Disney Theatricals has appointed a new creative team to the in-development Harlem Globetrotter musical Hoopz. Dancer Savion Glover, director Kenny Leon, and poet Reg E. Gaines were dismissed after a recent unsuccessful workshop, according to an article in the New York Times. Brought on to replace them are playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and director Marion McClinton, both esteemed and serious artists, though neither known for their musical work.
Parks is the author of such socially-minded message plays as Venus and In the Blood, both of which were seen at the Public Theater. McClinton is coming off a successful 2000, having directed the Second Stage hits Jar the Floor and Jitney.
Hoopz is about the rise of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team. The new show will held auditions in Upper Manhattan on Dec. 12, 1999, 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."
Leon is the artistic director of Atlanta's Alliance Theatre. He has worked closely with Disney in the past, though not as a director. A couple seasons back, 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 playing at Broadway's Palace Theatre, where it has proved a box office, if not critical, success.
Savion Glover won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Choreography for his rap, tap and soul revue, Noise/Funk. He had another hit with his Off-Broadway show, Savion Glover/Downtown. Reg E. Gaines wrote the poetic narration for Bring In `Da Noise/Bring In `Da Funk.
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