Darko Tresnjak

Artistic director Darko Tresnjak says "Love and Other Fables" is still in the mix for a future production at Hartford Stage. (Hartford Stage / May 8, 2011)

The new musical "Love and Other Fables," Hartford Stage's 50th anniversary season-ender slated for a world premiere in May, is off the schedule for now.

John Rando, the director of the musical romantic comedy centering on the ancient Greek story-teller Aesop, is no longer available to work on the production this spring.

Rando, who has been involved in development of "Fables" over the past two years, is now involved in workshops of a revival of "On the Town," which is gearing up for a Broadway run next year. "On the Town" has a successful run at Barrington Stage in the Massachusetts Berkshires last summer, including a positive notice from New York Times' critic Ben Brantley.

"It's not easy ever lining up everyone involved in a new musical," says Darko Tresnjak, artistic director of Hartford Stage. "It's a disappointment, but we find that our audiences understand the complexity of scheduling and stick with us."

"Fables" was highly anticipated given the theater's world premiere last season of "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder," directed by Tresnjak, which opened last month on Broadway to mostly rave reviews.

There is no specific date to reschedule "Fables," which Tresnjak says would have needed more development this spring before the full production.

Tresnjak says the theater is planning to do a new musical each season over the next two years and that "Fables" is still in the mix.

Also a contender is "The Band's Visit," based on the 2007 Israeli film about an Egyptian band performing in a small town in Israel. Harold Prince is attached to direct that production, but Tresnjak acknowledges that the legendary director is juggling a lot of projects as well.

Also possible is a new musical by the creative team of "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder": composer Steve Ludvak, book writer and co-lyricist Robert L. Freedman and director Tresnjak.

In "Fables"'s place will be "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike," this year's Tony Award-winning play on Broadway. The show will have the same dates as "Fables" May 22 to June 22. It will mark the first Christopher Durang play at the theater since "A History of the American Film" in 1977, directed by Paul Weidner.

Maxwell Williams, associate artistic director at the theater, will stage the five-actor play, which is Durang's twisted contemporary spin of Chekovian-like characters living in Bucks County, Pa.

Subscribers will not need to exchange tickets. Individual ticket buyers for "Love and Other Fables" will be contacted by the theater's box office with the option of either seeing "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" or receiving a full refund. Information: 860-527-5151 and www.hartfordstage.org.