Arena tuners put on hold

'Civil War' replaced with 'She Loves Me'

Arena Stage has bumped two scheduled world-premiere musicals from its upcoming season after determining that more development time is needed for the projects.

The preem of Paula Vogel’s epic musical “A Civil War Christmas” has been eagerly sought by a.d. Molly Smith as a holiday staple, but it will have to await another season.

Now slated for the Nov. 17-Dec. 31 timeslot will be a revival of the 1963 musical “She Loves Me,” with a book by Joe Masteroff, music and lyrics by Jerry Block and Sheldon Harnick. Kyle Donnelly, who had been set to direct “Christmas,” will stage the replacement.

Arena earlier had agreed to bump the premiere of “The Women of Brewster Place” to the 2007-08 season after playwright Tim Acito requested more time for development. In its place next spring will be the Mabou Mines Theater Company production of “Peter and Wendy.” Arena’s Smith will conduct a series of workshops on “Brewster” in the meantime, per an Arena spokesperson.

“Christmas” combines history and fiction in a collection of stories about the war, mixed with period tunes. Arena opens its season next month with another musical, “Cabaret.”

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