- Capsule Reviews
November 8, 2022
by Noah Price (Chicago)
Based on the 1996 Nicholas Sparks novel and the 2004 Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling film, The Notebook may be one of the most surprisingly successful and genuinely touching musical adaptations in recent history. It tells the story of two lifelong lovers, Allie and Noah, from teenage meeting through the end of their lives, framed through the memories Older Noah must recount to Alzheimer’s patient Allie from the titular notebook. The musical not only elevates the source material, but stands on its own as a uniquely grounded and heartbreakingly beautiful piece of theatre. Ingrid Michaelson has made her debut into musical theatre scoring seamlessly, crafting a luscious, cohesive, soaring soundscape that takes us on the journey of these two lovers.
The stellar cast includes Jordan Tyson and John Cordoza (both wonderful new talents as younger Allie and Noah), Joy Woods and Ryan Vasquez (as middle Allie and Noah), and Tony Winner Maryann Plunkett and John Beasley (as older Allie and Noah). The marvelous effect of this structure being that the different aged counterparts can sing simultaneously in each other’s thoughts and memories, creating genuinely heartbreaking moments. Directed by Michael Grief and Schele Williams, The Notebook is ready to be a Broadway hit.