'I Hope It Beautifully Scars': Hear More About The Outsiders on Broadway From the Cast and Creative Team | Playbill

Special Features 'I Hope It Beautifully Scars': Hear More About The Outsiders on Broadway From the Cast and Creative Team

The stage musical adaptation of S.E. Hinton's novel and Francis Ford Coppola's film is now in previews at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.

Daryl Tofa, Joshua Boone, Jason Schmidt, Sky Lakota-Lynch, Brent Comer, and Brody Grant Miller Mobley

As The Outsiders approached first previews on Broadway, the cast and creative team met with the press to chat about the new musical adaption of S.E. Hinton's novel and Francis Ford Coppola's film version. Set in 1967 Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Outsiders follows Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade, and their chosen family of "outsiders" in a fight for survival and a quest for purpose in a world that may never accept them. The Broadway premiere of the musical began previews March 16 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. An official opening night is set for April 11.

From the show's stars to its writers and choreographers, all of the company members expressed a feeling of unity and brotherhood across the board—and how the gaze of the novel's original writer, who was a teenage girl at the time, influenced that view of brotherhood.

"I think that her gaze on the boys is part of what makes the book so compelling. She writes in the voice of Ponyboy, but what she does is so powerful because she infuses it with the compassion of her gaze," says director Danya Taymor. Although the story's overarching theme is about a chosen family of young boys fighting for survival, Taymor expresses that Hinton's perspective is wide-reaching. "I think it exposes something about humanity that we all deal with, like the inability to express love, to express tenderness...feelings of anger and rage, and what happens when we feel all those things at once. And I think that is a very combustible and very human experience that she reveals," Taymor says.

For Sky Lakota-Lynch, who plays Johnny, the portrayal of loving platonic male relationships is healing: "There's a lack of that in society, men platonically saying 'I love you,' and checking in on each other. I think America does a bad job of making us feel like we have to stay in these boxes," he says.

Although the original novel came out over half a century ago, star Brody Grant, who plays Ponyboy, feels that the boys' loss of youth is an ever-present experience. "So many people are like [Ponyboy] right now, growing up with social media and seeing too much too fast...how do I take all this on so fast and stay gold? How do I hold onto my youth and innocence and the light inside me? That's a challenge that's still alive today," says Grant.

Video: Watch Sky Lakota-Lynch Perform 'Stay Gold' From Broadway's The Outsiders

Dance captain and ensemble member Tilly Evans-Krueger shares that through movement, and through Taymor's direction, she feels herself connecting with the piece in a different and equally profound way. "Danya is coming at this with such sensitivity and vulnerability, and in a divine feminine way. These guys are opening up and revealing so much about themselves...the feminine energy leading this is so important," she says. And despite the fact that the story is largely known for putting a lens on tension and violence, it's also a journey of solidarity and love. "I do believe that we are showing that softer side of masculinity," says Evans-Krueger.

Numerous cast members expressed their hope that the work will open audience's minds and hearts and encourage more unity and solidarity: particularly for teenagers today. "I hope it beautifully scars them," says star Joshua Boone. "And with this art, I hope we're able to reach a certain view where you see very clearly that there's no disassociation between you and the person sitting next to you, especially if you did not come with them," Boone says.

The Outsiders features a book by Adam Rapp with Justin Levine and music and lyrics by Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Levine.

The principal cast also includes Brent Comer, Jason SchmidtEmma Pittman, Daryl Tofa, Kevin William Paul, and Dan Berry.

Paul, Grant, Comer, Schmidt, and Lakota-Lynch are all reprising their performances from the musical's La Jolla Playhouse world premiere earlier this year. Tofa, who performed in the musical's ensemble during the world premiere run, is new to his role.

Photos: Cast of The Outsiders In Character

The ensemble features Barton Cowperthwaite, Tilly Evans-Krueger, RJ Higton, Wonza Johnson, Sean Harrison Jones, Renni Anthony Magee, Sarahgrace Mariani, Melody Rose, Josh Strobl, and Trevor Wayne. Jordan Chin, Milena J. Comeau, Henry Julián Gendron, and Victor Carrillo Tracey round out the company as swings.

The production features music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations by Levine; choreography by Rick Kuperman and Jeff Kuperman; scenography by AMP featuring Tatiana Kahvegian; costume design by Sarafina Bush; lighting design by Brian MacDevitt; sound design by Cody Spencer; projection design by Hana Kim; and music direction by Matt Hinkley. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting's Xavier Rubiano. Milena J. Comeau and Tilly Evans-Krueger serve as dance captains, and Henry Julián Gendron is fight captain.

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