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'Sleepless in Seattle' musical changes songwriting team

Music IndustryMusical TheaterMusicEntertainmentMeg RyanTom HanksNora Ephron

The producers behind the new stage musical version of "Sleepless in Seattle" said on Thursday that they have hired a new songwriting team for the delayed project. They also said the musical is expected to premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse in June 2013.

"Sleepless" will feature songs by composer Ben Toth and lyricist Sam Forman. The producers had previously hired a songwriting team consisting of Michelle Citrin, Michael Garin and Josh Nelson.

"It was our conclusion that we didn't feel that the music team we had was the horse we could ride to the end of this," said David Shor, the musical's producer, in an interview. "They wrote some great music, but it wasn't a whole show's worth of great music."

He said the new songwriting team was brought together following a search that lasted several months.

At one point early in the musical's development, composer Leslie Bricusse was expected to write the songs for the show. But Bricusse left the production before the trio of Citrin, Garin and Nelson had been hired.

"Sleepless" was originally expected to open at the Pasadena Playhouse this summer, but was postponed. The musical has had developmental readings in New York and Southern California.

Producers said the rest of the principal creative team for "Sleepless" remains the same. Lonny Price will direct the musical, which features a book by Jeff Arch, who wrote the original story and co-wrote the screenplay for the Nora Ephron romantic comedy film.

The 1993 movie, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, was a big commercial success. No casting for the musical version has been announced yet.

ALSO:

Pasadena Playhouse postpones 'Sleepless in Seattle' musical 

Musical version of 'Sleepless in Seattle' coming to Pasadena Playhouse

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