The Outsiders Brody Grant on a car
(Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

The Tonys’ Best New Musical Is a Familiar Story and a Must-See on Broadway

Whatever it is about this story, it defies generational ties. It can be 1967 when the book was released, 1983 when the movie came out, or today with the new Broadway musical but whenever it is, we’re all obsessed with Ponyboy Curtis and his quest for something more than Tulsa.

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S.E. Hinton’s novel The Outsiders has been a staple in American schools since its release. Growing up, I often watched the film starring C. Thomas Howell as Ponyboy Curtis with a stacked supporting cast of future stars. My friend and I put it on repeat. Now, the musical is having a similar impact for a whole new batch of Broadway boys. Produced by Angelina Jolie, the production was named Best Musical at the Tony Awards and I could not agree more.

Ponyboy (Brody Grant) is a boy obsessed with movies and books and the idea of getting out of Tulsa. His parents died and his brothers, Darrel (Brent Comer) and Sodapop (Jason Schmidt), are trying to raise him to be the man their parents wanted him to be. But Ponyboy is torn between the life of a greaser and that of the socs.

Darrel constantly tries to keep Ponyboy out of that life but since Sodapop is a greaser, Ponyboy finds his people in friends like Johnny Cade (Sky Lakota-Lynch) and Dallas “Dally” Winston (Joshua Boone).

The show has a book by Adam Rapp and music and lyrics from Jamestown Revival and it is quite frankly my favorite show of the last few years. Whether my deep love of the source material is clouding my judgment I don’t know but it did just win Best Musical so I at least am onto something. The musical really understands what made Hinton’s story so special to young people throughout the years.

Stay gold

There is something we should unpack as a society about a group of boys coming of age and how young people (particularly young women) connect with them and bond with them. The Outsiders might be different since Hinton wrote it but growing up, all of my female friends were the ones obsessed with the greasers.

And that’s what is happening with this musical. The rush line is always long and filled with teenage Broadway fans trying to see the show. It makes me so happy that another generation has their show to cling to. But it is even better than that because the show is very good.

When you’re sitting in the theatre, transported back to Tulsa in 1967, you’re reminded why you love this story in the first place.

Everyone knows what Johnny Cade tells Ponyboy in the end. We all know “Stay gold” and the musical makes you feel the importance of that message in such a beautiful way, you’ll sit sobbing as Johnny sings to Ponyboy.

This is going to be your new obsession in the best of ways and now that it won Best Musical, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be your top priority on your next trip to New York.

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.