't got a watch.
(DAVID stirs, sees JACK and comes to the window)
The Warden's got Crutchy.
(DAVID stares at JACK, not comprehending)
You hear me?
DAVID
Yesbut what can we do?
58

JACK
Get 'em out. Come on.
(DAVID and JACK exit down the fire escape. Blackout.)

59

Scene Fifteen
(It is night. We are now outside the House of Refuge. This is the city prison for children. The building is a
somber structure, enclosed by a brick wall with an iron gate. Carrying a rope and a small crowbar, JACK and
DAVID stand across the street in the shadows. JACK'S face reveals the trauma of HIS years inside those walls.)
JACK
So here it is. The Refuge. My home, sweet home.
DAVID
How can you be sure they sent him here?
JACK
How can I be sure the Delanceys stink? Its just how things work, you know? An orphan gets arrested, Snyder makes
sure he gets sent straight here, so he can rehabilitate him. The more kids in the Refuge, the more money the city sends
to take care of them, the more Snyder sticks it in his pocket. Hes here.
DAVID
So how come you brought the rope?
(THEY are about to sneak toward the wall when the gate opens and SNYDER and ANOTHER MAN exit and
walk towards THEM. THEY pull back into the shadows. SNYDER walks right past then down the street. DAVID
glances at JACK, shaken by the close call. JACK pulls HIMSELF together and leads DAVID to the side of the
wall. Once at the wall, DAVID makes a stirrup by intertwining HIS fingers. JACK steps into HIS hands and
starts to climb up to HIS shoulders.)
If we get caught, everything's ruined.
JACK
I ain't leaving'm in there.
(HE stands on DAVID'S shoulder, grabs a spike at the top of the wall, throws the rope up and pulls HIMSELF
up. The set for Tibbys Restaurant turns around to reveal another [much smaller] boarding area. JACK is now
standing behind the wall pretending to be hoisted high in the air. Inside the Refuge, many bunks are crammed
into a dark room. JACK, outside hanging from the rope, calls softly through the open window to an INMATE, 9,
who lies awake.)
Hey!
(the INMATES eyes bulge, seeing JACK floating outside the window.)
INMATE
Cowboy. You can fly?
JACK
It's a rope, kid. Crutchy in there?
(the BOY nods)
INMATE
The gimp? Ill get him for ya.
(HE jumps out of bed and runs off. JACK works at the bars with HIS crowbar. CRUTCHY and the INMATE
return. CRUTCHY battered in body and spirit, looks sickly. HE leans against the bed. JACK sees HIM.)
CRUTCHY
You shouldn't have come here, Jack. Snyder's askin' about ya.
JACK
60

Don't worry about me. Come on. You're checking out. Kloppman's savin' your bunk.
CRUTCHY
I'm staying.
JACK
You can't live in this hole, Crutch. It's worse than the street.
CRUTCHY
Truth is, Jack, I ain't got the heart for the fight no more.
(THEY lock eyes)
We're getting too old to be hawking fish wrappers. You ought to go west like you always say.
(smiles through pain)
They still talk about ya breakin' out of here on TR's coach.
(JACK, upset, stares. CRUTCHY touches JACKS hand under the window. SNYDER opens the door and begins
to walk in.)
Hey! Cheese it!
(HE inspects the room. JACK swings to the side, out of site. As SNYDER is about to look out the window,
CRUTCHY grabs HIS arm.)
Mr. Warden Snyder, sir. You know, I was thinking. Id just like you to know that when you were taking a nap this
afternoon
(CRUTCHY leads SNYDER away from the window adlibbing as THEY both leave the room. The set revolves
back to its original position. DAVID waits in an alley across from the wall. JACK walks towards him. DAVID
sees the dark mood HE is in as HE gets closer. JACK never stops, as HE moves past DAVID)
JACK
He's staying.
(JACK keeps going and DAVID runs to catch up to HIM. Segue to next scene.)

61

Scene Sixteen
(We are now in Newsie Square. It is later that same night. DAVID and JACK sit staring into the deserted
courtyard.)
JACK
When I got sent up, me and this kid, like Les, but younger, we busted out. Teddy Roosevelt was Police Commissioner
then. He was goin' around
(slowly, blue lights come up behind DAVID and JACK. The curtain opens to reveal a ballet [or reenactment] of
the story JACK is telling. It is the courtyard at the House of Refuge. It is daytime. All the BOYS are lined up in
the courtyard for an inspection by TEDDY ROOSEVELT. SNYDER stands proudly with HIS STAFF, watching
the proceedings.)
inspectin' prisons. Snyder had us all lined up in the courtyard like good little soldiers. Me and this kid sneaked onto
the roof of Roosevelt's carriage
(we see JACK and THE KID climbing onto the carriage and ride out through the gates, to the cheering of the
BOYS.)
and rode on out. When we cleared the gates we stood up and waved to Snyder. He went crazy. The kids were
cheering us. Roosevelt thought they was cheerin' for him.
(the lights suddenly go to black on the ballet. JACK smiles, thinking about the past. DAVID watches HIM.)
The reporters loved itmade all the papes.
DAVID
What happened to the kid?
JACK
He diedabout a year later. Snyder spotted us on the street one day, started chasin' us. I hopped a wagon. I pulled him
up next to me. The kidwe was laughin', evenhe slipped and got caught in the spokes of the wheel. I seen it happen
a dozen times. Snyder got into trouble all over again.
(DAVID watches JACK struggle with the story.)
He was a good kid. We sold a lot of papes. I was just teachin' him to read the headlines.
DAVID
What was his name?
(JACK looks at him sharply, defenses rising again.)
JACK
What's the difference?
(JACK stands and walks off. DAVID follows. Segue to next scene.)

62

Scene Seventeen
(The next morning. PULITZER, WEASEL and SEITZ are inside PULITZERS office.)
SEITZ
I dont think theyre just going to go away, Chief.
WEASEL
Mr. Pulitzer, sir, just give me the means and Ill take care of them for ya.
PULITZER
Ill give you whatever means you require. I want this nonsense done with once and for all.
SEITZ
Chief
PULITZER
Shut you mouth, Seitz
(WEASEL and SEITZ leave. SNYDER looks out the window to the square where the NEWSIES have gathered.
Immediate segue.)

63

Scene Eighteen
(Newsie Square. Same time of day. JACK, BOOTS and DAVID join the gathering NEWSIES, who carry signs
proclaiming, "Don't Buy World" and "I Ain't a Scab.")
Seize the Day (Reprise)
NEWSIES
OPEN THE GATES AND SEIZE THE DAY
DONT BE AFRAID AND DONT DELAY
NOTHING CAN BREAK US
NO ONE CAN MAKE US
GIVE OUR RIGHTS AWAY
ARISE AND SEIZE THE DAY
(The BOYS dance in the square and block the entrance to the World building.
A delivery cart rushes through. The NEWSIES and SCABS have another stand off.)
DAVID
Alright. Everyone remain calm.
JACK
Lets soak em for Crutchy!
(The NEWSIES attack. The SCABS are inundated by the onslaught of little bodies. THEY drop THEIR papers to
flee, but there is nowhere to run, because from behind the wagons WEASEL leads HIS THUG ARMY into battle.
The MEN form a circle around JACK so none of the NEWSIES can help HIM. The gates shut and DENTON
cant get in to help.
OSCAR
Heya Jacky-boy
(JACK faces a MAN with a chain. Outside, DENTON tries to get in. A NEWSIE gets cracked on the head and
falls, bloody. The NEWSIES fight desperately, but they don't have a prayer against the armed ADULTS. DAVID
leaps onto the upraised arm of a THUG, pulling HIM down with a crash. HIS rage takes over, and HE punches
again and again at the MANS face. HE rises, looks at HIS bloodied hand as if it were a foreign object. JACK
manages to jam a club through the spokes of a wagon wheel, stopping the convoy again. HE dodges a blow
from the DRIVER, grabs HIS arm and pulls HIM off the wagon. HE steps on the fallen DRIVER, climbing over
HIM onto the wagon. From this height, JACK sees a chaos of battles. WEASEL climbs atop the lead wagon,
sorting HIS MEN to crush the NEWSIES. The wagons are starting to roll again.)
DENTON
(to a POLICEMAN)
Arent you going to stop them, sir?
POLICEMAN
Move along, mister.
(just as all hope seems lost for JACK, a bunch of NEWSIES appear on the rooftops, including SPOT.)
JACK
(JACK shouts to DAVID over the din.)
They're killing us.
(DAVID turns, sees something and grins.)
DAVID
64

