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Ruth Leon recommends… The Outsiders

Ruth Leon recommends…  The Outsiders
Ruth Leon recommends…  The Outsiders

 I saw a lot of good theatre while I was in New York recently, including most of the shows which are nominated for Tonys. One of the best was The Outsiders, which could possibly win the Best Musical Tony or any one of the other 11 for which the show is nominated.

To give you a taste of the show, here are two songs from The Outsiders, performed by Brent Comer, Jason Schmidt, Brody Grant, and the original Broadway cast, all unknowns, but not for long.

The Tonys will be presented with the usual folderol next Sunday, June 16th on stage at Lincoln Center’s  David H. Koch Theater in New York City, hosted again this year by Arian DeBose.  

I reviewed The Outsiders for you when I returned, excited by its originality, despite its apparent plot resemblance to West Side Story. Here’s that review again to help put these two terrific songs in context.

The Outsiders – Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre ( Pocket theatre review revisited)

Two gangs, teenage boys with too much testosterone and not enough sense. Two groups of kids with nothing better to do than hate each other. Sound familiar? Of course, it’s West Side Story. Actually, no, it’s not. It’s The Outsiders, a new musical with enough parallels to that great show that its antecedents are not in question.

Scene by scene, The Outsiders pays homage to the Jets and the Sharks except that here they’re the Greasers and the Socs (short for socialites) and their rumbles are right in line with what Jerome Robbins might have choreographed if he were still with us and fifty years younger.

A stunning cast of unknown young performers – three-fers, in the jargon, meaning that they can all sing, dance and act – act out their grievances, which mainly amount to the distance between the haves and have-nots in song, dance, and angst. The songs by Jamestown Revival spell out their attempts to navigate their world but in fact the choreography from brothers Rick and Jeff Kuperman is what gives shape to the story.

The Outsiders is an adaptation of a wildly successful young adult novel by a teenager, S.E. Hinton, which was made into a film by Frances Ford Coppola. Nearly everyone in the theatre had either read the book or seen the movie. Except me. How closely The Outsiders:The Musical cleaves to the original I can’t tell but I was glad to have come to this terrific evening in the theatre with no preconceptions.

Stay Gold – The Outsiders

Throwing in the Towel –  The Outsiders

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