Wednesday, March 27, 2024

2023 - 2024 Broadway Musical Logos: The Outsiders

I have a long history with The Outsiders. It was one of the first young adult novels I read, though I was only in 3rd grade. The librarian actually called my mother to make sure it was okay for me to check it out. I'll never forget it. She whispered into the phone, "You do know that it has gangs and violence...and murder in it!?" My mother didn't even hesitate to say yes, I could check it out. And so I did. Needless to say, if it was worth a phone call and a whispered conversation, I could not wait to dig in to the book. I loved it so much that I read it twice in one day, and promptly returned to the library to check out more books by S. E. Hinton. Even today, decades later, it is still one of my favorite books. Ponyboy Curtis loved to read just like me. And Johnny Cade was afraid of his own shadow, but ended up a hero. He gave this painfully shy boy hope for the future. Now, it is coming to life as a Broadway musical, and of course, I'm very excited to see it. Does its show art add to or lessen my excitement?

2023 - 2024 Broadway Musical Logos:
The Outsiders

This first version of the show logo is a pretty great start. Starting off with the "Based on..." line is a smart marketing move. There are tons of adults like me who cherished that book, and maybe even more are fans of the classic film featuring a main cast of stars who weren't even famous when it came out. The color, a darker sky blue/green is somehow both comforting and ominous, while the golden glow at the bottom suggests a new dawn - always a hopeful sign. Then there's the silhouette of the six teens who make up the central characters. How they are grouped is significant to the story, so I won't spoil it here. But actually, there are a number of ways those six figures could be interpreted. Clever and poignant. 

Finally, the title, in a scrawling handwritten font style suggests that this is a personal journey. Anything more stylized, graffiti-like or formal wouldn't fit at all. And the gold lettering clearly ties into the themes and recurring imagery of the Frost poem, "Nothing Gold Can Stay," which figures prominently in this tale of the haves and have nots struggling to find their way.

The show's Playbill, outside the theater advertising and most of the media they have shared includes photos of the boys - the Greaser Gang a few Socs - and their Soc ally, Cherry. I think it is an excellent choice to let us see them together, happy, unified and in their accustomed environment. It sets expectations, too, that they are not lookalikes to their film counterparts. These fresh faces represent to new generation of Broadway talent, and that is something to celebrate.

This key art makes me even more excited to see it. Grade: A+

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