The Notebook Musical Premieres in Chicago

Photo courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theater

The Notebook musical has arrived to Chicago’s Shakespeare Theatre! This thrilling musical is based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks, and the iconic film starring Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. The World Premiere of the production happened right in the heart of Chicago!

With the production book by playwright Bekah Brunstetter (writer and producer on NBC’s This Is Us) the musical anticipates a heart-tugging, reflective version of the original. Directed by Michael Greif (Dear Evan Hansen, RENT) and Shele Williams (Aida, Mowtown the Musical), the portrayal of this well-known love story is like never before. With its unpredictable plot and emotional turns, the musical may make you “cry like a baby”. 

The story follows the love of teenagers Allie and Noah, and how they navigate their relationship. Their determination in commitment apart from contrasting worlds creates a passionate story. Even though the plot circulates inevitable forces that separate them from being together, the musical creates a more euphonious, lyrical twist that detaches it from the film. With music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson, the audience gets a variation of upbeat, solemn, and melodic songs. Michaelson’s lyrics are moving and allow you to enjoy Allie and Noah’s history in a different light.

Along with music, Katie Spelman brings emotions to the stage. Spelman’s choreography is a distinctive addition to the musical that you won’t see on film. Her use of equipment and venue was impactful on the performance and allows the audience to surround themselves in the story. With a theatrical twist on the plot, The Notebook is bound to be as enigmatic as its previous versions.  

The Cast

Without giving away any spoilers, the advancement of the play production was refreshing. The usage of different actors for Allie and Noah creates a vivid image of what Brunstetter imagined. The Notebook’s authentic use of props and costumes puts the audience right in a state of nostalgia from previous connections of The Notebook. The cool thing about the musical is that many are fairly familiar with the plot. Redirecting a story that many have known for so long with the implementation of music is an enjoyable way to view a loved film. 

The Notebook held its world premiere on September 28 at The Yard (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre) at Navy Pier.

The Notebook runs through October 30. Tickets are $45-125 and are on sale now!

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