Look!
(JACK turns and sees what DAVID is referencing.)
SPOT
Never fear, Brooklyn is here.
(HE grabs onto a rope that is hoisted from the top of one of the corners of the theatre and glides down to the
stage.)
MUSH
Its Brooklyn!
(the NEWSIES begin soaking the CRIB again, the BROOKLYN BOYS using THEIR sling shots. RACETRACK
throws HIS hands in the air and sit on a ledge)
RACETRACK
Hey, I give up. Alright, alright. I give up.
(HE kicks a nearby GUY in the crotch)
JACK
Hey, Spot!
(there is mass pandemonium as we see each of the NEWSIES punching the SCABS. First RACETRACK, then
JACK, KID BLINK and another. SKITTERY gets hit and falls back. NEWSIES catch HIM.)
DAVID
(to SKITTERY)
Are you alright?
(before HE can answer, the NEWSIES push HIM back up and HE punches the MAN back. SPOT opens the
gates and the BROOKLYN GANG join. THEY force the CRIB back. The NEWSIES cheer and tear some more
papers. DENTON enters with HIS camera. HE takes HIS same place from Prologue B. During DENTONS
next line, the scrim closes quickly and the NEWSIES take THEIR Prologue B place behind the scrim.)
DENTON
Jack! Boys! Freeze! Freeze!
JACK
Alright guys
(DENTON takes the picture. Once again, there is a blinding flash from DENTONS camera. At the same time,
bright white lights come up behind the scrim. The lights should be as far back as possible as to not light any of
the NEWSIES from the front. A silhouette is created and shows the NEWSIES frozen in a set pose. Also, New
York Sun should be projected onto the scrim along with a headline that reads: The Childrens Crusade;
Newsies Stop the World. The lights slowly fade to black. End of Act One.)

65

NEWSIES
ACT TWO
(During Intermission, the scrim is to remain closed. Any set pieces or props not being used in the second act
can be stuck from the stage completely. Perhaps taken to another room so there is not as much clutter
backstage. Any remaining set pieces should be dressed accordingly. The scrim should remain lit and
continually have newspapers projected onto it.)

Scene One
(The scrim opens to reveal Tibbys Restaurant. It is later the same day [from the end of Act One]. There is a
newspaper behind DENTON'S back. HE carries it to a table where the BOYS have coffee. DENTON proudly
hands the paper to DAVID. DAVIDS face bruised from the day's fighting, reads. Around the table sits JACK,
SPOT, RACTRACK, BOOTS, and OTHERS...all waiting for DAVID'S take on the article.)
DENTON
Hey fellas. Hey, hey! Big time.
BOOTS
What you got there, Dave?
SPOT
Wheres me picture? Wheres me picture?
BOOTS
Whats that? That all about us?
MUSH
Look at that Jack. You look like a gentleman.
JACK
Will you get your fingers off me face?
SPOT
Where does it say my name? Wheres my name?
JACK
Will you quit thinking about yourself?
DAVID
Front page boys! Listen.
(as HE reads)
The infant newsboys union crushed the twin titans of the press today in a strike battle that will go down in labor
history
OWNER
(hands ice in a towel to BOOTS)
Put that on his face, it will keep the swelling down.
(as BOOTS holds it to DAVID'S cheek, JACK grabs the paper.)
JACK
66

(reads)
Led by enigmatic street boy, Jack Kelley, with his red bandana and golden tongue
(looks up)
My own paragraph.
(to DENTON)
You describe me good, but
(serious)
When do I get a headline, like "Kelley Sparks Newsies?"
(the BOYS bombard JACK and HIS ego, putting HIM in HIS place. JACK smiles)
DAVID
You got us on the front page!
DENTON
You got yourselves on the front page. I just got to make sure you stay there.
SKITTERY
So what? You get your picture in the papes, so whats that get you, huh?
MUSH
What are you talkin about?
JACK
Shut up, boy. You've been in a bad mood all day!
SKITTERY
Im not in a bad mood!
RACETRACK
Glum and dumb. Whats the matta with you? You get your picture in the papes, youre famous. Your famous, you get
anything you want. Thats what so great about New York!
King of New York
MUSH
A PAIR OF NEW SHOES WITH MATCHING LACES
RACETRACK
A PERMANENT BOX AT SHEEPSHED RACES.
SPOT
A PORCELAIN TUB WITH BOILING WATER
KID BLINK
A SATURDAY NIGHT WITH THE MAYORS DAUGHTER!
RACETRACK
LOOK AT ME
IM THE KING OF NEW YORK!
SUDDENLY
IM RESPECTABLE
67

STARING RIGHT ATCHA


LOUSY WITH STATURE
JACK
NUBBIN WITH ALL THE MUCKETY-MUCKS
IM BLOWIN MY DOUGH AND GOIN DELUXE!
RACETRACK
AND THERE ILL BE
AINT I PRETTY?
RACETRACK & JACK
ITS MY CITY
IM THE KING OF NEW YORK!
BOOTS
A CORDUROY SUIT WITH FITTED KNICKERS
LES
A MEZZANINE SEAT TO SEE THE FLICKERS
SNIPESHOOTER
HAVANA CIGARS THAT COST A QUARTER
DAVID
AN EDITORS DESK FOR OUR STAR REPORTER!

NEWSIES
TIP YOUR HAT
HES THE KING OF NEW YORK!
DENTON
HOW BOUT THAT?
IM THE KING OF NEW YORK!
NEWSIES
IN NOTHING FLAT
HELL BE COVERING
BROOKLYN TO TRENTON
OUR MAN DENTON
KID BLINK
MAKING A HEADLINE OUT OF A HUNCH
DENTON
PROTECTING THE WEAK
RACETRACK
AND PAYING FOR LUNCH
DENTON
68

WHEN IM AT BAT
STRONG MEN CRUMBLE
RACETRACK
PROUD YET HUMBLE
DENTON
IM THE KING OF NEW YORK

RACETRACK
HES THE KING OF NEW YORK

NEWSIES
I GOTTA BE EITHER DEAD OR DREAMING
CUZ LOOK AT THAT PAPE WITH MY FACE BEAMING
TOMORROW THEY MAY WRAP FISHES IN IT
BUT I WAS A STAR FOR ONE WHOLE MINUTE!
(dance)
STARTING NOW
IM THE KING OF NEW YORK!
DENTON
AINT YOU HEARD?
IM THE KING OF NEW YORK!
NEWSIES
HOLY COW!
ITS A MIRACLE
PULITZERS CRYING
WEASEL? HES DYING!
FLASHPOTS ARE SHOOTING BRIGHT AS THE SUN
IM ONE HIFALUTIN SON OF A GUN!
DONT ASK ME HOW
FORTUNE FOUND ME
FATE JUST CROWNED ME
NOW IM KING OF NEW YORK!
LOOK AND SEE
ONCE A PIKER
NOW A STRIKER
IM THE KING OF NEW YORK!
VICTORY!
FRONT PAGE STORY
GUTS AND GLORY
IM THE KING OF NEW YORK!
(the NEWSIES cheer and gather around the table)
JACK
So, lets have some ideas.
DAVID
69

Well, we gotta show people where we stand


JACK
Yeah, so we gotta stay in the papes.
DENTON
My papers the only one printing any strike news so far
JACK
So, we should do something thats so big the other papersll feel stupid if they try to ignore us.
(a beat)
Like a rally. A Newsie rally with all the kids from all over New York. Itll be the biggest, loudest, nosiest blowout this
towns ever seen!
DAVID
Well send a message to the big boys.
RACETRACK
(clasping HIS fist)
Yeah, Ill give em a message.
(a WAITER brings a tray of drinks. Each NEWSIE grabs a glass.)
JACK
Theres a lot of us, and we aint going away. Well fight until damn Doomsday if it means we get a fair shake.
DAVID
Hey, guys.
(raising HIS glass)
To our man Denton.
NEWSIES
Our man Denton!
(the NEWSIES lift THEIR glasses in a toast. Tibbys Restaurant revolves as we segue to the next scene.)

70

Scene Two
(the set has revolved to the side where the Refuge is facing out. We are now in Snyders office. SNYDER is
reading the same issue of the Sun late that night. CRUTCHY knocks on SNYDERS door and enters.)
CRUTCHY
Heya Mr. Snyder. How was your supper?
(as HE begins to put the plates on a tray, CRUTCHY notices SNYDER looking at the paper, particularly at
JACKS picture.)
Hey! Thats Jack. He looks just like himself.
SNYDER
(looking up from the paper)
You know this boy?
CRUTCHY
No.
SNYDER
You have a very famous friend, this Jack. Do you know where he lives?
CRUTCHY
I never heard of him, honest! Its this brain of mine, its always making mistakes. Its got a mind of its own.
(HE begins to make HIS way out of the room)
Can I get you anything else, Mr. Snyder?
(no answer)
Good bye, Mr. Snyder.
(CRUTCHY leaves, realizing HIS mistake. Segue to next scene.)

