The forthcoming musical, ‘The Notebook’, inspired by Nicholas Sparks’ book, is set to make its Broadway debut in 2024. Audiences can catch sneak previews from 6th February 2024, with the grand opening slated for 14th March at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The musical had its first unveiling at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in October 2022.
Under the joint direction of Michael Greif, a nominee for the Tony Award on four occasions, and Schele Williams, the musical’s score and lyrics have been penned by Ingrid Michaelson, the singer-songwriter. The narrative, crafted by Bekah Brunstetter, unravels the romance between Allie and Noah, a pair whose relationship faces challenges from various external forces.
This project signifies Michaelson’s inaugural foray into Broadway as a songwriter. Her prior Broadway involvement saw her step in for the character Sonya in ‘Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812’. Most recognise Michaelson for her achievements in the folk-pop domain as a multiplatinum artist.
Brunstetter will be making her introduction to Broadway through ‘The Notebook’. As a dramatist, her piece, ‘The Cake’, saw an Off-Broadway staging by the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2019. Another one of her works, the comedic ‘Oohrah!’, was produced by the Atlantic Theater Company in 2009. Brunstetter was also a crucial player in the popular NBC show ‘This Is Us’, and presently contributes to the series ‘Maid.’
This venture will also be Williams’ initial stint as a Broadway director. While she is on the cards to direct a renewal of ‘The Wiz’, the dates remain unconfirmed. Williams has showcased her acting talents in renowned plays like ‘Rent’ (where Greif was at the helm) and ‘Aida’, and was the deputy director for ‘Motown the Musical’. Recently, Greif took charge of ‘War Paint’ on Broadway and has been lauded with Tony nominations for his work on ‘Dear Evan Hansen’, ‘Next to Normal’, ‘Grey Gardens’, and ‘Rent’.
Katie Spelman is on board to choreograph ‘The Notebook’. Her past involvement was as the deputy choreographer for ‘Moulin Rouge!’. Geoffrey Ko will take the mantle of musical director, having previously played a similar role for ‘Be More Chill’.
The show’s visuals will be the creation of Tony laureates David Zinn and Brett J. Banakis, with outfits designed by another Tony victor, Paloma Young. Ben Stanton, a Tony nominee, is in charge of lighting, while the sound department will be managed by Tony awardee Nevin Steinberg. Mia Neal will be curating hair and wig designs. The musical oversight is in the capable hands of Carmel Dean, and the arrangements have been conjured up by both Dean and Michaelson, with orchestrations courtesy of Dean and Tony-nominated John Clancy.