Fans of the bestselling 1996 Nicholas Sparks novel, “The Notebook,” will soon have their chance to experience a stage rendition of the beloved story. The tale of of love, loss and reunion is getting its world premiere theatrical debut Sept. 6 at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
While most audiences are familiar with the 2004 film, devotees to the tale should prepare themselves for a new spin on this story that has been deemed a modern classic of the romance genre. The Broadway-bound production is what promises to be a rapturous musical — with lyrics and music by Ingrid Michaelson, a two-time platinum artist and Broadway performer, among other accolades.
Reimagining a cult classic takes commitment, and risk — stick to the roots yet introduce enough creativity to give it new life. Co-directors Michael Greif and Schele Williams walk the line between the two, and share the journey with fellow creative minds Michaelson, choreographer Katie Spelman, Bekah Brunstetter (This Is Us), and many more.
Joining the ranks are the incredible cast members that will be the faces of Chicago world premiere: Joy Woods (Broadway’s SIX, off-Broadway Little Shop of Horrors) as Middle Allie; and Tony Award-winner Maryann Plunkett (Broadway’s Me and My Girl, Sunday in the Park with George, The Crucible, Saint Joan) as Older Allie; Ryan Vasquez (Broadway’s Waitress, Wicked, Hamilton) as Middle Noah, and John Beasley (Kennedy Center’s Fences, Goodman Theatre’s Two Trains Running, WB’s “Everwood”) as Older Noah; as well as so many others, including a stellar ensemble lineup.
The upcoming world premiere has been garnering national attention. On the TODAY Show, Hoda Kotb recently previewed the soon-to-be hit with Michaelson.
“The Notebook” will run from September 6 – October 16. Learn more at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
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Margaret Smith is a Chicago-based writer and editor with a passion for socio-political storytelling about their community. They are a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.