‘Sleepless in Seattle’ musical looking to book flight to London

Tim Martin Gleason, left, Joe West and Chandra Lee Schwartz in a scene from the musical "Sleepless in Seattle" at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Tim Martin Gleason, left, Joe West and Chandra Lee Schwartz in a scene from the musical “Sleepless in Seattle” at the Pasadena Playhouse.
(Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times)

Annie is from Baltimore. Sam is from Seattle. They meet on top of the Empire State Building in New York. But will the musical version of their love story be heading to London?

“Sleepless in Seattle,” the musical version of the hit 1993 movie, is eyeing the West End as its next possible destination. Sheldon Epps, the artistic director of the Pasadena Playhouse, where the show debuted this year, confirmed that talks are underway for a London production that could happen as early as next year.

Epps, who directed the world premiere in Pasadena, said he would direct any future London production, with a British cast. “I’m feeling optimistic that it’s going to happen,” he said in a recent interview. “It could happen in the spring or fall of next year.”


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The musical ran at the Pasadena Playhouse from May 24 to June 23. The script was by Jeff Arch, who co-wrote the original screenplay with Nora Ephron and David S. Ward. Songwriters Ben Toth and Sam Forman penned the score.

“Sleepless” was a long-in-the-making musical with a revolving door of talent. The show was originally announced for 2012, but was pushed back a year. Its original music team was replaced after producers were unsatisfied with the score. Lonny Price, who was originally announced to direct the musical, left the production, with Epps taking over.

The Pasadena production starred Tim Martin Gleason and Chandra Lee Schwartz in the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan roles, respectively.

Epps said he is helping oversee, but not direct, the Broadway transfer of another Pasadena Playhouse musical -- a revival of Cole Porter’s “Can-Can,” which ran in 2007 and is aiming to open in New York next spring.


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