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.
Yvonne Rainer's Parts of Some Sextets (AKA "the mattress dance") hasn't been revived since it premiered in 1965. Nor has Rainer had any wish to do it again, to ask performers to heave 10 mattresses around while carrying out 31 tasks that changed every 30 seconds. It was an unwieldy, difficult dance. (Even the title is unwieldy.) But Emily Coates, who has danced in Rainer's work for 20 years, became curious about this piece and was determined to see it again—and to dance in it. She will get her wish November 15–17, when the mattress dance will be performed as part of the Performa 19 Biennial.
Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.
"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."
Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.
Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:
"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.