The Notebook Broadway Musical

If you watched the adaptation of Nicholas Sparks‘ romance novel The Notebook and thought the story could use a little more song and dance, we have good news. The Notebook is in the process of becoming a Broadway musical with This Is Us supervising producer and playwright Bekah Brunstetter writing the book and folk pop singer and songwriter Ingrid Michaelson behind the music and lyrics. Find out more about The Notebook Broadway musical below.

The news of The Notebook Broadway musical comes from Kevin McCollum and Kurt Deutsch (via Deadline), who are producing the production with author Nicholas Sparks. McCollum is no stranger to Broadway success having produced In the Heights, Avenue Q and RENT. Meanwhile, Deutsch is the founder of Sh-K-Boom & Ghostlight Records, a Broadway album label that has won Grammys for The Book of Mormon and also In the Heights.

If you haven’t seen The Notebook, the story unfolds as an elderly man (James Garner)  in an assisted living home reads a romance to another resident elderly woman (Gena Rowlands) with Alzheimer’s disease. The romance he’s reading follows a blue collar young man named Noah (Ryan Gosling) who falls in love with an upper class woman named Allie in town for the summer. At first she resists, but eventually they fall madly in love, until her parents whisk her back home early without warning and do everything to keep them apart. Of course, they end up finding each other again, and we realize that this story is that of the elderly man and woman, and Noah is trying to remind Allie of their love story. It’s all so touching and sad.

Brunstetter had this to say about the project in the press release

“When I first heard about The Notebook potentially being turned into a musical, I was instantly drawn to the idea. The story hits home for me in two big ways: it takes place in my home state of North Carolina, and Alzheimer’s runs deep in my family. I was sent a few songs Ingrid had already written for it, and that week, I spent my drives to and from work car-listening, memorizing, imagining the story unfold with music, imagining how I might layer worlds, dramatize memory, and before I even knew that I had to write the book for this, it was already starting to happen in my head.”

One interesting aspect of bringing The Notebook to the musical stage, at least for Brunstetter, is letting some older actors take the spotlight as the story jumps from the past to the present. She continued:

“The older you get, it seems, the more invisible you become, and yet, you have so much to say — so putting an older couple at the forefront of a musical is thrilling to me. I am so excited to continue collaborating with Ingrid on bringing this beautiful story to life in a new way.”

Ingrid Michaelson was equally as happy about working on the project, and it sounds very personal to her too:

“When I was approached about working on The Notebook I had to excuse myself and go to the bathroom and cry and come back into the meeting. I have loved the movie and the story for so many years now that the idea of turning it into a musical overwhelmed me. The concept of unending devotion and love wrapped up in memory and family is something very close to my own personal life. The story sings to me so perfectly. I actually started writing that very night of the first meeting, before I even had the job! I cannot wait for the world to hear these characters come to life in a musical way.”

In addition to being a singer and songwriter, Michaelson also has her own stage experience on Broadway as Sonya in Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812. Funnily enough, she’s also writing a project about her own life that is in development over at Hulu.

Romances always make for great musicals, but there’s something about The Notebook that feels like it won’t be quite as potent of a love story when you add musical numbers to the equation. But then again, I’m not exactly an expert when it comes to theater, so perhaps they can make something amazing out of it

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