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The Outsiders Musical to Make World Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse

The playhouse will also present a reimagined production of Shakespeare's As You Like It as part of its 2022-23 season.

Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, and Tom Cruise starred in the 1983 film adaptation of The Outsiders.
(© Warner Bros.)

The world premiere of The Outsiders, the new musical adaptation of S.E. Hinton's coming-of-age novel, will take place at La Jolla Playhouse in February/March of 2023. The musical was originally slated to debut at Chicago's Goodman Theatre until it was canceled because of the pandemic.

Set in 1967 Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Outsiders follows a band of working-class "greasers," led by Ponyboy Curtis and Johnny Cade, as they fight for space and purpose against the preppy "Socs" and a whole society designed to see them fail. The Outsiders has been a staple of high school reading lists for decades, and was further immortalized by Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 film (which is also a basis for this musical).

The Outsiders features a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp (The Sound Inside), music and lyrics by Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Tony Award winner Justin Levine (Moulin Rouge! The Musical), who will also provide music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations. Danya Taymor (Pass Over) directs.

Before that, La Jolla will stage a reimagined version of William Shakespeare's As You Like It in this November-December. This romantic comedy of mistaken identities will be co-directed by artistic director Christopher Ashley (Come From Away) and Will Davis (Men on Boats). According to a press statement, "audiences are taken into the vibrant, wild woods, where preconceived notions topple in the face of the malleability of identity and limitless potential of the human heart."

These two productions will join the Playhouse's previously-announced 2022-23 season, including Lempicka: A New Musical, book and lyrics by Carson Kreitzer, music by Matt Gould, choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly, and directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown), running June 14-July 24; the world premiere of Here There Are Blueberries, by Tony Award nominee Moisés Kaufman (Broadway's I Am My Own Wife) and Amanda Gronich, conceived and directed by Moisés Kaufman, produced in association with Tectonic Theater Project, running July 26-August 21; the En Garde Arts production of Fandango for Butterflies (and Coyotes), by Andrea Thome (Playhouse's Neva), original music by Sinuhé Padilla, directed by José Zayas, running August 30-September 25; and the world premiere of Mother Russia, by UC San Diego MFA alumna Lauren Yee (Playhouse's Cambodian Rock Band), directed by Tyne Rafaeli (Playhouse's The Coast Starlight), running September 20-October 16.

Click here for more information about La Jolla's 2022-23 season.