Sheldon Epps to direct 'Sleepless in Seattle' musical in Pasadena

Pasadena Playhouse artistic director Sheldon Epps is set to direct the world premiere of "Sleepless in Seattle -- The Musical," when the show opens at the theater in May. He replaces the previously announced Lonny Price.

Jeff Arch, who wrote the original story and co-wrote the screenplay for the 1993 romantic comedy that starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, wrote the book for the musical. Ben Toth composed the music and Sam Forman wrote the lyrics.

"I am pleased that a recent change in my own schedule allows me to take on the joy and excitement of directing this musical and working even more closely with Jeff, Ben and Sam," Epps said in a statement Thursday. "I eagerly anticipate the birth of this show on our stage and I am confident it will be an exciting finale to our current season."

Epps has previously said that the musical, which has Broadway aspirations, is "very, very faithful to the film script."

Epps, artistic director since 1997, has seen the Pasadena Playhouse through the financial woes that forced it to close for eight months in 2010 to reorganize. In his first season at the Playhouse, he directed Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing." He has since directed "Fences" starring Laurence Fishburne and "Blues for an Alabama Sky" starring Robin Givens, among other works.


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