High School Musical alum and Polar star, Vanessa Hudgens is not letting go of stage and music just yet.
After Hudgens’ stint in Rent: Live and its lukewarm reception from critics, she is back to grace the stage with the musical adaptation of the cult classic, The Notebook. But this time, there’s much more staged reading involved.
Powerhouse Vassar had posted the complete cast of The Notebook Reading and will feature, Tony nominee Hailey Kilgore (Once on This Island) will take the role of Younger Allie, with Hudgens (Rent Live) as Middle Allie and Candy Buckley (Cabaret) as Older Allie, Antonio Cipriano (Jagged Little Pill) will take on the role of Younger Noah, with Clifton Duncan (Carmen Jones) as Middle Noah and Tony winner James Naughton (Chicago) as Older Noah.
Other veterans who will join the stellar cast are Jelani Alladin (Frozen), Nicholas Belton (The Great Comet), Janet Dacal (In the Heights), Mili Diaz (Wicked), Jennifer Mudge (Rocky) and Ben Jackson Walker. This staged reading will feature the music and lyrics of Ingrid Michaelson and a book by Bekah Brunstetter.
For those of you who were living under the rock, The Notebook came to prominence after its film adaptation that cast the really unbreakable chemistry of Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling as Allie and Noah, respectively.
The Notebook was written by Nicholas Sparks and it tells the story of a young couple who fall in love in the 1940s. Their story is narrated from the present day by an elderly man, (portrayed by James Garner), telling the tale to a fellow nursing home resident. If you are still not on board, you can definitely watch the film yourself and I guarantee you that the ending will give you a twisted treat and it’s up to you what to feel afterwards.
Nicholas Sparks Controversy
It is also worth noting that despite many being thrilled of Hudgens’ casting to the beloved romantic drama in its musical glory, other fans have also called out Vanessa Hudgens’ involvement with the project.
After its creator, Nicholas Sparks have been called out of for his homophobia when his emails revealed that Sparks was condemning Saul Benjamin, former headmaster and CEO of his Christian Academy for making homosexuality open and accepted and accusing him for allegedly establishing a gay club in the school discreetly.
Many have also pointed out to Hudgens that it’s a bit hypocritical for the actress to show her LGBTQIA support in social media while also declaring to fans that she will star in a project originated by someone who has been exposed for his bigotry. The LA Times also cited that this current project can be problematic for Hudgens should she go on with it.
While The Notebook’s author has questionable morals, there are also some fans who downplayed the said incident and told Vanessa Hudgens that she should go for it as it has always been one of the iconic roles in the early 2000s.
On the other hand, Hudgens just posted a behind-the-scene Instagram photo making it clear that she will continue with the project. She quoted with a tribute to her dad:
9:45 am this morning sitting with @janetdacalworking on our scripts for the notebook. I’ve continued on in my day with such beautiful deep, honest and raw conversations about life. Also realized it was my dads birthday today. He would have been 69. Celebrating him thru all this love couldn’t have been more perfect.