SETTING – A large town in the American mid west in the 1960s (could be adapted to anywhere/anytime)
THE PLAYERS – Young people between the ages of 13 and 22
DURATION – 2 hrs: Act 1 (1 hr) Act 2 (1 hr)
The musical begins with Ponyboy (the youngest of 3 orphaned brothers) walking home alone after watching a Paul Newman movie at the cinema – he sings “I Want To Be Like Paul Newman”. His song is interrupted by the Soc’s (an opposing gang) who tease and threaten him with the song “We Got Him”. The Soc’s start pushing Ponyboy around, and as things start to get rough the Greasers (Ponyboy’s gang) turn up and scare the small Soc group off.
Dally (a Greaser) arrives after the action and sings the Greaser’s theme song – “We’re Greasers – we stick together and don’t get caught”. Darry (Ponyboy’s big brother and guardian) warns Ponyboy that he has to keep out of trouble or he’ll be thrown into a boy’s home. As the Greasers disperse, spotlight on Ponyboy – he sings “Our kind, born on the wrong side of the tracks … but I tell myself it’s getting better”.
Ponyboy, Dally and their mate Johnny (another Greaser) decide to check out the Drive-in on the way home where Dally tries to attract Cherry (a good looking Soc) to no avail – they sing “Talk To Me”. Dally leaves while Ponyboy and Cherry do talk about the problems of Greasers and Socs and soon discover they have a mutual love of sunsets – they sing “At The End Of Day…you can see a light just before the night”. They leave the drive-in together when some of the drunken Soc’s including Bob (Cherry’s boyfriend) try to take Cherry home. She reluctantly leaves with them.
Walking home with Ponyboy, Johnny hears his parents fighting from the street and decides to sleep in the vacant lot. Ponyboy falls asleep with him and gets into real trouble with big brother Darry who has been waiting up for him back home. Pony runs out of the house and back to the lot, wakes Johnny and they walk around in the night until a car full of drunk Soc’s see them and pick a fight. Johnny stabs and kills a jealous and very drunk Bob because he almost drowns Ponyboy in a park fountain.
Johnny and Ponyboy seek out Dally for advice and find him at a cowboy party – song “Uncle Sam and Maggie”. Dally gives them money and tells them to catch a train to an abandoned church out of town.
Once at the church they try to disguise themselves with peroxide and hole up there hoping all will quieten down back home – sing “Maybe I’m Dreaming”. Johnny and Ponyboy witness a beautiful dawn and Robert Frost’s poem “Stay Gold” is recited. Dally turns up to see how they are going and takes them into a nearby town to buy some takeaway. When they get back the church is on fire (from their cigarettes most likely) and some children have found their way into the burning building.
Johnny and Ponyboy go into the church to save the kids and the first act concludes with much flame, smoke and screaming.
Begins at the hospital – Johnny is badly burnt. Darry and Sodapop (Ponyboy’s brothers) arrive and are very happy to see him alive and OK. Ponyboy is allowed to go home while Dally and Johnny remain in hospital. The next day it’s in all the papers about their heroism – Two-Bit and Steve (Greaser friends) sing “Read all about it – the Local Boy Hero”. A cast of thousands turn up in a parade (fantasy sequence) to herald their heroes.
Things quickly settle back to normal with Ponyboy and Two-Bit (who never goes to work) going down to the local milk bar where they meet up with Randy (a Soc) who talks candidly to Ponyboy about not going to the big rumble set down for tonight – he sings “They need someone to Lay Down The Law” which turns into another fantasy courtroom sequence with judges, parents, kids joining in with the song.
Ponyboy and Two-Bit go to visit Johnny in hospital who is not well at all – spotlight on Cherry at the side of the stage as she sings “Sixteen Years is not enough to live”. On the way back from the hospital they meet Cherry who says she can’t visit Johnny because he killed Bob. Back at the house and the Greasers are getting ready for the rumble with the Soc’s in the vacant lot – Two Bit revs them up with the song “We’re gonna fight for Johnny Cade – let’s go and get a piece of the action”. The Greasers arrive at the fight venue and the Socs a little later, then it’s on. After much throwing of fists the rumble is won by the Greasers.
Dally tells Ponyboy to come with him to see Johnny who was getting worse and dies shortly after they arrive back at the hospital. Dally goes crazy and takes off with a gun threatening every one in sight – he rages “Can’t stand another day, now Johnny’s gone away” as the chant “Goodbye Dallas” can be heard from the chorus in the mist. The police arrive and tell Dally to disarm but he doesn’t do so in time and is shot dead as the Greasers run in to witness the whole thing.
Back home the next day and Ponyboy is sleeping it off when Randy turns up. He says the court will acquit him (Ponyboy) because he witnessed Johnny kill Bob. Randy leaves and Ponyboy is left alone when he finds Johnny’s copy of Gone With The Wind. A note from Johnny falls out revealing his last thoughts before dying in hospital.
Darry and Soda reconcile with Ponyboy. They realise their family is all they’ve got- Sodapop sings “It’s easy when you’re one big family”. The whole cast join in with the song – Greasers and Socs together. Curtain falls at the end of the song – curtain call with “A Piece of the Action/One Big Family”.
A lot of the scene changes can be made simple by lighting effects on different parts of the stage. There could be a general set with small props added to individual
1 Street Scene – Pony, Socs, Darry, Soda, Two Bit, Steve, Dally.
2 The ‘Nightly Double’ Drive-in – Dally, Pony, Johnny, Cherry, Marcia, Two Bit.
3 Street Scene – Two Bit, Marcia, Pony, Cherry, Bob, Randy, Johnny.
4 The Boys’ House — Darry, Pony, Soda.
5 Street and Lot – Johnny, Pony, Bob, Randy.
6 Buck Merril’s Place – Buck, Pony, Johnny, Dally.
7 Church on Jay Mountain – Pony, Johnny, Dally.
8 The Roadhouse Diner – Pony, Johnny, Dally.
9 Church on Jay Mountain- Pony, Johnny, Dally, man, lady, kids, extras.
1 Hospital – man, Pony, Soda, Darry, reporter, doctor, nurse.
2 The Boys’ House – Pony, Two Bit, Steve, Darry, Soda.
3 ‘The Tasty Freeze’ Hangout – Two Bit, Randy, Pony.
4 Hospital – Johnny, Two Bit, Pony, nurse, Dally.
5 Street Scene – Two Bit, Pony, Cherry.
6 The Boys’ House – Pony, Soda, Darry, Steve, Two Bit.
7 The Vacant Lot – Pony, Soda, Darry, Steve, Two Bit, Tim Shephard, others
8 Hospital – Dally, Pony, doctor, Johnny, nurses
9 The Boys’ House – Pony, Soda, Darry, Steve, Two Bit.
10 The Vacant Lot – Dally, police, other greasers.
11 The Boys’ House – Pony, Darry, Soda, Randy.
Why not check out Darryl’s brand new musical Alison?
A fun show about a young female hairdresser in the swinging sixties. Lots of great songs and dancing – think Diana Ross and the Supremes meets the Blues Brothers!
“Never let go of your dream!”