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The Student News Site of Louisa County High School

The Lion's Roar

The Student News Site of Louisa County High School

The Lion's Roar

A new look at an old classic

Casey Little
A Canva made image with photos from the book, movie and musical.

  Many middle school students across the country are required to read the book “The Outsiders”, a coming-of-age, young adult novel written by Susan.E. Hinton. The book was published in 1967. In 1983, Francis Ford Coppola directed the movie adaptation. Now on March 18, 2024, we will be able to watch the musical adaptation of this timeless novel. 

The opening page of the official “The Outsiders: A New Musical” website. (Casey Little)

  “I first read ‘The Outsiders’ in middle school, in 7th or 8th grade, as a part of a required reading for my language arts class,” art teacher Alex LaBarr said. “I reread it a few times after that since I really enjoyed the story. I was rooting for Ponyboy the whole time and the ending is very satisfying.” 

  The novel is about a group of boys in the 60s (the Greasers) who fight with another group (the Socials) about social class; two of the Greaser boys run into real trouble when one of the Socials ends up dead. These boys go into hiding until they can clear their names, but something tragic happens and now their actions are seeing the consequences . 

  The Greasers consist of six boys. Three boys are brothers; the oldest is 20, Darrel “Darry” Curtis; the middle brother is 16-17, Sodapop Curtis; the youngest is 13-14, Ponyboy Curtis. The other three boys are Dallas “Dally” Winston who is 17, Johnny Cade who is 16, and Two-Bit Matthews who is 18. The Socials don’t receive names except for two of them that have to do with the story and their girlfriends: Bob Sheldon and Cherry Valance along with their friends Randy and Marcia. “The Outsiders” is from Ponyboy’s perspective. He lives with his two older brothers because their parents died in a train accident. They are all friends because of their similar problems and social class. 

  “They grew up on the outside of society,” Hinton said. “They weren’t looking for a fight. They were looking to belong.”

  In seventh grade, I read this book with my English class, and it helped me make it through middle school, high school and now college. “The Outsiders” shows the importance of family, especially found family, even in the roughest parts of life. I grew up being bullied in elementary and middle school, just like the Greasers. Then getting to listen to how they stuck together and how they persevered really showed me that with the right people I could make it through life. When I had to move halfway across the country, I used it as a chance to find my people and become who I wanted to be. Now the story is being told in another form of art for new people to experience it’s lesson. 

  When my teacher introduced the book, she taught us about Hinton and how she did a lot of things to publish her book at 17, in a time where most authors were men. She used her initials to give her name a more masculine look so people would buy it. While Hinton was in school, there were two rival gangs: Greasers and Socials. She was friends with some of the Greasers, but, one day, one of her friends got jumped by the Socials. This inspired her to start her novel and the opening scene of it. When I think about how much difficulty she had releasing her novel and how it became a classic in American literature, it encourages me with my own art. Emboldened  kids like how it inspired me to not give up on a dream I have or to not give up on friends and family through rough times. 

  “The Outsiders: A New Musical” features a book by Adam Rapp and Justin Levine with music and lyrics by Jamestown Revival. Justin Levine is also the music supervisor. Danya Taymor directs the musical with choreography by Rick Kuperman and Jeff Kuperman. The cast list consists of Ponyboy being played by Brody Grant, Sodapop being played by Jason Schmidt, Darrel being played by Brent Comer, Johnny being played by Sky Lakota-Lynch, Dallas being played by Joshua Boone, Two-Bit being played by Daryl Tofa, Cherry being played by Emma Pittman and Bob being played by Kevin William Paul.

A screenshot of the new song “Great Expectations” on Spotify. (Casey Little)

  The first preview for the full show will be on March 16, 2024 at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California, and a Broadway preview at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. The first official showing will be on April 11, 2024, and the musical will show throughout the year since this is the opening year. Tickets are on sale on the official “The Outsiders: A New Musical” website with availability to buy single or group tickets. From reading a few reviews online, people are liking the show a lot with little to complain about as far as storywise.

  “The musical, even at this somewhat wobbly preliminary stage, holds on to the gold of Hinton’s novel, transmuting it imperfectly yet courageously into hypnotic theater,” the Los Angeles Times said. 

  The Broadway cast has announced that they will be releasing their official cast recording of the musical later this year. In preparation for the show’s opening, the cast has released one of the songs featured in an important scene called “Great Expectations” which is sung and performed by Grant and Hinkley. “Great Expectations” is out on most streaming platforms. The song, in the beginning, is smooth and has a storytelling beat with how the lyrics flow. However, as it continues, the song builds intensity with the background music building up as Grant and Hinkley sing the chorus. The song is from Ponyboy’s perspective of how he sees his past, present and future, and as the song continues, it becomes clear to me that this song is not only about Ponyboy. The song gives backstory about the characters while showing their dreams and hopes for life. 

  “Things were rough all over, but it was better that way,” Ponyboy said. “That way you could tell the other guy was human too.”

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Casey Little, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Casey Little is an Editor-in-Chief and a first year staffer. They enjoy horror/thriller movies and books, hanging out with her friends and pets, and making/studying art.
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