So it’s not gonna be easy, it’s gonna be really hard. And we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I wanna do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever. On Broadway.
Nicholas Sparks’ romance novel-turned-hit film “The Notebook” is headed to Broadway as a musical with producers Kevin McCollum and Kurt Deutsch in association with Sparks, it was announced on Thursday.
“The Notebook” was Sparks’ first published novel and opened on the New York Times bestseller list in its first week of publication in 1996. Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, and Gena Rowlands starred in the successful 2004 movie adaptation, directed by Nick Cassavetes. The story opened with Garner’s character reading from his notebook to Rowlands’ character, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, about the 1940 romance between a poor quarry worker and a 17-year-old heiress, played by Gosling and McAdams.
Bekah Brunstetter and Ingrid Michaelson are developing the musical adaptation. Brunstetter is a supervising producer on NBC’s “This Is Us” with a play, “The Cake,” opening at the Manhattan Theatre Club this spring.
“When I first heard about ‘The Notebook’ potentially being turned into a musical, I was instantly drawn to the idea,” she said. “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.”
“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,” she added.
Singer-songwriter Michaelson’s singles include “Girls Chase Boys” and “The Way I Am.” She’s released seven albums since 2005.
“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,” she said. “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.”
McCollum has received the Tony Award for best musical for “In the Heights” (2008), “Avenue Q” (2004), and “Rent” (1996), which also won the Pulitzer Prize. Deutsch is the founder of Sh-K-Boom & Ghostlight Records.
Sparks said in statement, “I am thrilled to work with Bekah and Ingrid in order to make ‘The Notebook’ a reality on Broadway. They are amazingly talented, and obviously, the story is near and dear to my heart.”