Arch Focused on the Story Arc in “Sleepless in Seattle”

Tim Martin Gleason, Joe West and Chandra Lee Schwartz in “Sleepless in Seattle.” Photo by Jim Cox.

Tim Martin Gleason, Joe West and Chandra Lee Schwartz in “Sleepless in Seattle.” Photo by Jim Cox.

If things had gone as planned for the musical version of Sleepless in Seattle at the Pasadena Playhouse, writer Jeff Arch would be celebrating the show’s one-year anniversary this month. Instead, the musical, directed by Pasadena Playhouse’s artistic director Sheldon Epps, with music and lyrics by Ben Toth and Sam Forman, opens this Sunday and runs through June 23.

“Had the show we had last year at this time been put up, it wouldn’t have succeeded,” says Arch, who wrote the original story and co-wrote the screenplay with director Nora Ephron and David S. Ward for the 1993 romantic comedy film. “We knew there were problems. There were some not-quite-there moments, and some this-is-just-the-wrong-direction moments. The book and story have stayed true. The musical treatment and direction of the story have changed, but all for the better.”

Arch and his business partner David Shor, the musical’s producer, have been the only two consistent players in the project’s eight-year history.

“No one told me it was going to be eight years,” Arch says. “If they said, eight years, three directors, three music teams, hijacking attempts and rewrites like you can’t believe, I might have said no. Thank God I didn’t know.”

Arch sits in the Makineni Library upstairs from the Pasadena Playhouse. …

Read full article at LA Stage Times

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