Hoopz, Disney's musical about the rise of the Harlem Globetrotters, may be lacing up its athletic shoes. The new show, which will be co- directed by Kenny Leon and Savion Glover and choreographed by Glover, will hold an audition in Upper Manhattan on Dec. 12, according to a notice in Back Stage. The casting call alerted those interested to "be prepared to play basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters and dance."
According to a source close to the production, Hoopz will hold a workshop in New York City sometime in spring 2000. A Disney spokesperson was not available for comment at press time.
Leon is the artistic director of Atlanta's Alliance Theatre. Leon has worked closely with Disney in the past, though not as a director. Last year, he scored a coup by bringing the world premiere of Disney's Aida to the Alliance. The production was not critically successful and resulted in Disney's remaking the creative team; Aida is currently rehearsing for a fall Chicago opening and is expected on Broadway in February 2000.
Savion Glover, who will choreograph and co-direct Hoopz (formerly known as Hoopz), won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Choreography for his rap, tap and soul revue, Noise/Funk. Last year, he had another hit with his, Savion Glover/Downtown.
With a script by Reg E. Gaines, who wrote the poetic narration for Bring In `Da Noise/Bring In `Da Funk, Hoopz will tell the true story of the basketball wizards who helped break the color barrier in professional sports. Hoopz is being developed by Disney exec Stuart Oken, recently promoted to senior vice-president of creative affairs for Disney Theatricals, according to Variety.
--By Robert Simonson