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.

More than one road leads to Broadway.

I’m writing this blog while sitting in a hotel room, waiting to see a performance of a musical that is working its way to Broadway.

Am I California?  At The Old Globe?  La Jolla?  Ahmanson?

Well, I am in LA . . but not that LA.  I’m in Louisiana. New Orleans, to be exact, seeing a production of White Noise, a 2006 graduate of NYMF that has been in the news a lot lately.

Noise is playing at a little theater nestled deep in the French Quarter. And when I say little theater, I mean exactly that. It’s called Le Petit Theatre, and it’s the oldest operating community theater in the US.

It doesn’t have 2,000 seats.  It doesn’t have unlimited fly space.  But it does have a supportive community thrilled to be a part of something that is planning on playing The Great White Way (Both Jim L. and Robert D. told me that while waiting in line for the men’s room).  Oh, and it also has a super-sized tax incentive that makes it much more attractive for shows to check out The Big Easy as a place to play (I know I will).

There’s nothing wrong with the “usual” places to play.  But as I touched on here, perhaps it’s time to do what forward thinking people like New Orleanean Holly Way have done and look at other opportunities.  There are plenty of places to try out your show, but it’s up to you, the Producer, to do the due diligence and find the best opportunity for you and your product.

To extend a Frostian metaphor, sometimes the highway that everyone is on is only filled with traffic and tolls.

It takes more time to find a different route.  But that different route can still get you to where you are going, and sometimes it can even be a shortcut.

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