jakub | March 16, 2024

On the Red Carpet: The Broadway Cast of The Notebook Pours Their Hearts Out

Love was in the air for the opening night of The Notebook on Broadway—and not just because the show is a romance. The cast poured their hearts out in the red carpet interviews throughout the evening, enthusing about their genuine love for the show and their gratitude for the Broadway community supporting them on their special night (particularly the cast of The Outsiders). 

The Broadway bow of The Notebook officially opened March 14 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Based on the best-selling Nicholas Sparks novel, the new musical follows Allie and Noah, who share a lifetime of love despite the forces that threaten to pull them apart, from familial tensions early in their relationship, to Allie experiencing profound memory loss later in their lives. The show stars three sets of actors as Noah and Allie through the different time periods of their lives. 

Star Ryan Vasquez has not only been with The Notebook throughout its pre-Broadway development, but two other shows opening this season, as well: The Outsiders and Water for Elephants. Vasquez expressed his joy to see that following the shutdown of live theatre almost exactly four years ago, Broadway is back…so much so that three shows he was part of the development for are opening all at once. “The impossibility of this weighs on me everyday…the way this season is thriving, there are shows that I've been a part of across the street and next door,” he says, referring to the cast of The Outsiders (which opens next month) peeking their heads out of the dressing room windows of the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre to wave and cheer at Vasquez and his co-stars on the red carpet.

The cast of the Outsiders congratulating the cast of the Notebook
Michaelah Reynolds

Vasquez's preceding counterpart onstage John Cardoza, who plays the Younger Noah to Vasquez' Middle Noah, shared the same sentiment: “This is a community that I have dreamt of being a part of my whole life, so to be here and to feel the camaraderie between all of these buildings…we also have some friends over at Water for Elephants! Broadway is back in a big way,” he shared.

On the red carpet of The Notebook, Broadway not only feels like it's back in full-swing, but as though it's even tighter-knit than before, as stars and attendees shared heartfelt exchanges. Some cast members of The Notebook even had stories shared with them of people's loved ones experiencing the same condition as Allie, and feeling that their experiences were earnestly represented onstage.

Star Maryann Plunkett, who plays Older Allie in the depths of her condition, confided in Playbill about her own connection to Allie's story. “My mother lived with dementia, and I was there with her much and watched over the years…this sadness and joy, she at times would be a 16 year old girl again, and at times she'd be frightened, and at times she'd be angry and lash out, but it's all about survival,” says Plunkett. 

Star Andréa Burns noted her appreciation for the voice the musical gave not only to Allie and her experience, but her nurse, as well. “To our writers—particularly Bekah Brunstetter—it was really important to highlight the healthcare professionals working with all these people that we care about. I feel very honored to be representing them here,” says Burns, who plays both Allie's mother in her earlier days, and her nurse later down the line. “I have come across a lot of health care professionals in the line after the show who say, ‘This feels real, I feel seen.'

WATCH: Ingrid Michaelson Performs ‘If This Is Love' From The Notebook Musical

For all the tearjerking, tragic moments in the show, Plunkett expresses the endless excitement she feels onstage everyday. “I just love it beyond explanation, this play and this music and this company. I just never want it to end. I don't even want rehearsals to end, I love it so much!”

To celebrate The Notebook‘s duel emotions of joy and sorrow, Playbill had a little fun with the opening night red carpet attendees. We asked them to give us their best impression of an audience member weeping during the show. See the results in the video below.

Get your own copy of the opening night Playbill from The Playbill Store here.

The new musical features music and lyrics by singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson, with a book by playwright Bekah Brunstetter. The production made its critically acclaimed world premiere at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in Fall 2022.

Take a look at photos from the red carpet in the gallery below. Celebrity guests included Eva Noblezada, Dominique Fishback, Amber Ruffin, and Okieriete Onaodowan. 


Photos: The Notebook Opening Night on Broadway

The core creative team members from the Chicago Shakespeare Theater run have returned for the Broadway production—with direction by Michael Greif (Dear Evan Hansen, Rent) and Schele Williams (Aida, Motown the Musical), and choreography by Katie Spelman.

The cast is led by Jordan Tyson as Younger Allie, Joy Woods as Middle Allie, and Tony Award-winner Maryann Plunkett as Older Allie; and John Cardoza as Younger Noah, Ryan Vasquez as Middle Noah, and Dorian Harewood as Older Noah.

They are joined by Andréa Burns as Mother and Nurse Lori, Yassmin Alers as Nurse Joanna, Chase Del Rey as Lon, Hillary Fisher as Sarah, Dorcas Leung as Georgie, Carson Stewart as Johnny and Fin, Charles E. Wallace as Father and Son. Rounding at the company as swings are Alex Benoit, Jerome Harmann-Hardeman, Happy McPartlin, Juliette Ojeda, Kim Onah, and Charlie Webb.

The production features scenic design by David Zinn and Brett J. Banakis, costume design by Paloma Young, lighting design by Ben Stanton, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, and hair and wig design by Mia Neal. The production’s music supervisor is Carmel Dean, who also collaborated on arrangements with Ingrid Michaelson and on orchestrations with John Clancy. Geoffrey Ko is music director. Casting is by The Telsey Office‘s Patrick Goodwin, which Chicago casting by Bob Mason. Victoria Navarro is production stage manager.

Kevin McCollum and Kurt Deutsch lead a producing team that also includes Jamie Wilson, Gavin Kalin, Stella LaRue, Hunter Arnold, Roy Furman, Nederlander Productions, Lams Productions, Nicole Eisenberg, Betsy Dollinger, Endeavor, Sing Out, Louise! Productions, Timothy Laczynski, Scott Abrams/Jonathan Corr/Leslie Mayer, Bob Boyett//Pam & Stephen Della Pietra, EST Productions/LTD Productions, Independent Presenters Network, Lucas McMahon, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Visit NotebookMusical.com.

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