Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel's previously-scheduled new work, A Civil War Christmas, is still being developed and will get more time for refinement in the coming year. "While great progress continues on this epic musical, Arena Stage does not feel that it will be ready in time for the 2006-07 premiere, originally slated for November," according to a statement.
Jerome Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joe Masteroff's romantic musical comedy She Loves Me will play the Fichandler Stage the exact same time as A Civil War Christmas was to be presented, Nov. 17–Dec. 31.
"Arena Stage has so much respect for Paula Vogel as an artist, and we have collectively decided that A Civil War Christmas should be postponed to a later date," stated Arena Stage artistic director Molly Smith. "This is an epic work by a major artist that deserves the necessary time and development in order to bring it to its full potential. In the meantime, we are very excited about bringing She Loves Me to Arena over the holidays, and have wanted to produce this musical for several years. It is a great match for director Kyle Donnelly, who truly has mastered the Fichandler Stage space. We are confident that our audiences will be thrilled with this musical gem."
The musical is based on a play by Miklos Laszlo. In the show, "Georg and Amalia can't stand each other. Intensely competitive clerks in a shop in 1930s Budapest, they are constantly at odds with one another. Each secretly finds solace in an anonymous pen pal — totally unaware that they are actually writing romantic letters to each other. This endearing tale of unlikely sweethearts, and the eccentric colleagues who aid and abet them, is an intelligent, romantic comedy with a touch of Old World elegance."
The durable plot has been seen in the movies "The Shop Around the Corner," "In the Good Old Summertime," and "You've Got Mail." The score includes the famous soprano solo turn "(Vanilla) Ice Cream," and a music box of other romantic songs, including "Dear Friend," "Will He Like Me?," "Days Gone By," "Tonight at 8," "She Loves Me," among others. Barbara Cook originated the role of Amalia in 1963. No casting has been announced for the D.C. revival.
For more information, visit www.arenastage.org.