This Ridiculously Popular Romance Movie Is Being Made into a Broadway Musical
Yesterday, major Broadway news broke that's bound to make a lot of people happy: that is, Ryan Gosling fans, romance novel readers, "This Is Us" devotees and those who love crying during adorably sentimental movies.
The Notebook, based on Nicolas Sparks' bestselling book of the same name, is being made into a Broadway-bound musical.
Who's On Board?
Ingrid Michaelson: The singer-songerwriter who's known for hits like "The Way I Am" and "Girls Chase Boys" is doing the music and lyrics. Though it's her first time writing for Broadway, she's not a stranger to the Great White Way. In the summer of 2017, she briefly played Sonya in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 when Brittain Ashford was on leave.
Bekah Brunstetter: While she may not be a household name, we're sure you've heard of that little TV show called "This Is Us" where Brunstetter is a supervising producer. Brunstetter will write the book for this musical version of The Notebook. In an interview with Deadline Hollywood, she said,
"When I first heard about The Notebook potentially being turned into a musical, I was instantly drawn to the idea. 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."
Nicholas Sparks: It's only natural that the original novel's author, the king of rom-dram himself, will be helping with The Notebook's latest evolution as one of the show's producers.
With this trio involved, we're going to encourage the ushers to hand out Kleenex with the Playbills.
What About the Dancing?
While a choreographer hasn't been announced yet, we're betting that the movie's dances scenes will be expanded for the stage: How about an intimate slow dance between Allie and Noah? Or Noah's impromptu dance with a young neighbor at a front porch gathering? Or WWII-era swing dancing backed by a big band? (We can think of one Broadway choreographer who showed a fair hand with that style recently.)
So when's opening night? At this point, Michaelson has started writing songs, but the team hasn't announced when the full show will be ready. We can only expect that audiences will be flocking to The Notebook when that day comes. After all, if I'm a bird, you're a bird.
Jennifer Kahn knew the theater industry could do better. As a professional stage manager for 17 years she worked on regional, off-Broadway and Broadway shows. Nearly each time a show closed, something unsettling happened: "I would watch them throw away our shows. All of the beautiful artwork by my friends in the paint shop would go in the trash." The elaborate backdrops? Gone.
But she had an idea: What if the material used in the backdrops and legs could be upcycled into something new? And what if theater lovers could literally keep a piece of a beloved show?
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.
For decades the name Alicia Alonso has been virtually synonymous with Ballet Nacional de Cuba, the company she co-founded in Havana in 1948. Alonso died on October 17, just shy of what would have been her 99th birthday. In recent years, she had stepped back from day-to-day decision-making in the company. As if preparing for the future, in January, the company's leading ballerina, 42-year-old Viengsay Valdés, was named deputy director, a job that seems to encompass most of the responsibilities of a traditional director. Now, presumably, she will step into her new role as director of the company. Her debut as curator of the repertory comes in November, when the troupe will perform three mixed bills selected by her at the Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso. The following has been translated from a conversation conducted in Spanish, Valdés' native tongue.
New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns wasn't sure she was strong enough. A ballerina who has danced many demanding full-length and contemporary roles, she was about to push herself physically more than she thought was possible.
"I said, 'I can't. My body won't,' " she says. "He told me, 'Yes, it will.' "
She wasn't working with a ballet coach, but with personal trainer Joel Prouty, who was asking her to do squats with a heavier barbell than she'd ever used.