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Sky Lakota-Lynch talks about starring in ‘The Outsiders’ musical on Broadway

Actor Sky Lakota-Lynch chatted about starring as Johnny Cade in “The Outsiders” musical on Broadway.

Sky Lakota-Lynch and Joshua Boone in 'The Outsiders' musical
Sky Lakota-Lynch and Joshua Boone in 'The Outsiders' musical. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy
Sky Lakota-Lynch and Joshua Boone in 'The Outsiders' musical. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Actor Sky Lakota-Lynch chatted about starring as Johnny Cade in “The Outsiders” musical on Broadway.

‘The Outsiders’ on Broadway

He stars in this new music production opposite such actors as Brody Grant (Ponyboy Curtis), Jason Schmidt (Sodapop Curtis), Brent Comer (Darrel Curtis), and Joshua Boone (Dallas Winston). This musical was directed by Danya Taymor.

“It has been a long journey,” he said. “I have been with this show for six years, so it has been such a wild ride. I never thought that we would actually make it to Broadway. This goes to show that patience is a virtue.”

Speaking of Brody Grant, Jason Schmidt, Brent Comer, and Joshua Boone, he said, “What you see on that stage is real. We are all great friends. I’ve known Brody for five years, and he is the perfect Ponyboy. Joshua Boone is the older Greaser and he is the best. Working with Joshua is like working with a legend.”

“Jason is just the truest person, and he is so raw, and one of the coolest people. Brent Comer is one of the sweetest people in the world; they are both such good dudes,” he added.

Portraying Johnny Cade in the show

On playing Johnny Cade, he remarked, “What I like the most about playing this character is that I get to be closest to myself, which is something that I don’t usually get to do. I’m a funny person in life and I played Jared [Kleinman] in ‘Dear Evan Hansen’; once you show the industry that, sometimes, they bottle it and they identify you as that.”

“I am lucky enough to pivot and to do something different,” he said. “With Johnny Cade, I was able to tell a part of myself.”

In the original 1983 “Outsiders” movie, this part was played by Ralph Macchio. “I had met Ralph a while ago because his daughter, Julia, used to be in the show. Julia and I are good friends still, so it is cool to be able to hear from him, and I get to ‘steal a lot’ from Ralph because he is the physical shell of what that role is,” he said.

“Of course, I borrowed some aspects of the role from Ralph, but the internal portion of Johnny Cade is Sky,” he acknowledged.

Lessons learned from this musical

On the lessons learned from “The Outsiders” musical, he said, “This musical has taught me to be patient with other human beings. You just never know what someone is going through. While it might sound cheesy and simple, it’s true.”

“Even though I am of color, people are people, and you don’t want to be too quick to judge. This is a lesson that I will continue learning for the rest of my life,” he added.

Working with director Danya Taymor

On working with Danya Taymor as director, he said, “Danya is wonderful. She is the perfect director for this musical. We have become great friends.”

“The story by S. E. Hinton is just so true. Getting to meet her was great too; she is the best,” he said, complimenting the author of the iconic book.

Sky Lakota-Lynch and Brody Grant in 'The Outsiders' on Broadway
Sky Lakota-Lynch and Brody Grant in ‘The Outsiders’ on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Working with Angelina Jolie as a producer on the musical

Lakota-Lynch had great words about Oscar winner Angelina Jolie serving as a producer on the musical. “I really got to know Angelina when we went to Tulsa as a cast,” he said.

“We all flew out to Tulsa, and Angie came, and we met the author S. E. Hinton. Angelina is just so down-to-earth; she is truly a normal human being who just happens to be on a pedestal by society and not necessarily by choice. Angelina has a heart of gold, and we are so blessed to have her,” he added.

He shared that he dedicates it in loving memory to his late grandmother, who passed away tragically. “My grandmother was like a mother to me, essentially, and I do it for her each time, and I also do it for everyone that we don’t have anymore that we want to remember,” he acknowledged.

Soundtrack album for ‘The Outsiders’

Lakota-Lynch is looking forward to the soundtrack album for “The Outsiders,” which will be available digitally on May 22. “I cannot wait for this album to be released. It is what you get in the theatre, but we’ve added our own touch to it, and I think it’s going to be a special album for all,” he exclaimed.

‘Stay Gold’ song

On performing the acoustic ballad “Stay Gold,” Lakota-Lynch said, “That song took the longest journey because it was the first song that Jamestown Revival ever wrote and finished.”

“Then, I came on shortly after that, and the journey of ‘Stay Gold’ has been wild. It’s the song that stayed the same lyrically but it has changed the most staging-wise because it is such a heartfelt moment,” he elaborated.

Rainstorm scene

Lakota-Lynch opened up about doing the rainstorm scene in the show. “Honestly, you would think that we dread doing it, but if you are tired or feeling low, getting out in that water just invigorates you and lets you finish the show. It truly is awesome,” he said.

“The Kuperman brothers (Rick and Jeff), who choreographed that are so amazing to work with. I hope I get to work with them and Danya for the rest of my life,” he added.

The digital age

On being an actor in the digital age, Lakota-Lynch said, “I’m getting used to it too because I don’t have TikTok or Twitter/X. I think there is positivity in communication and getting messages out there. Of course, there is a negative backlash but at the same time, it is important to stay connected to people and not self-isolate.”

Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations for ‘The Outsiders’

Most recently, “The Outsiders” was nominated for “Outstanding Production of a Musical” at the Drama League Awards, and for “Outstanding New Broadway Musical” at the 2024 Outer Critics Circle Awards. “Those nominations were great because it is such an ensemble musical,” he admitted.

“We just keep telling our story because we know that the show is bigger than us,” he underscored.

Jason Schmidt and the cast of 'The Outsiders' on Broadway
Jason Schmidt and the cast of ‘The Outsiders’ on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

Stage of his life

On the title of the current chapter of his life, he responded, “Full Daylight.” “I feel like the sun is shining at its brightest,” he said.

Superpower of choice

If he were to have any superpower, it would be Nightcrawler possesses superhuman agility, the ability to teleport, and adhesive hands and feet. “My dream role would be Nightcrawler in ‘X-Men’, and he gets to travel through space and time. I would love that,” he said.

Favorite motto to live by

His favorite motto to live by is “keep it light and keep it moving.”

Advice for young and aspiring actors

For young and aspiring actors, he offered the following encouraging advice: “If you stick around the barber shop long enough, you are bound to get a haircut.” “Someone told me that a long time ago, and I stick by that to this day. That is true because I sat through some pretty long lines at a barber shop and I still got a haircut,” he said.

Success

On his definition of the word success, he said, “I think it changes. In the pandemic, there was no acting, so success for me was when I grew a pepper in my garden that came out full. That definition changes to me each day depending on where I am in life.”

“Now, success to me is being able to play my favorite character,” he added.

The Greasers in the cast of 'The Outsiders' music on Broadway
The Greasers in the cast of ‘The Outsiders’ music on Broadway. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy.

Closing thoughts on ‘The Outsiders’

For his fans and viewers, Lakota-Lynch said, “I want people to see that there can be truth in commercial theatre. It’s a story for everyone because everyone is an outsider.”

American track and field running legend Steve Prefontaine once said: “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” Sky Lakota-Lynch embodies this inspirational quote.

To learn more about Sky Lakota-Lynch, follow him on Instagram.

For more information on “The Outsiders” musical, check out its official website.

Review: ‘The Outsiders’ is a new coming-of-age musical on Broadway

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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