Everything you need to know about 'The Notebook' on Broadway

Discover how the cherished love story, known to countless fans as a novel by Nicholas Sparks and a swoon-worthy 2004 movie, sings in a new way on stage.

Joe Dziemianowicz
Joe Dziemianowicz

The love story at the heart of The Notebook musical is one for the books. Central couple Allie and Noah beat all the odds, lost time and stolen memories among them. No wonder they share a song called “It’s Not Easy.” But their love is – to namecheck another song – “Forever.”

The show playing at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is based on Nicholas Sparks’s 1996 bestselling novel that inspired a hit film eight years later starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Its latest installment as a musical marks the Broadway songwriting debut of musician Ingrid Michaelson alongside book writer Bekah Brunstetter. Here's all you need to know before seeing The Notebook's latest chapter on stage.

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What is The Notebook about?

The Notebook revolves around the enduring love story between Noah Calhoun and Allie Hamilton, who share a passionate summer romance as teenagers but are separated by societal differences.

Despite Allie's engagement to another man, Noah's persistent love spans years, with the couple eventually reuniting. However, the challenges of Alzheimer's disease pose a new hurdle, testing their commitment in their older years.

Where is The Notebook playing?

The Notebook is at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, located at 236 W. 45th St. between Broadway and 8th Avenue. Designed by Herbert J. Krapp and built in 1917, the Schoenfeld originally opened as the Plymouth Theatre in 1918. It got its current name in 2005 in honor of the late chairman of the Shubert Organization, which owns and operates the venue.

Plays and musicals that have run at the 1,079-seat theatre include Life of Pi, Take Me Out, Come From Away, and The Humans.

How long is The Notebook?

The Notebook runs approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission. This is a typical running time for a Broadway musical, which usually includes a 15-minute intermission.

What days is The Notebook playing?

The Notebook plays Tuesday through Sunday, with two performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays and no performances on Mondays. For the most up-to-date weekly schedule, visit The Notebook page.

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When did The Notebook premiere?

The Notebook musical premiered in October 2022 at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, 26 years after the novel was published. Check out the full timeline of how The Notebook went from page to screen to stage below.

  • 1996: Rescued by an editor from a manuscript slush pile and based loosely on the marriage of his wife’s grandparents, Nicholas Sparks’s novel became a New York Times bestseller in its first week.
  • 2004: The Notebook film, adapted by Jeremy Leven and Jan Sardi and directed by Nicholas Cassavetes, starred Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as the young Noah and Allie, who meet in the 1940s. James Garner and Gena Rowlands, the director’s mother, played the characters in old age.
  • 2019: A workshop reading of The Notebook musical, directed by Michael Greif and featuring six actors playing Allie and Noah at three different ages, was held at the Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College.
  • 2022: The Notebook musical made its world premiere to warm reviews in Chicago.
  • 2024: The musical began performances on February 10 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

Who wrote The Notebook musical?

The Notebook musical features an adapted book by Bekah Brunstetter, a playwright and television writer. Her credits include This Is Us (for which she earned three Emmy nominations) and the play The Cake. She is known for her poignant explorations of family dynamics, identity, and social issues.

The music and lyrics are by Ingrid Michaelson, a celebrated indie singer and songwriter known for pop and folk and emotionally charged lyrics and thoughtful introspective lyrics. Michaelson has a celebrated song catalog, but her score for The Notebook is completely original.

The Notebook characters

Allie and Noah are embodied in three stages of their lives in the musical, and other characters include Allie’s fiance, family members, and friends.

  • Noah: A passionate working-class man and war veteran with the soul of a poet and an unwavering love for Allie. Three actors play Noah at young, middle, and older stages of life.
  • Allie: An affluent, artistic woman born into privilege whose love for Noah ultimately transcends social barriers. Three actors play Allie at young, middle, and older stages of life.
  • Lon: A war veteran and lawyer who becomes Allie’s fiance.
  • Mother: Allie's mother, who discourages her and Noah's relationship but ultimately urges her to follow her heart.
  • Father: Allie's wealthy and protective father.
  • Fin: A friend and fellow soldier of Noah's.

Who is in the cast of The Notebook musical?

The cast of the Broadway premiere of The Notebook musical features Broadway newcomers, seasoned performers, and a Tony Award winner. Many reprise their roles from the Chicago run.

Jordan Tyson makes her Broadway debut as Younger Allie opposite John Cardoza (Jagged Little Pill) as Younger Noah. Joy Woods (Six) plays Middle Allie, alongside Ryan Vasquez (Wicked, Waitress, Hamilton) as Middle Noah. Maryann Plunkett (Tony winner for Me and My Girl) is Older Allie, opposite Dorian Harewood (The Jesse Owens Story), who joined the show in New York, as Older Noah.

The cast also includes Chase Del Ray as Lon and Andréa Burns as Allie’s mother.


The Notebook songs

The songs in The Notebook musical feature lyrics and music by Ingrid Michaelson. Here are all the songs in the show.

Act 1

  • “Time”
  • “Dance With Me”
  • “Carry You Home”
  • “Blue Shutters”
  • “I Paint”
  • “Sadness and Joy”
  • “Leave the Light On”
  • “What Happens”
  • “I Wanna Go Back”
  • “If This Is Love”
  • “Kiss Me”
  • “Home”

Act 2

  • “We Have To Try”
  • “Forever”
  • “Sadness and Joy Reprise”
  • “Iron in the Fridge”
  • “Don’t You Worry”
  • “It’s Not Easy”
  • “My Days”
  • “I Love You More”
  • “I Know”
  • “Coda”

What awards has The Notebook musical won?

The Broadway production of The Notebook has not yet been honored with awards, but it will be eligible for 2024 awards in the spring. The critically acclaimed Chicago production of The Notebook, however, was nominated four Jeff Awards, including for musical and lighting. Joy Woods won for supporting actress, and Bekah Brunsetter and Ingrid Michaelson won for new work.

Additionally, the movie earned multiple accolades. James Garner was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, and Gena Rowlands won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Drama. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams won the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss.

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Major productions of The Notebook musical

The 2022 Chicago premiere and the 2024 Broadway production are the only major productions so far. If the show is a success, the production could have a long future, leading to plenty more across the country and the world.

Onscreen adaptations of The Notebook

This musical hasn't received a screen adaptation yet — but the story had the reverse journey. The Notebook musical is based on the 1996 novel of the same name, which became a hit movie eight years later starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.

Fun facts about The Notebook

  • The book and film versions of The Notebook both begin in the 1940s. Events in the musical take place in the late 1960s and ’70s and the present day.
  • Allie and Noah share a kiss in the rain on stage, just like on screen, and the rainwater is heated. If the performers look cold, “it’s acting,” star Ryan Vasquez told New York Theatre Guide.
  • Brunstetter has a personal connection to the story. She has a history of Alzheimer’s disease in her family, including her grandfather and his siblings.
  • The first song Ingrid Michaelson wrote for the show, in 2017, was called “I’ll Know.” It became “I Know.”
  • Migratory birds are prominent in the novel and film versions of The Notebook. “There’s a moment in the musical that’s an Easter egg for the folks waiting for a line about birds,” Ryan Vasquez told NYTG.

Get tickets to The Notebook on Broadway

In The Notebook musical, one love story unfolds on stage, but it reverberates with universal appeal. Love doesn’t come easily or quickly for Allie and Noah, but you can get tickets in no time.

Get The Notebook tickets now.

Book Tickets CTA - LT/NYTG

Top image credit: The cast of The Notebook on Broadway. (Photos by Rachel Neville)
In-article image credit: The Notebook in Chicago. (Photos by Liz Lauren)

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