Sara Bareilles (Photo supplied by O&M) and Sarah Ruhl (Photo by Gregory Costanzo)

Sara Bareilles and Sarah Ruhl to create new musical The Interestings based on Meg Wolitzer’s book

The creator of acclaimed musical Waitress, Sara Bareilles, is working on a new musical adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s New York Times best-selling novel The Interestings.

Singer, songwriter, actor, producer, activist and author Bareilles (SpongeBob SquarePants, Waitress) has teamed up with playwright, poet and essayist Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room, or the vibrator play) for the new musical.

Two-time Grammy Award winner, three-time Tony Award winner and three-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee Sara Bareilles will write the music and lyrics, with Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee Sarah Ruhl writing the book.

Currently in development, The Interestings will be produced by Matt Ross (Dana H., What the Constitution Means to Me).

Sara Bareilles said in a statement: “I wrote the first song for The Interestings before I even finished the book. To borrow a quote from one of our main characters: I have fallen in love…with a group of people. Meg Wolitzer’s extraordinary creation, The Interestings, was such an immediate and fascinating world of humanity and ache and adolescence and regret. I found so many moments that felt like singing. Making this musical has been a conjuring, a deep listening to the themes of the beautiful novel and a tremendously energizing creative conversation with the wild wisdom and endless talent of Sarah Ruhl as my collaborator, bringing these new friends to life in a new way. I am so thrilled to be a part of this wonderful team.”

Sarah Ruhl said: “I am so thrilled to be adapting this novel, a hymn to yearning and being alive, with the goddess-like fount of creativity, Sara Bareilles. Meg’s brilliant book speaks to some of the biggest questions: how do we become? How do we know when our lives are of value, how do we know when we have ‘enough’? How do complicated friendships endure? The setting of an arts camp is familiar to me as a besotted former camper and sings with nostalgia. I can’t wait to share this tale of youth and growth with an audience.”

Meg Wolitzer said: “Sara Bareilles and Sarah Ruhl are both brilliant, expansive, electrifying artists whose work I respond to so deeply. My novel The Interestings is populated by a group of characters I still think about and truly miss, and the music they listen to and play when they’re young resonates in the book, so the idea of a musical adaptation is thrilling. To see and hear Sara’s and Sarah’s interpretation of my novel onstage will be an absolute joy, a novelist’s dream.”

The Interestings tells the story of six teenagers who meet at summer camp in the 1970s and form a lifelong bond over their shared dream of leading creative and inspiring lives. Decades later in New York City, that bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. The Interestings traces their lives as they grow together and apart to explore friendship, love, envy, class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.


📷 Main photo: Sara Bareilles (Photo supplied by O&M) and Sarah Ruhl (Photo by Gregory Costanzo)

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