71

Scene Three
(The Lodging House door has now been brought on. The NEWSIES are sitting on the ground making signs for
the rally. DUTCHYS sign says STRIKE. KLOPPMAN observes.)
DUTCHY
So, did I spell it right, Kloppman?
KLOPPMAN
Very good, very good.
(SNYDER enters and starts to go up to the door)
Excuse me. Can I help you?
SNYDER
You have a boy who calls himself Jack Kelly. I wish to see him.
KLOPPMAN
Jack Kelly? Never heard of him. Never heard of him. Any of you boys ever hear of a Jack Kelly?
SPECS
Thats an unusual name for these parts.
(JACK comes out of the door, but SWIFTY stops HIM and points SNYDER out to HIM)
RACETRACK
Oh, you mean Jack Kelly. Yeah, he was here, but he put an egg in his shoe andbeat it.
(some of the BOYS laugh at RACETRACKS remark)
SNYDER
I have reason to believe hes an escaped prisoner, possibly dangerous.
KLOPPMAN
Oh, dangerous? I better look in my files. This way please.
(KLOPPMAN distracts SNYDER and JACK exits. The BOYS hold up signs to hide HIM)
RACETRACK
Give to the Newsies Strike fund, Mister?
(SNYDER hands RACETRACK a coin. KLOPPMAN and SNYDER exit through the Lodging House door.
Segue.)

72

Scene Four
(We are now on the street. It is midday. DAVID, JACK, RACE, BOOTS, SPOT and other LEADERS search the
paper for Newsie coverage.)
JACK
They keep moving us back. Now they got us on page twelve under the Parker the Painless Dentists ads. Where's
Denton when you need him?
SPOT
Why don't they like us no more?
BOOTS
They're tired of us.
DAVID
They're not. We've got Newsies all over the country with us. We've got to stay in the headlines or we're dead. People
forget real fast.
JACK
We could blow something up. I know a guy with dynamite...
DAVID
Be serious.
JACK
I was.
(DAVID walks off)
What we need is a party, everybody's depressed.
DAVID
(turns, an idea)
That's it. A rally. We'll lift their spirits. That's what my father's union would do, they'd rent a hall.
JACK
(cutting him off)
Irving Hall. We'll fill it with Newsies from all over the city. That'll make news.
BOOTS
Where do we get the money?
JACK
How much could it be?
DAVID
Lots.
RACETRACK
We took a collection.
DAVID
There's fifty cents left.
73

(the BOY'S enthusiasm levels out.)


JACK
(a beat)
I'll get the money.
(THEY all look at HIM)
And I'll get Irving Hall. But we've got to get the word to all the Ward leaders.
(JACK sees a BICYCLE MESSENGER going uptown and whistles. The MESSENGER sees JACK, turns and
comes back.)
How far you going up?
MESSENGER
The Bronx.
JACK
Spread the word. Big rally. Irving Hall. Sunday night.
MESSENGER
I'll pass it along.
(as HE pedals away, HE yells over HIS shoulder)
Carryin' the banner!
JACK
Carryin' the banner!
(blackout. Slow segue.)

74

Scene Five
(The curtain opens. We are now in Davids Apartment. It is morning. JACK is asleep on the fire escape
unbeknownst to the FAMILY. LES helps ESTHER and SARAH with their piecework. MAYER reads aloud from
the Sun. The headline reads: "Newsies Strike Spreads!" DAVID sits listening)
MAYER
Listen! "Newsie co-leader David Jacobs claims the lads will win easily. The strike has spread like wildfire to every city
served by the Hearst and Pulitzer papers including all of New Jersey and scattered areas from Massachusetts to as far
away as Kentucky
(LES throws down HIS piecework in disgust at being stuck at home while MAYER continues to read aloud from
the Sun. Headlines read: "Newsies Holding Firm." and "Hearst, Pulitzer Hurting.")
Circulation is down at least 70 percent and advertisers are...
(HE smiles, proud of HIS boys. HE continues to read)
...demanding refunds. The strike was sparked by a price hike.
(as HE finishes, SARAH notices JACKS body on the fire escape. SHE goes to the window and opens it and
begins talking to JACK. He looks cold and disheveled.)
SARAH
Did you sleep out there all night?
JACK
(slowly waking up)
Yeah.
SARAH
Why didnt you wake us up?
JACK
Well, I didnt want to disturb nobody. Besides, its like the Waldorf out here. Great view. Cool air.
(THEIR eyes meet)
David up?
SARAH
Yeah, you want to come in?
JACK
I'll wait out here.
(SHE pulls a roll from HER pocket and eats. JACK watches HER out of the corner of HIS eye. SHE tears off a
piece and hands it to HIM. JACK, proud, won't take it.)
I ain't hungry.
SARAH
Don't be foolish. Of course you are.
JACK
Yeah.
(JACK takes it and eats. Long silence. JACK'S uncomfortable.)
SARAH
I love the quiet, this time of morning. The city can be so oppressive sometimesso ugly.
75

JACK
I could show you places, make your eyes pop out.
SARAH
What places?
(SARAH watches HIM as HE talks, seeing another side.)
JACK
Places I goplaces I seenbeautiful places.
SARAH
(THEIR eyes meet. A beat.)
Papas so proud of you and David. You should hear him talking about Jack Kelly, strike leader, who occasionally takes
his meal with us.
JACK
Well, this is one strike leader whos gonna be very happy when its all over and I can get outta here and go to Santa Fe.
I mean, theres nothing for me to stay for, is there?
(SHE does not answer)
You know, you should see Santa Fe, everythings different there. Its all bigger. The desert, the sky, the sun.
SARAH
(coldly)
Its the same sun as here.
JACK
Yeah, it just looks different.
SARAH
I should get ready for work.
(DAVID and LES come to the window and mount the fire escape. JACK turns, sees THEM, and jumps up.)
DAVID
You look horrible.
(SARAH watches THEM as THEY walk off. LES takes JACK'S hand.)
JACK
(The BOYS go to the auditorium floor in front of the stage [the street].)
You know Dave; I'm usually smarter than everybody I know.
DAVID
(joking with HIM)
Then you met me.
(JACK smiles)
And you'll never be the same.
JACK
If you were me for one day you'd never want to be you again.
(DAVID grins. Long pause as they look at the morning.)
It's strange, seeing your name in the papes, ain't it?
DAVID
76

(nods)
Like you were just born, or something.
JACK
(impressed with DAVID)
Yeahthat's it.
(looks at HIM)
I gotta admit, I like it. How about you?
(DAVID nods again.)
How long will this strike last?
DAVID
It depends on the kids. The first week was fun. But the longer it goes, the harder it gets. Were not getting the press we
did before.
(JACK nods)
We won't be real popular when this is over. No matter who wins, somebody'll be angry.
JACK
I don't care. Feels good right now. If I never do anything else the rest of my life, at least I got my name in the papes.
And Pulitzer knows who I am.
(pauses)
We're hurtin' him, ain't we?
DAVID
Yesbut we can't rest on our laurels. He's a very powerful man.
JACK
What can he do to us?
DAVID
Whatever he wants.
(segue to next scene)

77

Scene Six
(PULITZER is in HIS office with the MAYOR, the POLICE CHIEF, SNYDER and SEITZ. HE is looking at the
paper and has JACKS face circled.)
MAYOR
Of course, the city is very concerned that this event doesnt get out of hand. ButChief?
CHIEF
We cant just charge in there and break it up, Mr. Pulitzer. Weve got no legal cause.
MAYOR
Legal cause.
PULITZER
Would the fact that this rally is organized by an escaped criminal be cause enough, mayor?
MAYOR
Escaped criminal?
PULITZER
A fugitive from one of your prisons, mayor. A convicted thief. Been living at large for some time under the alias of
Jack Kelly. Whats his real name?
SNYDER
Sullivan. Francis Sullivan. Your honor. I would have caught him before now, but
PULITZER
You know Warden Snyder, dont you mayor? I believe you know him because you appointed him.
MAYOR
Yes. Well, if this boys a fugitive then the chief can quietly arrest him.
PULITZER
No, no, no, no! Not quietly! Not quietly! I want an example made. I want this rabble hes roused to see what happens to
those who would dare to lead. They should see justice and action.
MAYOR
Arrest him at the rally?
(segue to next scene)

78

Scene Seven
(We are now in Irving Hall. JACK, DAVID, SARAH and LES move through the NEWSIES in the lobby, shaking
hands, joking, dodging friendly punches. We hear a band playing a raucous music hall number. The NEWSIES
go wild, cheering, hanging from the rafters. The hall is jammed beyond capacity. Shouting NEWSIES perch on
every available surface: railings, window sills and the shoulders of THEIR fellows. FAT MAX and SARAH
stand nearby, clapping.)
JACK
Some turnout, huh, Denton?
DAVID
Will it get us on the front page?
DENTON
It should, it deserves it.
DAVID
But it won't...
DENTON
I don't place the articles. All I do is write them.
(the BOYS are disappointed)
They're putting pressure on everyone. Stop the violence. You're playing into their hands.
(DAVID looks at JACK to see if the message was received. DAVID and JACK step away from DENTON.)
JACK
I can't tell 'em to stop soaking scabs. It rubs me the wrong way.
DAVID
Don't be ridiculous. Violence begets violence.
JACK
(misunderstanding)
And whose fault's that?
DAVID
(shakes HIS head)
It has to stop. We need the city on our side...the people...the papers.
(JACK sees HIS point)
Tell 'em, Jack. They'll listen to you.
(JACK thinking, looks across the stage and sees LES jumping around waving HIS hands, standing next to
SARAH. DENTON comes up behind THEM. JACK turns and sees HIM. JACK looks from DENTON to DAVID
then over at SARAH and LES, making up HIS mind. HE hitches up HIS pants and walks out to center stage. The
CROWD erupts. HE moves down front and waits for the THEM to quiet down. DAVID to DENTON.)
You taking notes?
(DENTON smiles and takes out HIS pad. DENTON and DAVID exit the stage. JACK, center stage, basking in
the adulation, turns back and looks at SARAH and LES. Letting THEM share in HIS experience. JACK turns
and raises HIS arm for silence. THEY quiet.)
JACK
Bummers, Snoozers, Newsies and citizens of New York City! Welcome to the rally!
79

