Hamlisch, Shire, Schwartz, Harnick Miracles Rescheduled to 1999

News   Hamlisch, Shire, Schwartz, Harnick Miracles Rescheduled to 1999
Broadway will have to wait at least one more year for Miracles.

Broadway will have to wait at least one more year for Miracles.

Partly as an alternative to the annual flood of A Christmas Carols, producer Daniel Wise has assembled an all-star writing team for the new musical Miracles, which he's organizing as an annual holiday-time event at the Beacon Theatre in New York.

Originally scheduled to open in November 1998, the show has now been postponed until fall 1999, Wise told Playbill On-Line.

Harvin Hamlisch, David Shire and Steven Schwartz have written the music; Sheldon Harnick is writing all lyrics for the production, which had a private reading for investors July 21, 1997, and a Dec. 14, 1997 reading.

Wise said (July 15, 1998) that the show has sets and costumes designed and a complete draft of the script he described as "solid," but he said he is "not confident that it will be ready for New York in November."He said he's hoping to put the show into an eight-week workshop at a venue and city TBA in January 1999, followed by a spring or summer 1999 out of-town tryout, then a New York opening during the 1999 holiday season.

Wise said the musical tells the story of a brother and sister locked in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art at night. While they're there, various exhibits come to life, enacting miracles from the Old Testament.

Shire (Big, Closer Than Ever), who is writing music for the section on Hanukah (set in the museum's Greek exhibition), told Playbill On-Line that Hamlisch (A Chorus Line) is writing music for the Moses' Flight Out of Egypt segment (set in the Egyptian wing); and Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell, Pocahontas) is writing the Queen Esther/Purim segment (set in the Persian wing).

A fourth composer is being sought for the David and Goliath segment, set in the Akkadian wing.

Asked about the project, Schwartz told Playbill On-Line (July 28, 1997), "I was approached by Joseph Stein (Rags and Bakers Wife) and Sheldon Harnick about this holiday show to play the same time as Christmas Carol. I've had a couple of meetings about it, with one song done. Harnick and I have made August [1997] our window of opportunity to do the piece; he's one of the great lyricists of the American theatre."

Songs by Schwartz in the Esther story include, Haman's tune, "Bow"; Esther singing "Something Like A Miracle;" and a comic number "If I Were Queen" for all the people auditioning to become queen.

Other tunes in the piece include Shire's "Everlasting Light," Schwartz's "Someone to Love," and Hamlisch's "Nile Lullabye."

Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof, Fiorello, She Loves Me) is writing lyrics for the entire project; Stein (also Fiddler) is writing the book.

A prospectus for the show promises staging by Michael Leeds (Swinging on a Star), choreography by Lynne Taylor-Corbett (Jekyll & Hyde), sets by Kenneth Foy (Tyne Daly's Gypsy), costumes by Ann Hould-Ward (Tony for Beauty and the Beast) and lighting by Tharon Musser (A Chorus Line, Dreamgirls, 42nd Street).

-- By Robert Viagas and David Lefkowitz

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