'The Outsiders' Musical Set for Chicago World Premiere

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'The Outsiders' (1983)

The adaptation of the S.E. Hinton novel and Francis Ford Coppola cult movie will premiere June 20 on the main stage of the Goodman Theatre.

The Outsiders, based on the novel by S.E. Hinton and subsequent 1983 film by Francis Ford Coppola, will be making its way to the stage with a musical adaptation at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago. The show's world premiere is set to launch during the 2019-2020 theater season. 

Following a rivalry between two gangs of different social classes, the story is set in 1967, the year the novel was first published, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and explores the coming of age of a group of young men. In Coppola's film version, those characters were made famous by a crop of then up-and-coming male actors that included Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, C. Thomas Howell and Ralph Macchio. Diane Lane also had a supporting role. 

The stage production features a book by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp (Red Light Winter), whose TV credits include The Looming Tower, Vinyl and In Treatment. Music and lyrics are by Austin-based rock duo Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance of Jamestown Revival with Justin Levine and choreography by Lorin Latarro. At the helm is director Liesl Tommy (a Tony nominee for Eclipsed), who also is attached to direct the Callie Khouri-scripted Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, with Jennifer Hudson.

The Outsiders will premiere on June 20, 2020, in the Goodman's Albert Theatre, with its engagement set to run through Aug. 2. While commercial producers are attached to the project, no firm plans after the Chicago premiere are as yet in place.

Also included in the Goodman season is the Chicago premiere of American Mariachi by Jose Cruz Gonzalez; Bernhardt/Hamlet by Theresa Rebeck; Roe by Lisa Loomer; School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bloh; Molly Sweeney by Brian Friel; Dana H. by Lucas Hnath; and Graveyard Shift by Korde Arrington Tuttie. In addition to these eight productions, the Goodman will produce its 16th annual New Stages Festival, with developmental productions and staged readings, as well as the 42nd annual production of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 

The Goodman Theatre is led by artistic director Robert Falls (a 1999 Tony Award winner for his production of Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy) and executive director Roche Schulfer. Priorities of the non-profit organization include the development of new plays in addition to the reimagining of classics and large-scale musical works.