(the BOYS cheer)


Havin' a good time?
(THEY cheer again)
Carryin' the banner!
(the NEWSIES echo the call. JACK yells out again.)
Carryin' the banner!
(THEY repeat)
It's time I talk to you a little. Me and David...
(looks to wings)
Come out here Dave, show'm your face.
(DENTON pushes HIM out. The KIDS cheer. DAVID takes a bow, raising HIS hand.)
We thought it was time for you fellas to get together and get to know each other...and have a good time.
(the BOYS howl. JACK does a shuffle step. The KIDS roar.)
So, weve come a long way, but we aint there yet and maybe its only gonna get tougher from now on. But thats fine,
well just get tougher with it. But also, we gotta get smart and start listening to my pal David, who says stop soakin
the scabs.
RACETRACK
What are we supposed to do to the bums? Kiss em?
SPOT
Any scab I see I soak em. Period.
DAVID
No, no. Thats what they want us to do. If we get violent, its just playing into their hands.
SPOT
Hey, look. Theyre gonna be playing with my hands, alright. Cuz it aint what they say, its what we say. And nobody
aint gonna listen to us unless we make em.
(NEWSIES in the crowd take different sides and start to argue.)
JACK
You got no brains. Why we starting to fight each other? Its just what the big shots wanna see. That were street rats!
Street rats with no brains. No respect for nothing, including ourselves! So, heres how its gonna be. If we dont act
together, then were nothing. If we dont stick together, then were nothing. And if we cant even trust each other, then
were nothing.
KID BLINK
Tell em Jack!
JACK
So, whats it gonna be?
RACETRACK
Were with you Jack.
JACK
So, what about you, Spot?
SPOT
I say that what you say is what I say.
(All the NEWSIES cheer. The curtains open and MEDDA enters. The cheering gets louder.)
80

High Times, Hard Times


MEDDA & NEWSIES
HIGH TIMES, HARD TIMES
SOMETIMES THE LIVING IS SWEET
AND SOMETIMES THERES NOTHING TO EAT
BUT I ALWAYS LAND ON MY FEET
SO WHEN THERES DRY TIMES
I WAIT FOR HIGH TIMES AND THEN
I PUT ON MY BEST
AND I STICK OUT MY CHEST
AND IM OFF TO THE RACES AGAIN!
MEDDA
Hello, Newsies. Whats new?
SO YOUR OLD LADY DONT LOVE YOU NO MORE
SO YOURE AFRAID THERES A WOLF AT YOUR DOOR
SO YOUVE GOT STREET RATS THAT SCREAM IN YOUR EAR
MEDDA & NEWSIES
YOU WIN SOME, YOU LOSE SOME
MY DEAR ,OH
HIGH TIMES, HARD TIMES
SOMETIMES THE LIVING IS SWEET
AND SOMETIMES THERES NOTHING TO EAT
BUT I ALWAYS LAND ON MY FEET
SO WHEN THERES DRY TIMES
I WAIT FOR HIGH TIMES AND THEN
I PUT ON MY BEST
AND I STICK OUT MY CHEST
AND IM OFF TO THE RACES AGAIN
MEDDA
I PUT ON MY BEST!
NEWSIES
I PUT ON MY BEST!
MEDDA
AND I STICK OUT MY CHEST
NEWSIES
AND I STICK OUT MY CHEST
MEDDA
AND IM OFF
NEWSIES
AND IM OFF
MEDDA
81

AND IM OFF
NEWSIES
AND IM OFF
MEDDA
AND IM OFF
ALL
TO THE RACES AGAIN!
(SNYDER, MCSWAIN and TWO COPS enter and bully past FAT MAX. None of the NEWSIES notice. The
NEWSIES howl as the number concludes. JACK quiets them.)
JACK
Let me say something about them wagon drivers that got "done up" on Madison last night.
(the BOYS cheer)
I don't believe in fightin' no more.
(the BOYS "BOOOOOOOOOO" their displeasure. DAVID sees SNYDER, MCSWAIN and TWO COPS. THEY
split up; SNYDER and ONE COP on one side of the stage and MCSWAIN and the OTHER COP on the far side.
HE yells a warning to JACK.)
DAVID
Jack! Jack!
(JACK doesn't hear HIM)
NEWSIE
It was you leadin' us!
JACK
I'll admit it: I was one of the boys that soaked 'em. But I've had a change a heart. It ain't right no more.
(the NEWSIES murmur. DAVID has no choice but to walk out slowly and stand next to JACK. JACK looks at
DAVID, sees the panic in HIS eyes.)
DAVID
Look in the wings.
(JACK turns and sees MCSWAIN on one side and SNYDER on the other. HES trapped.)
What do we do now?
JACK
Close the show.
(THEY exchange a look. Then JACK faces the BOYS.)
Its up to you.
(BOYS laugh)
But we'll win more people to our side with a good story in the Sun, like we're sure to get after tonight, than we'd ever
get by bangin' them scabs around.
(SOME BOYS applaud the sentiment.)
And you save the wear and tear on your knuckles.
(the BOYS laugh)
Thanks for listening! See you at the gates bright and early tomorrow! Save your money...don't buy ice cream!
(big applause. JACK makes a quick bow then takes off running and leaps off the stage, leaving DAVID alone.
The BOYS gasp as one. JACK lands among the BOYS, gets up and as THEY clear a path, HE sprints to the back
door. SNYDER
82

and a COP appear, going after JACK. The BOYS see SNYDER and yell HIS name, "SNYDER!" DAVID turns
and tackles SNYDER as HE tries to pass. The NEWSIES cheer. MCSWAIN and the OTHER COP come to HIS
aid, pulling DAVID off HIM.)
SNYDER
(to MCSWAIN)
Arrest him!
(OTHER NEWSIES run with JACK as HE tries to exit. Suddenly SNYDER and the COPS burst through the
CROWD and grab JACK, roughing HIM up. The NEWSIES go wild. A Melee erupts. In a stylized,
expressionistic dance of violence, we see:
A. JACK breaks free of the COPS.
B. The POLICE swing long billy clubs as they cut through the CHILDREN.
C. The CHILDREN try to flee but are too densely packed. The long
nightsticks connect again and again.
D. The POLICE step high to avoid the fallen.
E. WEASEL leads a squad of club-wielding THUGS, mowing through the
NEWSIES like farmers with scythes.
F. The POLICE capture many NEWSIES.
G. DENTON, his face registering the horror of the scene, stands in the
back crying; trying to take a picture of the violence. HE is stopped by SEVERAL BURLY COPS.
H. JACK is grabbed by the COPS and carried off, twisting and kicking.
I. MAYER, ESTHER, LES and SARAH watch, helplessly.
J. MCSWAIN drags DAVID away from the riot.
During all of the previous, the following should also occur)
MEDDA
(RACETRACK gets MEDDA to safety and starts to leave)
No! Stay with me!
(A huge MAN kicks RACETRACK in the stomach and punches HIM out. MEDDA breaks away from HER MAID
and BODYGUARD and slaps the MAN)
No! No! For Gods sake! Hes just a child! Cant you see that? Racetrack!
(MEDDA is pulled back and RACETRACK is dragged away. KID BLINK gets hit with a club and is dragged
away.)
MCSWAIN
(after part J of the previous section)
I'm too soft for my own good.
(lets DAVID go)
Now go on, get out of here.
(DAVID looks at HIM dumbly. Tears streak HIS face. As JACK is taken out, the remaining few of the cast leave
the stage. LES runs up to DAVID. SARAH and ESTER cry on MAYERS shoulders. DAVID and LES survey the
wreckage of the riot, broken sticks, newspapers, hats. HE pauses over a bloody shirt.)
DENTON
(out of sight)
I'm sorry, kid.
(DAVID holding a Sun paper in HIS hand looks up, sees DENTON)
83

Pulitzer and Hearst cut a deal with the Sun. No headlines. Nothing about the rally.
(DAVID angry, stares)
I quit.
DAVID
Kids get massacred in the streets and that's not news?
(DENTON looks away)
Can we go to another paper?
DENTON
No paper in town'll hire me.
DAVID
They got Jack.
DENTON
They got us all, kid. C'mon.
(HE puts an arm around DAVID'S shoulder. DAVID takes LESS hand. MAYER puts HIS arms around ESTER
and SARAH. ALL walk off. Blackout.)

