Guess what, Notebook fans. “It still isn’t over!” When Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling romance novel hit theaters 14 years ago, it became an instant classic, and now, it’s getting a whole new approach that we couldn’t be more excited about. On Thursday, singer-songwriter and Broadway star Ingrid Michaelson announced that The Notebook musical is coming to Broadway, and she is writing the music for the show. And it gets even better: This Is Us writer Bekah Brunstetter is writing the book for the play, which means it’s bound to be just as emotional as the film and novel it’s based on.
Michaelson revealed the news while cohosting Thursday’s Today with Hoda Kotb, whose gasping, stunned reaction was totally relatable. Michaelson said, “I’m writing a musical and the musical is The Notebook. I haven’t been able to say it in so long and now I’m saying it!” Then she half-chanted, half-sang the title of the production.
“First of all, people love The Notebook, like, love it in their souls,” Kotb said. Michaelson agreed, then shouted at the screen when Today showed the dramatic rainy kiss scene from the 2004 film.
— Kathie Lee and Hoda (@klgandhoda) January 3, 2019
“I’ve been writing for about a year and a half,” Michaelson revealed. “It’s been a long process for me, but it’s been slowly building, slowly building, but like I said, I haven’t been able to talk about it. Oh, my God. I feel like I’ve birthed a child.” She also said writing the songs has been both an easy and difficult process: “It’s so different when you’re writing for a character, when you’re writing for these other people, than when you’re writing about yourself and your own emotions. So, it’s been really interesting and really different for me, to write from these perspectives.”
Michaelson also commented on what it feels like to turn the themes of The Notebook into music. “Just the idea of this undying love and of loss and memory, it’s just — I can’t stop writing them. I’m going to have too many [songs],” she revealed.
In a statement, she said, “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. 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… I cannot wait for the world to hear these characters come to life in a musical way.”
Per Entertainment Weekly, Brunstetter felt similarly. Also in a statement, Brunstetter 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.”
Michaelson was reportedly signed onto the project before Brunstetter, who heard some of the songs before agreeing to write the book for the show. In a statement, she said, “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.”
With this announcement, The Notebook joins a slew of films that have recently been adapted for the stage. Frankly, we can’t wait to see who’s cast to play Allie and Noah in this brand-new narrative of their epic love story.