"We are excited to have Ben and Sam, two exceptional writers with solid pasts, strong presents and amazing futures, join the Sleepless creative team, " said director Lonny Price. "We've already begun work, and book writer Jeff Arch and I are thrilled to have them both as part of our creative team."
Ben Toth just completed the score for writer-director Josh Radnor's "Liberal Arts," a feature film starring Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, and Allison Janney. His theater music has been performed by Grammy/Tony winner Duncan Sheik, Tony winner John Lloyd Young, and Grammy nominee Jane Monheit. Ben has served as musical director/vocal coach/producer for some of the most popular actor/singers currently working on the stage, including Lea Michele and Idina Menzel of "Glee," Christina Hendricks of "Mad Men," Beau Bridges, Taye Diggs, and Mandy Patinkin, with whom he performed to critical acclaim at the Duke of York's Theatre in London's West End.
Sam Forman is the lyricist and co-book author for the musical I Sing! which has been produced commercially off-Broadway and in theaters around the world. Sam is currently on the writing staff of "House of Cards" (Netflix's first original TV program starring Kevin Spacey, executive producer David Fincher).
Sleepless has a book by Jeff Arch, 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.
Sleepless, will have its World Premiere at The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Charles Dillingham, Interim Executive Director) in June, 2013. Tickets are currently available by subscription only. Single ticket on sale date and prices will be announced at a later date.
Sleepless 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 in Baltimore, 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 and Deborah Kerr.
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BEN TOTH (Composer) Ben Toth is an accomplished theater/film composer, musical director and vocal coach. Grammy/Tony winner Duncan Sheik, Tony winner John Lloyd Young, and Grammy nominee Jane Monheit have all performed Ben's music. He has co-written songs with Grammy/Tony winner Steven Sater (Spring Awakening), Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde, The Musical) and Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Muldoon. Ben wrote the songs for a production of Twelfth Night, performed Off-Broadway in 2010 and also featured in a recent Public Theatre gala honoring multi-Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien. Songs from Ben's collaboration with Paul Muldoon have been showcased as part of the opening concert of the MacDowell Colony's Centennial Celebration as well as in performances at New York's Symphony Space. Ben just completed the score for writer-director Josh Radnor's "Liberal Arts," a feature film starring Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, and Allison Janney. The film premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and opens in theaters in September. Before that, Ben scored "Patrimony," starring Oscar-Nominee Robert Vaughn and Tony nominee Melissa Errico. In 2009, Ben contributed music to the independent film, "You," (starring Melora Hardin from NBC's "The Office"). Ben has served as musical director/vocal coach/producer for some of the most popular actor/singers currently working on the stage, including Lea Michele and Idina Menzel of "Glee," Christina Hendricks of "Mad Men," Beau Bridges, Taye Diggs, and Mandy Patinkin, with whom he performed to critical acclaim at the Duke of York's Theatre in London's West End. On November 18th, 2011, Ben made his Carnegie Hall debut, serving as the Musical Director/Pianist/Arranger/Backup-singer for "30 Rock" actor Cheyenne Jackson's sold-out concert performance. Ben received a BA from Brown University, and studied composition, voice, piano, and orchestral conducting at the Eastman School of Music.