84

Scene Eight
(The lights come up on a court already in sessions. JUDGE CRANE'S courtroom is crowded with NEWSIES.
CRANE, 65, is a desiccated man with a knack for speedy injustice.)
CRANE
Are any of you boys represented by council?
(no answer)
No? Good, that will move things along considerably.
SPOT
Hey, your honor, I object!
CRANE
On what grounds?
SPOT
On the grounds of Brooklyn, your honor.
(the NEWSIES crack up laughing. CRANE bangs on HIS desk.)
CRANE
I fine each of you five dollars, or two weeks confinement in the House of Refuge.
RACETRACK
Whoa. We aint got five bucks. We dont even got five cents. Hey, your honor, how bout I roll you for it. Double or
nothing?
CRANE
Move along, move along.
(DENTON and DAVID enter. The BAILIFF brings MORRIS DELANCEY forward. WEASEL rises, hair slicked
down and a new collar on HIS shirt. HE nods to the JUDGE.)
WEASEL
He's one of ours, your honor.
CRANE
Dismissed. Next!
(the NEWSIES hiss and boo. CRANE gavels for silence. The BAILIFF brings up KUEHN, 14, a bloody bandage
on HIS head.)
BAILIFF
H.H. Kuehn, assault.
KUEHN
I been framed!
(the NEWSIES laugh. CRANE's face darkens. HE bangs the gavel.)
CRANE
One more outburst and you'll all be in the workhouse till Christmas. Twenty days. Juvenile Asylum. Next!
(KUEHN is deflated by the harsh sentence.)
DENTON
85

Your honor, Ill pay the fines. All of them.


CRANE
Pay the clerk. Move it along.
DAVID
Hey, you fellas alright? Wheres Jack?
DENTON
Look, weve got to meet at the restaurant. Everybody. We have to talk.
(the BAILIFF brings JACK in handcuffed)
JACK
Hey fellas!
RACETRACK
Hey, Cowboy! Nice shiner!
JACK
Hey, Denton. I guess we made all the papes this time. So, hows my picture look?
DENTON
None of the papers covered the rally. Not even the Sun.
BAILIFF
Jack Kelly. Inciting to riot, assault, resisting arrest.
WEASEL
A ringleader, your honor.
JACK
(cocky)
I object to Mr. Weasel talkin' about us on any grounds. He's a snake...your judgeship.
(the JUDGE glares at JACK. The NEWSIES applaud, but stop when the gavel comes down. The BAILIFF
whispers to the JUDGE.)
CRANE
Someone wants to speak on your behalf, young man. Approach the bench, Mr. Snyder.
(JACK'S bravado leaves HIM when HE sees SNYDER approaching.)
SNYDER
I know this boy, your honor, but not as Jack Kelly. His real name is Francis Sullivan. He and his younger brother,
Michael, were sentenced to the House of Refuge for theft.
(looks at JACK)
This boy has no parents. He's incorrigible, destined for a life of crime. He's already responsible for the death of his
brother...
JACK
You're a liar!
CRANE
Silence!
86

(the NEWSIES whisper. JACK looks at DAVID, sees the stunned look on HIS face and averts HIS eyes. DAVID,
shocked, looks up at DENTON.)
SNYDER
And here he is again, leading more innocent children astray. I have a warrant for his arrest. I ask the court to return him
to my custody...
JACK
No...
SNYDER
...until I decide he's fit to be released into civilized society.
JACK
Send me to the adult slammer inst!
CRANE
That'll be up to Mr. Snyder. I return you to the custody of the Warden of the Juvenile Asylum.
(HE slams the gavel. JACK is destroyed. SNYDER puts on a show of solicitude as HE gets a firm grip on
JACK'S arm.)
LES
No!
(JACK is led away. SNYDER follows, then turns and smiles at the JUDGE.)
SNYDER
Thank you, your honor.
(HE leads JACK past the NEWSIES to the door. DAVID is aghast. Blackout.)

87

Scene Nine
(The NEWSIES sit in Tibbys Restaurant. LES eats a hotdog. DAVID sits close. The rest of the NEWSIES are all
eating, drinking, playing cards, arm wrestling, etc. DENTON enters. THEY greet HIM.)
SKITTERY
Why didnt the Sun print the story?
DENTON
Because it never happened
RACETRACK
What do you mean it never happened? You were there!
KID BLINK
You wrote it!
DENTON
Its not in the papers, it never happened. The owners decreed it not be in the papers, thereforeI came to tell you fellas
good bye.
BOOTS
What happened? Did you get fired or something?
DENTON
No, I got reassigned back to my old job as the Suns ace war correspondent. They want me to leave right away. The
owner thinks I should only cover the really important stories.
(the NEWSIES say nothing. SOME turn away.)
Wish me luck fellas. At least half of what I wish for you.
(OTHER NEWSIES turn away)
They dont always fire you. I would be black balled from every paper in the country. Im a newspaper man. I have to
have a paper to write for.
(pulls out a nicely folded sheet with writing on it.)
This is the story I wrote about the rally.
(hands it to DAVID)
I want you to read it at least.
(digging out change in his pocket)
This should cover it
(DENTON pays the WAITER and leaves. DAVID crumples the story up and throws it on a table)
DAVID
We get Jack out of the Refuge tonight. From now on, we trust no one but the Newsies.
(The NEWSIES get up and leave. LES uses DENTONS article to wrap HIS unfinished hot dog in. Blackout.)

88

Scene Ten
(The lights come up on a room in a beautiful mansion. We are in Pulitzers study. The magnificent room stands
silent. SEITZ enters PULITZER'S study as a BUTLER leads SNYDER and JACK to armchairs. JACK has never
seen such luxury. HE stares as if in a dream.)
SEITZ
Mr. Pulitzer is expecting us.
(to WEASEL)
Wait here.
(HE exits)
BUTLER
May I offer you a drink, young man?
JACK
(staring at a silver urn)
Huh?
BUTLER
A drink. Lemonade? Hot chocolate?
JACK
Hot chocolate? Sure...for my pal, here.
(gestures to SNYDER)
I'll take a beer.
(it is a little flash of the old JACK. It is extinguished when SNYDER pulls HIS arm, forcing JACK down in a
chair. SNYDER remains standing. SEITZ enters followed by PULITZER who enters sipping tea. HE sits in an
armchair. The atmosphere is hushed, as usual. SEITZ stands.)
PULITZER
Thank you, Mr. Snyder
(it sounds like a dismissal. SNYDER pauses, unsure what to do.)
SEITZ
We'd like to speak to the boy alone.
(SNYDER reluctantly exits, leaving JACK alone in the middle of the room. The BUTLER stands in the back of
the room. JACK feels the leather of the chair, entranced. The BUTLER moves a cup and saucer, causing a
sharp rattling sound. PULITZER winces.)
BUTLER
Excuse me, sir.
(JACK stares at PULITZER as the HE makes an effort to regain HIS composure. The BUTLER brings JACK a
drink.)
PULITZER
That's all right, Marcus.
(pauses, to JACK)
I want to end the troubles we've been having.
JACK
Things ain't going too good for you?
89

(PULITZER chuckles, the first time we've seen HIM laugh.)


PULITZER
Let me get a better look at you.
(SEITZ is surprised. HE guides JACK to stand right in front of PULITZER. JACK flinches as the old man
reaches for HIS face. SEITZ pats JACK to reassure HIM as PULITZER explores the young man's face.
PULITZER finishes, sits back, thoughtful. SEITZ signals JACK to sit again.)
You seem like an intelligent young man. Tell me, what do you want in life?
JACK
A chance.
PULITZER
When I was your age I wanted to be a soldier. An officer in the Austrian army, with a sword and a fancy uniform. But
they didn't want a poor boy with bad eyesight. So I came to America during the Civil War and served in the Union
Army. Then I realized, why should I be a soldier in someone else's army?
JACK
Exactly my sentiments.
PULITZER
But you are, Mr. Sullivan. This strike is a children's game, and you are a young man who has run out of time for play.
JACK
I ain't playing. I got a plan. I'm heading west.
PULITZER
Good! You have spirit. What do you need? Train fare. A stake to start a business, buy some land. How much?
(swift pause)
Say, a hundred dollars.
JACK
A hundred!
(JACK thinks it is an impossible amount of money. PULITZER pretends to misinterpret JACKS outburst.)
PULITZER
All right. Two hundred.
(JACK swallows)
How long would it take you to save two hundred dollars? Ten years? I'll tell you a secret. Very soon now, newspapers
will be delivered directly to the home and the independent Newsie will be history. Where will you be then, young man?
Will your fellow strikers be around to help you?
(looking at JACKS drink)
You haven't touched your drink.
(JACK is caught off guard. HE takes a sip from the cup.)
You're starting out with several strikes against you, Mr. Sullivan. But this is America; you can rise above your
circumstance. I did. I had nothing, and now...
JACK
You got everythin'.
PULITZER
(grins)
It's time for you to think about your future, son. No one else will.
90

