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Sara Bareilles to Adapt ‘The Interestings’ Into Stage Musical With Sarah Ruhl

Sara Bareilles is coming back to musical theater.

Following the hit Fathom Events theatrical run of her Broadway smash “Waitress,” the “Love Song” Grammy winner is teaming with Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee Sarah Ruhl to adapt Meg Wolitzer’s 2013 novel, “The Interestings,” into a stage musical.

“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,” Bareilles said in a statement announcing the news Friday.

“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,” she continued. “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.”

Based on The New York Times bestselling novel, “The Interestings” is about the friendship of six teenagers who meet at summer camp in the 1970s. It follows the progression of their relationships to adulthood, highlighting how the older they get, the more complex and elaborate their lives become.

At the time of its publishing, The New York Times Book Review called Wolitzer’s book “remarkable” and “acutely perceptive,” while USA Today celebrated it as sprawling, ambitious and often wistful.”

Bareilles has won multiple awards as a songwriter, actor, singer and producer, including include two Grammy Awards and three Tony Award nominations and three Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

Ruhl is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony award nominee who has written a multitude of plays, including “In the Next Room,” “Letters from Max” and “The Clean House.” She is also a published author of “Smile, a Memoir”, “100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write” and others.

“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,” Ruhl, who will write the musical’s book to Bareilles’ music and lyrics, said.

“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?” Ruhl added. “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.”

“Sara Bareilles and Sarah Ruhl are both brilliant, expansive, electrifying artists whose work I respond to so deeply,” Wolitzer said of the adaptation. “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 and Sarah’s interpretation of my novel onstage will be an absolute joy, a novelist’s dream.”

Matt Ross is the producer of “The Interestings.” Previous production credits include the Tony-nominated “What the Constitution Means to Me,” “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812″ and “On the Town.”

The musical is in early development. Additional creative team and production details will be announced in the coming months.

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