Watch CBS News

"The Outsiders" uses creative staging, choreography to elevate classic tale to inventive Broadway musical

"The Outsiders" cast on inventive take on classic tale of teen angst
"The Outsiders" cast on inventive take on classic tale of teen angst 02:35

NEW YORK -- "The Outsiders," a popular novel and film, is now an inventive musical on Broadway. Creative staging and choreography elevate the classic tale of teen angst and belonging. 

Brody Grant plays 14-year-old Ponyboy Curtis, whose love of literature and writing makes him a standout in his gang of greasers. He endures chaos and violence in 1960s Oklahoma, and uses art as an escape. 

"I feel a deep connection to it. I mean, I'm a songwriter myself. Ponyboy is a budding artist, a budding writer. He doesn't know it," said Grant. 

The coming-of-age story was made into a classic movie in 1983. The tale is a favorite for generations of middle and high school students, and they're returning to it on Broadway. 

"I read the book and I really was excited," said Jocelyn Franco, of the Upper West Side. "It was amazing, yeah, I want to come back." 

The musical's young cast includes many making Broadway debuts. They say a highlight is getting to spend time with the celebrated 75-year-old author, S. E. Hinton. 

"I love the book and I love that it was written by a young woman all those years ago, and how she saw the world and how she saw men," said Angelina Jolie, one of the show's producers. 

"When I read the book in seventh grade, it's the first time I saw that white people could treat other white people the way it felt they treated Black people. They didn't use the word 'classism.' I didn't learn about classism until like 10th, 11th grade. But to have the seeds of that in middle school, this book speaks to people and how people treat people," said Joshua Boone, who plays Dallas Winston. 

"I love the book, I love the character. The character is so special to my mother, because she introduced me to the book. It's definitely been something that, I'll hold nothing back," said Grant. 

Cast members say this story matters and audiences tell them they marvel at the inventive staging and score, dazzling choreography and all the heart. 

"When you come in there, you're getting authentic people, you're getting authentic sets, and you're getting something different. We're taking a risk," said Sky Lakota-Lynch, who plays Johnny Cade. 

"I think they absolutely nailed the lyrics and I think that it's a joy to sing every night," said Emma Pittman, who plays Cherry Valance. 

"There are people who've seen this show four and five times already, and we've only been running for three weeks. Something's happening," said Boone. 

It may be 1967 Tulsa on stage, but it also feels very now. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.