(HE rises)
You'll make the right choice.
JACK
Are you bribin me, Joe?
PULITZER
No.
JACK
Well, its been real nice chattin with ya, Joe. But I got to be goin now.
PULIZTER
You listen to me, boy. You just shut your mouth and listen to me! You shut up and listen to me for once! No game Im
playing. You work for me until the strikes over, and it will end, boy, make no mistake, with or without you. Then you
go wherever you want to buy a ticket for. Away from the Refuge, these foul streets. Free. With money to spend and
nobody chasing you.
JACK
We must have you scared pretty bad, old man.
PULITZER
I offer you freedom and money just to work for me again. To your friends, I wont be so kind. Now, your partner,
whats his name? David. I understand he has a family. What do you think the Refuge will do to him? And it will be you
who put him there. And all the others, after all, youre their leader. Go back to the Refuge tonight, think about it. Give
me your answer in the morning.
(PULITZER nods to SEITZ and exits. JACK is silent, absorbing what PULITZER has said. SEITZ watches
JACK for a moment.)
SEITZ
It's up to you.
(JACK cuts HIM a look. THEY both exit. Once off stage, we hear DAVIDS voice call out.)
DAVID (O.S.)
Jack! Come on! Come on!
SNYDER (O.S.)
After him!
SEITZ (O.S.)
Dont worry. Hes got no place to go.
(Blackout.)

91

Scene Eleven
(The alley scrim has fallen once again. JACK and DAVID come running in from around one of the sides of the
audience. DAVID continues running as JACK slows down.)
DAVID
Come on! Keep running!
JACK
You shouldnt have done this, Dave. They could put you in jail.
DAVID
I dont care
JACK
Come here. What about your family? What happens to them if you go in jail? You dont know nothing about jail. Now,
thanks for what you done, but you get out of here.
DAVID
I dont understand.
JACK
I dont understand either, but just get outta here!
DAVID
No!
JACK
Go!
(DAVID turns slowly and walks away. JACK sits on a box. During the first verse, the scrim slowly rises to
reveal JACKS cell in the Refuge. HE slowly crawls onto HIS bed. There are no sheets or pillow on the bed.)

Santa Fe (Reprise)
SANTA FE
MY OLD FRIEND
I CANT SPEND MY WHOLE LIFE HIDIN
YOURE THE ONLY LIGHT THATS GUIDIN ME TODAY
(CRUTCHY opens a little slot in the door. HE has a potato)
CRUCTHY
Psst! Jack! Look! I snatched it off Snyders plate while I was serving him. Its the biggest one. Oh, Mr. Snyder was
eating good tonight. You know the stuff that we dont ever get? He got potatoes, olives, liver, bacon, sauerkraut. And
guess what I done to his sauerkraut, huh?
JACK
So, whatd it get ya?
CRUTCHY
Oh, another three months, probably, but you cant let em get you, right Jack? Thats what you always said.
92

JACK
We was beat when we was born.
(CRUTCHY frowns and closes the slot)
WILL YOU KEEP A CANDLE BURNIN
WILL YOU HELP ME FIND MY WAY?
YOURE MY CHANCE TO BREAK FREE
AND WHO KNOWS WHEN MY NEXT ONE WILL BE
SANTA FE
WAIT FOR ME
(HE uses HIS shoes as a pillow and HIS jacket as a blanket. HES skilled at this, from HIS old life on the street.
HE winces as HE settles in. Slow blackout.)

93

Scene Twelve
(The lights come up on the courtyard. The NEWSIES are picketing outside the World building.)
NEWSIES
Stop the World! No more papes! Stop the World! No more papes! (etc.)
(The POLICE form a barricade. Some of the NEWSIES start to fight amongst THEMSELVES.)
DAVID
Race! Help me! I need some help!
RACETRACK
Alright! I aint deaf!
SPOT
Hey, hey, hey! Break it up. Hey, Race, come here.
(WEASEL leads JACK out. HES in a new suit)
RACETRACK
What?
(HE sees JACK)
SPOT
Just tell me Im seeing things. Just tell me Im seeing things.
RACETRACK
No, you aint seeing things. Thats Jack. Whats he doing?
SPOT
Hes dressed like a scabber!
MUSH
Jack? Jack, look at me, will ya? Come on, its me, Mush. Look at me. What are you doin, Jack?
KID BLINK
This aint happening. This cant be happening. What are you doin Jack? Come on, what are you doin?
BOOTS
Come on. What is this? Whered you get them clothes?
WEASEL
Mr. Pulitzer picked them out himself. A special gift to a special new employee.
SPOT
He sold us out!
RACETRACK
Ill give you a new suit! You bum! Ill soak ya!
SPOT
Hey, hey, hey! Let me get my hands dirty. Come here you dirty rotten scabber! Traitor!
(some NEWSIES pull SPOT away. DAVID stares at JACK)
94

WEASEL
Aww. You wanna talk to him? Come on, come on. Sure. Go right ahead.
(DAVID walks up to JACK)
DAVID
So, this is why you didnt escape last night. Youre a liar! You lied about everything. You lied about your father being
out west, cause hes not out west! You didnt even tell me your real name!
JACK
So? What you wanna do about it Dave?
DAVID
I dont understand you.
JACK
Oh, so let me spell it out for ya. You see, I aint got nobody tucking me in at night, like you. Its just me, I gotta look
out for myself.
DAVID
You had the Newsies.
JACK
Oh, whatd being a Newsies ever give me but a dime a day and a few black eyes? You know, I cant afford to be a kid
no more, Dave. For the first time in my life, I got money in my pockets. Real money. Money, you understand? I got
more on the way and as soon as I collect, Im gone, Im away. Alright?
DAVID
Well, thats good. Thats good because we dont need you! We dont need you! All those words you said, those were
mine.
JACK
Yeah, but you never had the guts to put them across yourself, did you?
DAVID
I do now.
(DAVID starts to go back to the NEWSIES, then turns to look at JACK again.)
JACK
Whatsa matta? Got a problem?
(DAVID rushes towards JACK, but WEASEL and a few POLICEMEN pull HIM away. DAVID struggles. The
NEWSIES stand motionless.)
WEASEL
Maybe youd like a new suit of your own, huh?
DAVID
Never! Never!
WEASEL
Get outta here! Get outta here!
95

DAVID
Im not like you!
(The COPS surround JACK so the NEWSIES cant get HIM. The NEWSIES watch HIM go.)
You'll finally get your headline, Cowboy. "Newsie Leader Sells Out."
(DAVID turns and walks off)
SPOT
Traitor!
KID BLINK
You make me sick!
BOOTS
I trusted you!
RACETRACK
Seize the day, huh Jack?
LES
(trying to make sense of everything)
Hes foolin em, so he can spy on em or something. Yeah, yeah, thats it. Hes foolin em!
RACETRACK
(seeing that LES doesnt understand, HE takes LES under HIS arm.)
Yeah, hes spying on them, kid.
(Blackout. Fast segue.)

96

Scene Thirteen
(The curtain opens to reveal DAVIDS apartment. SARAH is going through things. SHE comes across LESS
hotdog wrapped in DENTONS article.)
SARAH
Les. What is this?
LES
Savin it
(HE takes the hot dog and leaves the article in SARAHS hands. SHE looks at it.)
SARAH
David. Its Dentons article. The Dark Truth; Why Our City Really Fears The Newsies Strike by Bryan Denton. Last
night I saw naked force exercised against mere boys, the Newsies, who were
(DAVID climes out the window, slams it, then storms off the fire escape. The curtain closes. Direct segue.)

97

Scene Fourteen
(Tibbys Restaurant turns to reveal a doorway. It is the doorway to the Worlds basement. WEASEL leads
JACK to HIS new bedroom.)
WEASEL
One trick, Cowboy, and its right back to the Refuge.
(HE throws a dust covered sheet and a tiny pillow to JACK.)
Ah. You gonna be requiring anything this evening?
(silence)
Huh?
(still no answer)
No?
(HE looks at HIS watch)
Aww...tick tick. Well then, I ought to be saying good night. Remember, one trick and I go straight to Mr. Pulitzer.
(HE exits, leaving JACK alone. Immediate segue.)

98

Scene Fifteen
(We are now in courtyard. It is morning. JACK goes to collect HIS papers. OSCAR and MORRIS come up
behind HIM.)
WEASEL
Sleep well Cowboy?
OSCAR
Come with us Cowboy. Were gonna go fix youre pal, Davey. Fix him so he cant walk.
MORRIS
Shut up.
(JACK starts to go after THEM.)
WEASEL
Ah! Lift one finger and its right back to the Refuge. Next!
(JACK picks up HIS papers and leaves. Immediate segue.)

