Reviews: Here’s what critics think of the world premiere of The Notebook Musical

ByDonald L. Leech

Oct 18, 2022

The verdict

Reviews: Here’s what critics think of the world premiere of Notebook Musical

The Broadway alums star in the musical based on Nicholas Sparks’ popular novel and film at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

John Cardoza, Jordan Tyson, John Beasley, Maryann Plunkett, Ryan Vasquez and Joy Woods in the Chicago Shakespeare Theater world premiere production Notebook
Liz Lauren


Critics weigh in on the world premiere of Notebook at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Based on Nicholas Sparks’ bestselling novel that inspired the movie of the same name, the new musical began previews on September 6 for an airing until October 16.

Portraying Allie and Noah throughout their lives, Jordan Tyson (New York street) as Young Allie, Joy Woods (SIX the musical) as Middle Allie, and Tony winner Maryann Plunkett (Me and my daughter) as Older Allie, John Cardoza (Little shredded pill) as young Noah, Ryan Vasquez (Waitress) as Middle Noah, and John Beasley (Kennedy Center’s Fences) as the older Noah.

Read the reviews here.

Chicago Sun-Times (Steven Oxman)

Chicago Tribune (Chris Jones)*

Daily Herald (Barbara Vitello)

Epoch Times (Betty Mohr)*

New Town Scene (Dennis Polkow)

Shaw Local (Paul Lockwood)

Third rib examination (Nancy S Bishop)

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Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in..

To complete the company, Yassmin Alers (On your Feet!), Andrea Burns (On your feet!), Jonathan Butler-Duplessis (Parade), Dorcas Leung (Miss Saigon), Omar López-Cepero (american idiot), Sophie Madorski (good job if you can get it), and Liam Oh (next to normal at the writers’ theatre). The stunt doubles include Alex Benoit, Mary Ernster, Jerica Exum, Jerome Harmann-Hardeman, RhonniRose Mantilla and Carson Stewart.

WATCH: Ingrid Michaelson Performs ‘If This Is Love’ Notebook Musical

Allie and Noah share a life of love despite the forces that threaten to tear them apart in the tale. The musical features a score by singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson (As I am, girls chase boys) and a book by Bekah Brunstetter (NBC’s It’s us). Michael Greif (Dear Evan Hansen, Lease) and Schele Williams (Aida, Motown the Musical) direct the production which features choreography by Katie Spelman.

Check out the new production photos below:

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See photos from the world premiere of The Notebook at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater