New Musical Adaptation Continues Five-Decade Legacy of The Outsiders

With previews and opening night done, audiences can witness the musical adaptation of The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton right on the Broadway stage!

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Book cover of The Outsiders with a record, music notes, and guitar surrounding the cover, with the bottom half being a performance hall.

For decades, the story of The Outsiders reached the hands of young readers in school and even in movie theaters. Giving light to social groups and divisions like the greasers and the socs, The Outsiders is one of the pillars of YA fiction. As time passes, the story still touches the lives of many, and with this new musical adaptation, the songs, the acting, and the cast and crew will bring a new platform on which the story lives on.

The Legacy of The Outsiders

Whether it was required reading at school or the 1983 film, the story of The Outsiders has certainly reached the lives of many generations. Since its original book publication in 1967, readers followed the narration of Ponyboy Curtis in Oklahoma as he navigated the division between the greasers and the socs. Some of author S.E. Hinton’s experiences in Tulsa, Oklahoma, became inspiration for the novel’s portrayal of the social groups, the norms, and certainly even violence that sprung up from these groups.

Book cover for The Outsiders with a greaser in a leather jacket looking down in the front.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP

For five decades, over 15 million copies of the book have been sold and it’s no surprise that people resonate with the story, no matter what format the story is told through, from books to movies, and now, a Broadway musical.

Bringing the Story to the Broadway Stage

Playwright Adam Rapp has been working on the script for The Outsiders for about a decade, and while he initially had no musical theater, like many, the story of The Outsiders impacted him from a young age, as it touched on themes of family, particularly in the lower middle-class context. When describing the process of adapting the story to the stage, he honed in on details like wanting,

…this world to be as brutal as it is tender, as bleak as it is beautiful; we needed to fill in all the extremes, because that’s what being 14, 15, and 16 is like.

VIA BROADWAY.COM

As viewers of the movie can remember just how memorable the rumble was, the musical version creates a space for this action to not be musical at all, but rather a raw moment where the audience only sees and hears both the greasers and socs. As previews of the show came to a close, the cast and crew were able to meet S.E. Hinton herself, as she watched the characters she wrote transform in a different medium.

For now, only a few of the songs are available for streaming, but tickets are available to purchase to watch the show! The dates go all the way to September of this year and are sure to reach audiences both old and new.


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