Sleepless in Seattle aims for Valentine's Day 2011

Producer David Shor, who is developing Sleepless in Seattle–The Musical for Broadway, has announced that Michelle Citrin, Michael Garin, and Josh Nelson will collaborate on the music and lyrics for the show. The musical is aiming for a Broadway bow on Valentine’s Day, 2011.

The gestation period for a Broadway musical - re-writes, show cases, out-of-town try-outs etc, is usually much longer than one year, so a bow by Valentine's Day 2011 for Sleepless in Seattle–The Musical, while possible, does seem unlikely.

Shor acquired the rights to produce the musical based on the hit 1993 TriStar motion picture. Jeff Arch, Shor’s longtime business partner, who penned the film’s original story and co-wrote the screenplay, sharing 1994 Oscar, BAFTA and WGA nominations with Nora Ephron and David Ward, has written the book for the musical and Joel Zwick (George Gershwin Alone, Dance With Me, Shenandoah, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) will direct.

Shor found clips on YouTube of Michelle Citrin singing the song “20 Things To Do With Matzah” and began sending it to friends for a holiday greeting. He then began corresponding with her via Facebook and eventually brought her on as part of the writing team. Michelle brought in her colleague Josh Nelson and playwright Arch brought in his friend Michael Garin, a classmate of his from Emerson College. Sleepless In Seattle -The Musical will mark the first collaboration of Citrin, Garin, and Nelson.

“We are thrilled to have Michelle, Michael, and Josh onboard to make this timeless musical sing in a contemporary, exciting way,” said producer Shor. “The process that we went through to find our writing team is unique to say the least. We are glad we found them and are thrilled with the results of their collaboration. Who knew that Facebook and YouTube would break the mold to discover new voices for the theater?”

"Nothing was more important than getting the sound we wanted,” said book writer Arch. “If it came from people with household names and multiple Tony awards, that would have been welcome too – but these three are the ones who brought it home. I've known Michael for almost 40 years and was a huge 'Song of Singapore' fan - to work together on a Broadway musical with him is a rare and unexpected treat. And Michelle and Josh came straight from wish-list heaven - I'm in awe of what they've been turning out. The music for this show is in the best possible hands."

Sleepless in Seattle 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, 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 and the film grossed over 227 million dollars worldwide. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, four MTV Movie Awards, one Writers Guild of America Award, and won an American Comedy Award and a Casting Society of America Award. Sleepless In Seattle is based on the 1957 film “An Affair To Remember” starring Cary Grant ad Deborah Kerr.