Oh no, you’ll never get the rights to . . . [UPDATED RE: THE NOTEBOOK MUSICAL ON BROADWAY]

I have a good female friend who is obsessed with The Notebook.  She watches it like three times a week.  I mean, it was like a teddy bear to a two-year-old.  She never went anywhere without it.  When I finally gave in and agreed to watch it with her, I didn’t know what she enjoyed more . . . watching it, or watching me watching it, just to see my reaction.

One day, when I told her I was looking for things to turn into musicals, she said, “You know what would make a beautiful musical?  The Notebook!”  Then she stopped and didn’t speak for like three minutes.  I think she was imagining the duet that Noah and Allie would sing to each other right after Allie found out that Noah wrote her a letter every day that they were apart, even though the letters never got to her (if your eyes just got a little watery there, it’s not because you’ve been staring at your computer too long).

I sort of blew her off.  “Too big a movie and too big a book,” I thought, “No way anyone is getting the rights.  Maybe Cameron Mac or Disney, but unless you’ve got a Broadway pedigree and a bank full of bucks, there is no way that musical is going to happen.”

“But It would be sooooooooo good,” she said.  “Come on, let’s watch it again and I’ll show you.”

Well, look what I read today.  The Notebook is going to be a musical.  And it doesn’t have Cameron or Disney or even any New York Producers behind it.  An actress fell in love with it, probably watched it more often than my friend, and convinced the powers that be to give her the rights.  All because of her passion.

And she’s doing a workshop in October with the hopes that it will be the first step to a Broadway production.

You know what else is cool?  Just like White Noise, the workshop isn’t at The Old Globe or La Jolla or any of the usual tryout spots.  Oh no, they are doing this tryout at a community theater in North Carolina.

It’s “Give Props” week here at The Producers Perspective. Yesterday, Hair, and today, Bethany Joy Galeotti, the girl who got The Notebook.

And I write this blog to remind myself that no matter how difficult things may seem, it never hurts to ask the question.  The irony is that it took me the same amount of time to come up with a reason why I couldn’t get the rights to The Notebook as it would have to call someone and actually ask for the rights!

Now I gotta go.  There’s a 1-800-FLOWERS site with my name on it.  I gotta send a big bouquet of flowers to a friend that is going to be pretty peeved when she hears that this is happening and I’m not attached.

Oh, and guess where I’ll be in October.

UPDATE AS OF 1/3/19:  9 Years later and The Notebook is finally headed to Broadway.  But with an entirely new team than the above.  Click here to read an article about it.

  • hahaha, the girl from One Tree Hill got the rights to do “The Notebook”?! Dear lord, what is this world coming to?

  • Sara says:

    That “girl from OTH” is actually very talented talented. Don’t judge her just based on OTH, she’s also a talented musician, writer and has worked with big names in the industry. Do your homework before you comment, ok? Anyways that was a lovely article and I wish Bethany them all the best with the Notebook musical.

  • N>A>A says:

    ^ Why can’t she?….She is beyond talented so why not?

  • Nicole says:

    The Resident Artist, You need to do some research bb. As far as I know..This girl is beyond talented. So… throw your crappy judgments before do some homework, will you? LOL

  • Holly says:

    JOY is very talented! I can’t put into words how talented she really is! She’s phenomenal. There is nothing she can’t do! If she wants something, she is going to get it! I’m really excited about this musical & I have no doubt it is going to be a HIT!

  • Notruslyzack says:

    Sorry to nit-pick, but as far as I know they don’t have a confirmed space for the workshop. I work in the Box Office at the theatre they’re using for auditions, and we’re a rental house, not a community theatre. There is a local organization called the Thalian Association, which is a community theatre organization. They do not currently have an official affiliation with the theatre beyond being a rental client. And even the “official” website says it’s only intended as a preliminary step. Should be interesting, to say the least!

  • “Girl”? How old is she — eight?

  • Hi Ken,
    It would be great if you did a blog on the process of acquiring rights– and what it typically costs for a huge hit, a medium hit, a film or a book with a so-so audience and for a flop.
    Frankly, there’s a flop I’m interested in.
    And is anyone acquiring rights for plays and books these days?

  • Dennis C says:

    I know of a book that would make a great musical. How does one go about getting rights for a musical version? How is it done?

  • test says:

    “Say, you were given a good weblog. Much thanks again. Really great. “

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  • Ted Kopulos says:

    In 1988 I found the Neil Simon play “Fools”. I thought I was a Simon buff, but I had never heard of this play before. The main reason? It was a minor flop on Broadway (although it’s been very popular in high school, community and regional theater).

    It’s a simple fable that takes place around the time and location of “Fiddler on the Roof” and parts were very funny and other parts were … not as funny as the other parts.

    I thought it screamed to be adapted, so I contacted Simon through his lawyer and asked permission to adapt it into a musical. I offered a few of my less-than-stellar credits and to my astonishment Simon said yes.

    I wrote the score, adapted the book and even introduced a new principal character. It was produced in the SF Bay Area.

    A few years later I got to thank Simon in person. He was very gracious and was happy the project went well.

    Moral: “Just ask. You’re already not doing the project, so what’s the worst that could happen?”

    Now … if only Bill Watterson would change his mind about a “Calvin and Hobbes” musical … mine is all ready to go if he is. 🙂

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