SAM FORMAN (Lyricist) a writer for the stage, screen and TV, is currently on the writing staff of House of Cards (Netflix's first original TV program starring Kevin Spacey, executive producer David Fincher). Sam is the lyricist and co-book author for the musical I Sing! which has been produced commercially off-Broadway and in theaters around the world. A CD recording of the York Theater Concert Cast of I Sing! is available in stores worldwide from Jay Records. Sam's other plays and musicals include: The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall (Stage 13, NYC dir. Sam Gold; Theater J, Washington DC dir. Shirley Serotsky, Helen Hayes Nomination 2010) We The People (TheaterWorks USA, Lucille Lortel Nomination 2011) F#@king Up Everything (Award for Excellence in Book Writing NYMF 2009 dir. Stephen Brackett; Woolly Mammoth, DC 2011 dir. Jay Brock) Roller Disco (A.R.T. Oberon, Cambridge, MA dir. Jen Wineman) The Moscows of Nantucket (Theatre J, Washington DC, dir. Shirley Serotsky) The Grille Room (Cherry Lane Mentor Project, dir. Thomas Kail), Quarterlife (Ford Center, NYC workshop dir. by Mark Brokaw; Pico Playhouse, Los Angeles, CA dir. Matt Doherty) Please Stop Talking (Cherry Lane Theater, NYC dir. Erwin Mass ; Willlamstown Theatre Festival, dir. Portia Krieger), Fringical! (Ars Nova, NYC; American Theatre of Actors, NYMF 2004, dir. Thomas Kail) Schmoozy Togetherness (Williamstown Theatre Festival, dir. Johanna McKeon) The Quiet Game (Hangar Theater, Ithaca NY dir. Daniel Kramer) Krankenhaus Blues (Blue Heron Theater, NYC, The Abingdon Theatre, NYC, dir. Donna Mitchell) Hunter for Hunter Green and Narcissus and Goldstein (Singularity Company, NYC dir. Benjamin Salka) Upcoming projects include: Volleygirls (book by Rob Ackerman) and Tricia Walsh-Smith In Concert (dir. Alex Timbers) Sam is an alumni of Youngblood at EST, Ars Nova's Play Group and the producer of Creation Nation.
JEFF ARCH (Book) was a high school English teacher and martial arts school owner when his spec script for "Sleepless In Seattle" sold in 1990. Nominated for two Oscars and two Golden Globes, the screenplay also received nominations from the Writers Guild and BAFTA, among others. Since then Jeff has written for producers Brian Grazer, Mark Johnson and Steve Tisch, among others, and directors Penny Marshall, Barry Levinson and Ron Howard. Jeff has had four other movies made, including Disney's "Iron Will" and CBS's "Sealed Witrh A Kiss," as well as Humanitas Prize nominee "Saving Milly," also for CBS. In 2005 Jeff wrote and directed the indie comedy "Dave Barry's Complete Guide To Guys," and has just completed his first novel, "The Bell Tower," a boarding school story spanning twenty years in the lives of seven characters, and has just started his second novel, "Roy To The World." In addition to Sleepless In Seattle – The Musical, Jeff is also writing the libretto for Colour My World a musical based on songs from the rock band Chicago.
LONNY PRICE (Director) most recently directed the stage and film version of the New York Philharmonic's production of Stephen Sondheim's Company (starring Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer, Christina Hendricks, Martha Plimpton, Patti LuPone, etc.), which played in over seven hundred movie theaters across the country. He also directed the stage and filmed versions of his tribute to Stephen Sondheim, Sondheim: The Birthday Concert, for which he received the 2011 Emmy Award. On Broadway he directed Audra McDonald in 110 in the Shade, Danny Glover in Athol Fugard's 'Master Harold' ... and the Boys; Joan Rivers in Sally Marr and Her Escorts (which he co- wrote with Ms. Rivers and Erin Sanders); Jenn Colella in Urban Cowboy; and himself in A Class Act, for which he also co-wrote the book (with Linda Kline) and was nominated for a Tony Award. Some of Lonny Price's Off-Broadway directorial work includes Kiki Baby (which he co-wrote with Grant Sturiale and Kitt Lavoie), Visiting Mr. Green, starring Eli Wallach; Beautiful Girls, starring Zoe Caldwell; Jules Feiffer's Grown Ups, Athol Fugard's Valley Song, and Mary Pat Gleason's Stopping Traffic, for the Vineyard Theatre. He made his opera directing debut at the Houston Grand Opera directing Audra McDonald in Poulenc's La Voix Humaine and Michael John LaChiusa's Send. His first feature film, 'Master Harold' ... and the Boys, (starring Freddie Highmore and Ving Rhames), received the 2011 Best Drama Award at the New York International Film and Video Festival, as well as Lonny receiving a Best Director of a Drama award. Other television work includes Gabriel Byrne