So…there’s a musical version of Sleepless in Seattle in the works. Why yes, that is a Margaret-shaped hole in the wall at PopWatch HQ, which I made when I ran screaming out of here upon finding out about this production.
I know, I know, movie-to-musical adaptations are all the rage right now. Billy Elliot is a showgasm, etc etc. Fine. But people drastically overestimate how much they like Sleepless in Seattle. Guess what? It’s not that awesome. It’s fine, and I watch it if I happen to catch part of it on cable, but it’s really not that good, and oh yeah, Meg Ryan’s character is engaged for almost the whole movie, and maybe it’s a huge bummer to set your widower dad up with a stranger you "met" on the radio, and Tom Hanks doesn’t need a girlfriend/wife so much as some serious grief counseling and therapy.
According to the press release, "Sleepless in Seattle-The Musical will remain pegged to 1993, reflecting the culture, fashions and music[*] of the era." This brings me to my next point of concern, which is how dated so much of Sleepless feels. I’ll even grant them the enduring power of terrestrial radio, but the letter-writing, the kids’ shenanigans with booking plane tickets, and how many of the movie’s central plot conflicts could have been resolved with Google make the already-pushing-it story ring even more false now. (I think this is a Sleepless problem and not an early-’90s issue in general; ER and Friends came out a year later, and those first seasons still feel contemporary.) Finally, if you’re going to make a musical based on a 1993 movie, can you at least have the decency to pick Jurassic Park? Now that is something to sing about.
So does anyone think this is a good idea? What other not-so-great ideas would still be WAY better than a Sleepless musical?
*The number-two selling album of 1993: Kenny G’s Breathless. It’s true!