In 2007, Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff starred in a new musical by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater: Spring Awakening. Now, the two Broadway stars and real-life besties reunite to read an excerpt from Sater’s new novel, Alice By Heart, based on Sheik and Sater’s most recent musical collaboration.
Alice By Heart (the musical) premiered in a full production Off-Broadway at MCC Theater in the spring of 2019, directed by co-writer Jessie Nelson (Waitress). Both the book and the musical take place in 1940s London as a 15-year-old Alice Spencer and her best friend navigate their war-torn home, using the classic tale as a refuge. Those encountered along their journey (nurses, soldiers, and more) begin to take on the form of familiar characters, including the Queen of Hearts and Mad Hatter.
The young adult novel, written solely by Sater, will be released February 4 by Penguin Random House’s Razorbill. Listen to an excerpt from an early chapter in the video by Groff and Michele above. Groff earned his first Tony nomination for his performance in Spring Awakening, which scored eight Tony wins including Best Musical, Best Book for Sater, and Best Original Score for Sater and Sheik.
Sater will join Playbill’s Felicia Fitzpatrick in a discussion about the book at The Strand February 7; the event will also include performances by cast members of the 2015 Spring Awakening revival and Sheik.
Two other stage-to-page takes on teen-driven titles have recently hit bookshelves: The Prom and Dear Evan Hansen.