Chicago Shakespeare Theater will stage the world premiere of the new musical The Notebook, based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks that inspired the popular film starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.
Tony nominee Michael Greif (Dear Evan Hansen, Next to Normal, Rent) will direct the limited engagement, scheduled for September 22–November 8 in The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare.
The Notebook, which features music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson and a book by The Cake playwright Bekah Brunstetter (This Is Us), chronicles the love story of Noah and Allie, beginning with their first meeting during a lustful summer, through the trials imposed on them by class differences in North Carolina.
Listen to a song from the score in the video above, featuring composer Michaelson singing “Words” from the new musical.
Michaelson stated, “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 cannot wait to see our beautiful story truly come to life in one of my favorite cities.”
Greif added, “Bekah and Ingrid have written a smart, passionate, timely musical adaptation of a great love story. I’m excited to return to Chicago to premiere it in a great theatre town with smart, passionate, and very discerning audiences.”
In June of last year, two-time Tony Award winner James Naughton, Frozen star Jelani Alladin, Rent on Fox's Vanessa Hudgens, and Tony nominee Hailey Kilgore were part of a reading of the musical adaptation as part of Vassar & New York Stage and Film's 35th Powerhouse season. Casting for the Chicago production will be announced at a later date.
Chicago will also host two other high-profile musicals eyeing Broadway: Once Upon a One More Time, a modern story of fairy-tale princesses told using Britney Spears songs, April 14–May 17 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre; and The Devil Wears Prada, starring Tony winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone) as Miranda Priestly with Broadway alum Taylor Iman Jones (Head Over Heels, Scotland, PA) as Andy, opening July 13, 2021, at Broadway in Chicago’s CIBC Theatre.