99

Scene Sixteen
(Later that morning. The alley drop has come back down. SARAH is walking to work with LES. SHE has a
basket full of lace. SHE passes a LADY working.)
SARAH
Morning.
LADY
Good mornin, dear.
OSCAR
(OSCAR bumps into SARAH)
Scuse me, Sweetface.
(SHE continues to walk with OSCAR behind HER. MORRIS steps out in front of HER.)
MORRIS
Wheres your little brother, Tootsie? Wheres little Davey?
(SARAH tries to get by, but the BROTHERS push HER around.)
LES
Leave my sister alone!
(HE shoves OSCAR. MORRIS holds onto SARAH while OSCAR pushes LES onto the ground.)
SARAH
Stop it! Leave him alone!
(OSCAR shoves LES into a pile of baskets. SARAH shoves MORRIS away.)
You stupid ape.
(SHE punches HIM, but it doesnt hurt HIM. SHE runs into the alley. The BROTHERS catch HER. DAVID sees
LES and helps HIM up.)
DAVID
Whats the matter? Are you alright?
LES
Im alright, Im alright. Help Sarah!
SARAH
Run Davey!
OSCAR
Yeah, run Davey. We got the best part of your family right here.
(DAVID tackles OSCAR)
SARAH
Let go of me!
(MORRIS throws HER to the ground. OSCAR punches DAVID)
Stop it!
(calling to LES)
Les!
(LES comes running to HER. THEY crouch in a corner.)
Stop, youre hurting him! No!
100

(MORRIS pulls out a pair of brass knuckles and puts them on.)
Leave him alone!
(OSCAR continues to punch DAVID. JACK is walking down the street near the alley.)
Stop it! Leave him alone!
(JACK hears HER cries and runs, dropping HIS papers as HE goes. OSCAR holds DAVID as MORRIS gets
ready to hit HIM with the knuckles. JACK comes up behind MORRIS and punches HIM. DAVID gives OSCAR
an elbow in the stomach. JACK throws MORRIS into a box)
JACK
Get over here.
(JACK grabs OSCAR)
Remember Crutchy?
(JACK head butts HIM and HE falls near MORRIS. JACK goes to help SARAH up)
You alright?
SARAH
Yeah.
(THEY hug briefly)
David!
(JACK goes to DAVID and checks HIM out before helping HIM up. OSCAR and MORRIS finally get up.)
MORRIS
(getting off the ground)
Youd better run, Cowboy. Were gonna tell uncle Weas. Youll be back in the Refuge before suppertime!
OSCAR
Run, you lousy coward, run!
(The DELANCYS exit. JACK starts to go after THEM, but SARAH stops HIM. LES runs to the end of the alley.)
LES
Run! Get outta here! Dont come back! You hear me?
DAVID
What? You couldnt stay away?
JACK
Well, I guess I cant be something I aint.
DAVID
A scab?
JACK
No, smart.
(Blackout.)

101

Scene Seventeen
(The lights come up on Dentons apartment. The tiny room has HIS photos tacked to the walls. DENTON is
packing things up in boxes. DENTON pulls on HIS robe as HE answers a knock on the door. HE is shocked to
see JACK and DAVID.)
JACK
(holding up DENTONS article)
Did you mean what you wrote here? Bout all these sweat shop kids listening to me?
DENTON
I dont write anything I dont mean. Come on in. Im just packing a few things.
(THEY enter. DAVID closes the door.)
So, yes, I mean it. The city thrives on child labor. A lot of people make money that way. Theyre terrified that the
Newsies strike will spread.
JACK
Well, theres really not much chance of that as long as they got the power
DENTON
Sometimes, all it takes is a voice, one voice. Then a thousand. Unless its silenced.
JACK
Why cant we spread the strike? Have another big rally and get the word out to all the sweat shop kids? Why not?
DAVID
What are we going to do? Print an ad in the newspaper?
JACK
No! Well do better than that. Well make our own paper. We tell em they gotta join us. Isnt that a good idea?
DAVID
Yeah, it is. But what do we know about printing a newspaper?
JACK
Nothing, but our man Denton
DAVID
(laying it on thick)
Yeah, but our man Denton has something more important to do. Hes going to be an ace war correspondent, right
Denton?
DENTON
Alright. Where do we start?
(THEY sit at a table)
JACK
Alright, we gotta move fast. Now, well need the Newsies to circulate.
DENTON
Theres something else that we need. We need a printing press.
102

JACK
Just so happens I know a guy with a printing press.
(Blackout. Fast segue.)

103

Scene Eighteen
(Once again, we are in the basement of the World Building. JACK, SARAH, DAVID and DENTON enter.)
SARAH
Youve been living here?
JACK
Shh. Theyre right above us. Weasel catches us here, were all in the slammer.
(JACK uncovers a press)
DENTON
Alright! A Platen press. Looks like old man Pulitzer never threw anything away.
DAVID
Is it going to work?
DENTON
It better. We have a deadline.
(THEY start printing THEIR papers.)
Once and For All

THIS IS THE STORY YOU WANTED TO WRITE,


WELL TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT THAT YOU CAN.
JACK
JUST GET THIS DONE AND BY DAWNS EARLY LIGHT
YOU CAN FINISH THE FIGHT YOU BEGAN.
DAVID
THIS TIME WERE IN IT TO STAY
SARAH
THINK ABOUT SEIZING THE DAY
JACK
THINK OF THAT TRAIN AS SHE ROLLS INTO OLD SANTA FE
TELL HER IM ON MY WAY
NEWSIES (O.S.)
SEE OLD MAN PULITZER SNUG IN HIS BED
HE DONT CARE IF WERE DEAD OR ALIVE
THREE SATIN PILLOWS ARE UNDER HIS HEAD
WHILE WERE BEGGING FOR BREAD TO SURVIVE
JOE, IF YOURE STILL COUNTING SHEEP
WAKE UP AND READ EM AND WEEP
YOUVE GOT YOUR THUGS
WITH THEIR STICKS AND THEIR SLUGS
104

YEAH, BUT WE GOT A PROMISE TO KEEP


ONCE AND FOR ALL
SOMETHING TELLS ME THE TIDE WILL BE TURNING
ONCE AND FOR ALL
THERES A FIRE INSIDE ME THAT WONT STOP BURNING
NOW THAT THE CHOICES ARE CLEAR
NOW THAT TOMORROW IS HERE
WATCH HOW THE MIGHTY WILL FALL
FOR ONCE AND FOR ALL!
(JACK hands bundles of papers to the NEWSIES who are standing outside the window.)
DENTON
Its awfully nice of Mr. Pulitzer to let us use his press
JACK
Yeah, I just hope I get to thank him for it someday.
(DENTON exits. The NEWSIES spread out and hand the papers to various WORK KIDS.)
NEWSIES
(by this time, members of the CAST [that are not handing out flyers] have mounted various parts of the set and
have spread THEMSELVES over the stage and in front of the audience. While THEY sing, lights slowly come up
on THEM. By the end of the song, EVERYONE should have a flyer and should be reading while THEY sing.
Also during this section, THOSE who place THEMSELVES on the revolving set pieces may strike a pose and sit
there as the set revolves showing three different scenes on each.)
THIS IS FOR KIDS SHINING SHOES ON THE STREETS
WITH NO SHOES ON THEIR FEET EVERYDAY
THIS IS FOR GUYS SWEATING BLOOD IN THE SHOPS
WHILE THEIR BOSSES AND COPS LOOK AWAY
THIS IS TO EVEN THE SCORE
WE AINT JUST NEWSIES NO MORE
THIS AINT JUST KIDS WITH SOME PIE IN THE SKY
THIS IS DO IT OR DIE
THIS IS WAR!
ONCE AND FOR ALL
WELL BE THERE TO DEFEND ONE ANOTHER
ONCE AND FOR ALL
EVERY KID IS A FRIEND
EVERY FRIEND A BROTHER
FIVE THOUSAND FISTS IN THE SKY
FIVE THOUSAND REASONS TO TRY
WERE GOING OVER THE WALL
BETTER TO DIE THAN TO CRAWL
EITHER WE STAND OR WE FALL
FOR ONCE
ONCE AND FOR ALL!
(Blackout.)