in Camelot, (Live from Lincoln Center), Candide, starring Kristin Chenoweth (Emmy nomination) and Sweeney Todd, starring Patti LuPone and George Hearn for which he won an Emmy. Mr. Price also directed the Emmy Award–winning production of Sondheim's Passion, starring Ms. LuPone, Audra McDonald, and Michael Cerveris, as well as several episodes of ABC's Desperate Housewives As an actor, he appeared on and Off-Broadway in a variety of plays and musicals, including Athol Fugard's MASTER HAROLD…and the boys, (starring James Earl Jones and Danny Glover), Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, and Lanford Wilson's Burn This. On film he is best remembered for playing Neil Kellerman, the hotel owner's grandson in Dirty Dancing. For his acting work, he has received Obie, Theatre World, Drama League, and Drama Logue awards
ERIC STERN (Musical Director) s a Broadway-based music director, conductor, arranger and orchestrator with 19 Broadway productions and 35 albums to his credit. Stylistically, he has covered the span from 80's disco to classic theatre to the symphonic orchestral repertoire, and has recorded with some of the great soloists in the classical, jazz and pop worlds. His Broadway credits include Xanadu, Shrek, Parade, Sunday In The Park With George, Gypsy, The Will Rogers Follies, Carousel, Candide, Showboat, and The Most Happy Fella. His recordings include the highly regarded Nonesuch series with Dawn Upshaw, Audra McDonald and Mandy Patinkin, "Leonard Bernstein's New York," and 3 Gershwin restorations, including the Gramophone- winning Oh, Kay! He has performed and/or recorded with Barbara Cook, Betty Buckley, The Irish Tenors, jazz greats Fred Hersch and Dianne Reeves, opera stars Thomas Hampson, Jerry Hadley, Debra Voigt and Teresa Stratas, and has led renown orchestras including The Cleveland Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony, The London Symphony, The Orchestra of St. Luke's, The New York Pops, The New Jersey Symphony and Pops and many others. Eric has enjoyed a long association with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, noted for his interpretations of Bernstein, Copland and Gershwin. He has won two Gramophone Awards, and an Emmy for one of his PBS music specials.
DAVID SHOR (Producer) is the founder and CEO of The Shor Group of Companies and David Shor Productions headquartered in Santa Barbara, California. He has served as the managing director of the Shor Group of Companies for over 25 years, serving startup clients as well as Fortune 500 companies, in numerous industries in the U.S., Western Europe and the Middle East. Shor is a principal and managing partner of Labrador Media Group, a Santa Barbara, California headquartered company that provides financing, production, development and distribution for filmmakers, writers and other artists, and of Labrador Pictures, a motion picture production company. Shor has served as Producer/ Executive Producer and managing partner of Labrador Pictures (feature motion pictures), Executive Producer for The Flying Cranes (cirque performers-worldwide), Producer for Goodman Productions (live events-Las Vegas), Producer for TJ Productions (live events), Production Adviser/Consultant for Delaware Pictures (motion pictures) and Producer for Liberty Jam Corporation (live concerts including: Eric Clapton, Santana, The Eagles) and he represents performers, writers, filmmakers and other entertainment professionals as manager. Shor is presently producing National Lampoon Live, a traveling live performance show. Shor serves on several corporate and not-for-profit boards; served as President of the Tahoe-Reno International Film Festival and is a member of the Producer's Network of the Cannes Film Festival, served as Chairman of the Board and President of the Ojai -Ventura International Film Festival, served as a founding board member of the Santa Barbara Police Foundation, served on the boards and as campaign chair of the Greater Santa Barbara Jewish Federation & Congregation B'nai B'rith, and he served on the board of the Ray Bradbury Theater and Film Foundation, and many other for and not for profit boards.
THE PASADENA PLAYHOUSE operates under Artistic Director Sheldon Epps and Charles Dillingham, Interim Executive Director. Broadway productions that originated at The Playhouse include Sister Act, Baby It's You!, Looped and Mail. Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Musical, which also premiered at The Playhouse is scheduled to open on Broadway next season. In 1937, The Pasadena Playhouse was designated the State Theatre of California.