Romantic comedy gets musical makeover
The creative forces behind a developing tuner version of “Sleepless in Seattle” hope to wake up Broadway in 2010.Composer-lyricist Leslie Bricusse (“Stop the World — I Want to Get Off”) and book writer Jeff Arch, who penned the story and co-wrote the screenplay of the 1993 romantic comedy, are at work on a stage musical adaptation of the TriStar feature. Joel Zwick (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) will helm. David Shor produces the project through his company Sleepless in Seattle Management. He expects capitalization to total $12 million-$15 million. Shor officially secured the rights for the theatrical adaptation from Sony/TriStar in early January. Bricusse, whose credits include Broadway tuners (“The Roar of the Greasepaint — The Smell of the Crowd”) and pics such as “Doctor Dolittle”(1967) and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (1971), has so far written 18 songs for “Sleepless in Seattle — The Musical,” according to the producer. The script is about half finished. Shor said he and Arch, a longtime partner, have hoped to bring “Sleepless” to the stage for several years. The collaborators have been working on the project for several months. Zwick — who has directed TV episodes for skeins including “Laverne and Shirley,” “Bosom Buddies” and “Two and a Half Men” — helmed “George Gershwin Alone” on Broadway in 2001. Sticking to plot of the “Sleepless” pic, the new tuner follows a cross-country romance arranged by a young boy for his widowed father. Storyline will remain set in the early 1990s. Directed by Nora Ephron, the movie starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and grossed $228 million worldwide. Shor hopes to have a first reading of the tuner, which will be orchestrated and arranged by Ian Fraser, in May. No Rialto venue has yet been booked for “Sleepless.” If the show materializes on the Main Stem in the first half of 2010 as planned, it would land during a Broadway season that already includes new tuners “Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark” (opening February 2010) and “The Addams Family” (aiming for an April 2010 bow). Arch (“Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys”) also is at work on “Colour My World,” a tuner based on the music of the band Chicago.