It was the best of times. Jill Santoriello, who set to work on a musical version of Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities when she was 15 years old, saw her dream realized more than two decades later, as neophyte producers and a novice director ran a gauntlet of backers' auditions and showbiz obstacles to open the $16 million production at the Al Hirschfeld in September. But it might have been the worst of times. Dickens' historical novel, published in 1859, teems with incident as it ...

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