The Outsiders Musical: Tulsa's Own Story Takes The Broadway Spotlight

For a few days in April, Tulsa was the talk of the town, as the musical "The Outsiders" made its debut on Broadway. News On 6's LeAnne Taylor made the trip to meet some of the people working to bring the story of The Outsiders to the stage.

Thursday, May 30th 2024, 6:24 pm


The Outsiders musical is coming to Tulsa as the first stop on a tour next year.

The show opened on Broadway about a month ago. It is based on the book by S.E. Hinton and tells the story of class division in 1967 Tulsa.

About 150 city leaders, including the mayor, members of the regional chamber, and the film and tourism departments were in New York for the premiere.

"We come here a couple of times a year recruiting companies, visiting site selection consultants, visiting with travel writers and tourism and doing national media tours with our mayor, and governor and others; but this an opportunity to tell a story about Tulsa,” Tulsa Regional Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal said.

News On 6's LeAnne Taylor made the trip as well, to meet some of the people working to bring the story of The Outsiders to the stage.

New York City: They say if you make it there, you’ll make it anywhere.

For a few days in April, Tulsa was the talk of the town, as the musical "The Outsiders" made its debut on Broadway.

It is the latest adaptation of a story first released as a book in 1967 before hitting the big screen in the 80s.

“It's such an iconic story and movie that means so much to so many people and new generations are discovery it. it's required reading still to this day and it's just so exciting their putting it on the stage,” Celebrity Attractions CEO Kristin Dotson said.

“When we were given the chance to take this story and turn it into something theatrical, a musical, what if we got it right? What if we could actually take this story that so many people love and make it a musical that could last and endure just like the story has?” Matthew Rego, a show producer for The Outsiders musical, said.

Rego, the director and the cast made a trip to Tulsa earlier this year.

“Look, Tulsa is a great city as you know. The people are great and it was funny because everybody you meet in Tulsa has been touched by this story in some way,” Rego said.

The cast got to tour The Outsiders House Museum and see where the movie was shot. They walked the halls of Rogers High School, where Hinton was a student.

They now call her “Susie.”

“They learned that this is not just a story that was made up completely but made up of real people in a real place and being able to spend time with the people there was so comforting and also inspiring and really energized everybody,” Rego said.

That included two former OU students who play key parts in the show, Daryl Tofa and Dan Berry.

“I have been to Tulsa a few times,” Berry said. “It was so much better this time though. They were warm and welcoming and made it such a safe place for us to just hang out and enjoy and get to know the city we are telling the story about.”

“Susie is amazing and the way, the reason, I respect her so much and especially this book is the way she paints words throughout the book to make us see these images while we're reading and to be able to bring those images to life in the theater is unlike anything else,” Tofa said.

“I'm originally from BA (Broken Arrow) so I'm an Oklahoma girl. We had to read S.E. Hinton and I even got my Outsiders shirt on. Oklahoma belongs on Broadway and I'm very proud of this,” Kristin Chenoweth said.

The man behind the Outsiders House Museum, Danny Boy O’Connor, said the musical hits the right note.

“As fans of The Outsiders, we're so married to the book and the original movie that there's very little wiggle room. There's a big opportunity to mess it up, and they took on something monumental and they knocked it out of the park,” O’Connor said.

For Mayor G.T. Bynum, it is a testament to the enduring power of this Tulsa story.

“When you see this show, it has everything,” Bynum said. “It has tragedy. It’s got love. It's got friendship. It's got redemption. It has all those things. I think that's why the S.E. Hinton book and this story has had the staying power all of these years and all of that is right there in our city.”

A city that is now in the spotlight on Broadway.

The Outsiders musical has been nominated for 12 Tony Awards including Best New Musical.

The Tony’s air on News On 6 on Sunday, July 16th.

Related Coverage:

  1. The Outsiders Musical Set To Open On Broadway
  2. OU Graduates Take The Stage In The Outsiders Broadway Musical
  3. LeAnne Taylor On Broadway Ahead Of The Outsiders Musical Premiere
  4. The Outsiders Musical Coming To Tulsa Performing Arts Center For 2025, 2026 Season

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