A new stage musical is in the works based on Nicholas Sparks’ novel “The Notebook.”
Producers along with Sparks announced today that Bekah Brunstetter, a supervising producer on “This is Us,” and songwriter Ingrid Michaelson will collaborate on developing the new musical about the steamy love story that was originally adapted as a 2004 film starring Ryan Gosling as Rachel McAdams.
Kevin McCollum and Kurt Deutsch are producing in association with Sparks. Additional creative team members and a production timeline for “The Notebook” will be announced at a later date.
The enduring love story is about a poor young man who falls in love with a wealthy young woman, only for them to be separated due to their cultural differences. The novel was originally published in 1996 and was adapted as a film by Nick Cassavetes in 2004.
“When I first heard about ‘The Notebook’ potentially being turned into a musical, I was instantly drawn to the idea,” Brunstetter said in a statement. “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,” 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.”
“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,” Michaelson said in a statement. “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.”
“I am thrilled to work with Bekah and Ingrid in order to make The Notebook a reality on Broadway,” Sparks added. “They are amazingly talented, and obviously, the story is near and dear to my heart.”
Brunstetter’s most recent play “The Cake” opens at the Manhattan Theatre Club in the spring of 2019. Michaelson is the singer behind the Platinum singles “Girls Chase Boys” and “The Way I Am.”