105

Scene Nineteen
(The lights come up on Newsies Square. Only a few NEWSIES are there. None of the WORK KIDS and OTHER
PEOPLE that were handed flyers are there. The NEWSIES have gathered around the Horace Greeley statue.)
MUSH
So, when's the others coming, kid?
JACK
They aint coming. Aint gonna be nobody but us.
SNITCH
Come on, Jack.
SPECS
Have hope, Jack.
(LES walks away from the GROUP.)
The World Will Know (Reprise)
LES
WHEN THE CIRCULATION BELL STARTS RINGING,
WILL WE HEAR IT?
RACETRACK
Nah.
WHAT IF THE DELANCEYS COME OUT SWINGING,
WILL WE HEAR IT?
LES
No!
RACETRACK
That a boy!
WORK KIDS (O.S.)
WHEN YOUVE GOT A MILLION VOICES SINGING
WHO CAN HEAR A LOUSY WHISTLE BLOW?
AND THE WORLD WILL KNOW!
(WORK KIDS come in from all directions. The NEWSIES cheer. THE MESSENGERS, SPOT [leading in all of
the BROOKLYN KIDS], FACTORY WORKER KIDS, SWEATSHOP KIDS, ADULTS, WOMEN'S GROUPS,
DENTON, MAYER, ESTHER, SARAH and THE NEIGHBORS...with more CHILDREN joining the parade at
every step.)
SPOT
Brooklyn!
NEWSIES & WORK KIDS
THE WORLD WILL FEEL THE FIRE AND FINALLY KNOW!
(EVERYONE cheers.)
106

WORK KIDS
Strike! Strike! Strike! (etc.)
(The NEWSIES make THEIR way to the front of the World Building. The lights go to blue on the CROWD.
THEY are still mouthing Strike! Strike! Strike! Pulitzers Office is revealed. PULITZER is at HIS desk. SEITZ
brings in JACK and DAVID. JONATHAN grabs HIS arm and whispers.)
JONATHAN
Its awful. Everyones calling. Mr. Hearst, and Mr. Bennett, and the mayor in such awful language. The citys at a
stand still and they all blame the chief. Its like the end of the World, only I didnt say that.
(JACK and DAVID go to PULITZERS desk, where JACK pulls out a copy of the newspaper.)
JACK
Extra, extra, Joe. Read all about it.
(HE slams the paper onto PULITZERS desk.)
PULITZER
I promised that if you defied me, Id break you. Ill keep that promise, boy. Now, I gave you a chance to be free. I dont
understand. Anyone who doesnt act in their own self interest is a fool.
DAVID
Then what does that make you?
PULITZER
What?
JACK
Oh, this is my pal, Davey. The Walkin mouth
DAVID
You talk about self interest, but since the strike, your circulations been down seventy percent. Everyday youre losing
thousands of dollars just to beat us out of one lousy tenth of a cent. Why?
JACK
You see, it aint about the money, Dave. If Joe gives in to nobodies like us, it means we got the power. And he cant do
that, no matter what it costs. Am I right, Joe?
PULITZER
I sent for the police. They must be here by now. Send them in, Seitz
JACK
Im not going back to jail, Joe. Look out here. Right out here is where the power is.
(JACK opens the window. At once, the sound erupts from the CROWD. Strike! Strike! Strike! PULITZER
covers HIS ears.)
PULITZER
(to JACK)
Close the window! Close the window!
(to CROWD)
Go home! Go home! Go home!
JACK
I cant hear you, Joe!
107

PULITZER
(to CROWD)
Go home! Go home to your mothers and fathers! Go home!
JACK
I dont hear ya!
PULITZER
(to JACK)
Now you listen to me!
JACK
Maybe you should listen!
PULITZER
No, no! You listen to me!
JACK
No! You listen!
PULITZER
Close the window and shut up!
JACK
Theres a lot of people out there and they aint just gonna go away. They got voices now and theyre going to be
listened to. Putting them in jail is not going to stop them! Thats the power of the press, Joe.
(HE closes the window. The CROWD goes back to miming Strike! Strike! Strike! PULITZER takes HIS hands
away from HIS ears.)
So thanks for teaching me about it.
SEITZ
Those kids put out a pretty good paper there Chief.
(PULITZER picks up the paper and reads it.)
PULITZER
I ordered a printing ban on all strike matters. Now, who defied me? Whose press did you use to print this on? Whose?
JACK
Well, we only use the best, Joe. So, I just want to say, thanks again.
(Lights out on Pulitzers Office. JACK and DAVID make their way back to the CROWD.)
SPOT
Hey, fellas, theyre over here!
(The NEWSIES gather around and start asking questions. JACK bends over and whispers in LESS ear.)
JACK
The strikes over. We beat em.
(JACK lifts LES onto HIS shoulders and looks out towards all the CHILDREN.)
We beat em!
(The CROWD cheers. All the NEWSIES hug and pat each other on the back WEASEL, OSCAR and MORRIS
put on their hats and leave. A paddy wagon pulls up. SNYDER is sitting in the front seat with TWO COPS.)
108

LES
Jack! Jack, its the bulls. Its the bulls. Let me down!
SWIFTY
Down Jack. Get down!
KID BLINK
Hide Jack
DENTON
Jack, its over. No, no. You dont have to run. Not anymore. Not from the likes of him. Come on, Come on.
(A COP opens the paddy wagon and the KIDS from the Refuge come out. The last one is CRUTCHY. A COP
leads SNYDER into the paddy wagon. CRUTCHY taps HIM on the back.)
CRUTCHY
Ah, remember what I told ya, Mr. Snyder. The first thing ya do in jail, make friends with the rats. Share what you got in
common.
(SNYDER climbs in. A POLICE OFFICER is about to close the door.)
Officer, may I please?
POLICE OFFICER
Sure kid.
(CRUTCHY hands HIS crutch to a KID. HE slams the door and locks it. HE gets HIS crutch back and goes over
to JACK and the OTHERS.)
JACK
Heya Crutchy.
DENTON
You wont be seeing much of him anymore. Say goodbye Warden.
NEWSIES
Goodbye Warden!
(the paddy wagon pulls away)
CRUTCHY
Oh, Jack, you ought to seen it! He comes stormin into the Refuge waving
his walking stick like a sword and hes leading in this army of lawyers and cops.
JACK
Who comes stormin in?
CRUTCHY
You know, your friend. Him! Teddy Roosevelt
(the NEWSIES are amazed. In the back, TEDDY ROOSEVELT stands shaking hands and waving to the
CROWD.)
DENTON
The Governors very grateful that you brought this problem to his attention. I said you might need a lift somewhere.
Hed be happy to oblige. Anywhere you want. And this time, you ride inside.
109

JACK
So, can he drop me at the train yards?

DENTON
Yeah, if thats what you want.
(THEY make THEIR way to ROOSEVELTS carriage. JACK shakes HIS hand and climbs in. BOOTS throws
JACK a bag. DAVID, LES and SARAH watch sadly. The WORK KIDS follow the carriage as it leaves, leaving
the NEWSIES alone. The circulation bell begins to ring.)
Carryin the Banner (Reprise)
MUSH
TRY BOTTLE ALLEY OR THE HARBOR
RACETRACK
TRY CENTRAL PARK, ITS GUARANTEED
CRUTCHY
TRY ANY BANKER, BUM OR BARBER
KID BLINK
THEY ALMOST ALL KNOWS HOW TO READ
BOOTS
SUMMER STINKS
SKITTERY
AND WINTERS WAITING
SPECS, BUMLETS & SNIPESHOOTER
WELCOME TO NEW YORK
SNODDY, PIE EATER, SWIFTY, ITEY & JAKE
BOY AINT NATURE FASCINATING
NEWSIES
WHEN YOUSE GOTTA WALK
(The NEWSIES line up for THEIR papers. DAVID is first in line. HE slaps down a coin.)
DAVID
Hundred papes.
MUSH
Alright Davey.
(The NEWSIES hear cheers and turn to see the carriage returning. All the WORK KIDS are following.)
Dave, hes back!
JACK
Thanks for the advice, Governor. Like you said, I still got things to do. Besides, I got family here.
(HE gets out of the carriage and gives LES HIS cowboy hat. All the NEWSIES yell and talk at the same time.)
110

So, hows the headline today?


DAVID
Headlines dont sell papes, Newsies sell papes.
JACK
Come here, Davey.
(JACK holds out HIS hand. DAVID spits in HIS and shakes it. SARAH makes HER way through the CROWD.
HER and JACK kiss. All the NEWSIES cheer and yell. The carriage pulls away, with ROOSEVELT and SPOT
in it. SPOT tips HIS hat and waves as HE leaves.)
SARAH
Bye Spot!
JACK
Go back to Brooklyn ya hear!
(DAVID, JACK, SARAH, LES and CRUTCHY lead the way. DENTON shakes DAVIDS hand, then goes to the
side and starts writing. The NEWSIES, with THEIR papers, dance as THEY leave through the audience. THEY
should split at center and dance their way out each side and make their way behind the audience. THEY repeat
the following section until EVERYONE is offstage. This concludes Act Two.)
GROUP ONE
ITS A FINE LIFE CARRYIN THE
BANNER.
ITS A FINE LIFE CARRYIN THE
BANNER.
ITS A FINE LIFE CARRYIN THE
BANNER.
ITS A FINE LIFE CARRYINTHE
BANNER.

GROUP TWO
YOU GOT EM, COWBOY
YOU SHOWED EM HOW BOY!
YOU GOT EM COWBOY
YOU SHOWED EM HOW BOY!

111