Premiere of Musical Sleepless in Seattle Will Be Directed by Sheldon Epps, Not Lonny Price

By Kenneth Jones
January 25, 2013

Sheldon Epps, artistic director of Pasadena Playhouse, will now direct Sleepless in Seattle — The Musical, taking over for the previously announced Lonny Price, whose other commitments prevent him from continuing with the summer Playhouse engagement.



The romantic musical based on the hit film will also have a March workshop. Pasadena Playhouse, in association with David Shor Productions, will present the world premiere of the show May 24-June 23. Opening is June 2.

Epps is known for his directorial work on Broadway's Baby It's You!, Play On! and Blues in the Night.

Sleepless tickets are currently available with a 2012-2013 Playhouse season subscription purchase. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Sleepless in Seattle has a book by Jeff Arch, music by Ben Toth, lyrics by Sam Forman. It's based on the Columbia Pictures film that starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Producer Shor said in statement, "Birthing a new musical is a challenging and complicated process. And we have certainly had our share of challenges during our show's development, not unlike any other musical created from scratch. My partners and I are quite pleased with the creative team we have put together and the quality of the work they have created. We are thrilled to welcome Sheldon Epps to lead that team."

According to Playhouse notes, "Sleepless in Seattle — The Musical centers around Sam, a widower and single father. When Sam's son, Jonah calls into a talk radio program looking for a new mother, Sam ends up getting on the phone and laments about his lost love. Thousands of miles away in Baltimore, Annie hears the program and immediately falls in love with Sam, despite the fact that she has never met him and that she is engaged to another man. Believing they are meant to be together, Annie sets out for Seattle to meet Sam, who, meanwhile, contends with an onslaught of letters from available women equally touched by his phone call."

The American Film Institute (AFI) lists "Sleepless in Seattle" among the Top 10 Best Romantic Comedies of all time. The film grossed over $227 million dollars worldwide. It was nominated for two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globe Awards.

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA. For more information, visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.