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Having spent a year starring in Follies -- first at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., before a limited-engagement Broadway revival and ending in Los Angeles -- Ron Raines (Alan, GUIDING LIGHT) was ready for a break. "I was so artistically fulfilled... and also physically exhausted," reveals the actor, who received a Tony nomination for his portrayal of Benjamin Stone. I was really not in a hurry to work after Follies in a big show."
But then Disney came calling, making Raines a short-term offer to play Joseph Pulitzer in the smash musical Newsies while John Dossett stars in another musical, Giant. "It's a perfect follow-up," Raines tells Soaps In Depth. "It's not a huge role that I have to carry a major part f the show like I did in Follies. Which I did not want to do immediately. I'm in three scenes -- they're fabulous scenes -- and two songs. A reprise of another song, so a song and a half, if you will! It's perfect."
On October 9, Raines made his debut in the musical based on the 1992 film, based on the real-life newsboys strike of 1899. Set in New York City at the turn of the century, the show tales the tale of a band of teenaged newspaper boys -- aka "newsies" -- who dream of a better life far from the hardships of the streets. But when publishing titans Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the expense of the young peddlers, the boys across the city strike against the magnates. "It had a major impact at that time. It's very David against Goliath," notes Raines, who is scheduled to perform through Sunday, December 16. "That youthful, idealistic hope. And I'm Goliath!" Even though the young actors who play the newies carry the show, the character of Pulitzer is always front-and-center... even if he's not necessarily seen. "I'm talked about the entire time because I'm the bad guy!" Raines says with a chuckle. "I love that!"
Read more after the jump!