Hoopz Musical Still in Development, Minus Parks and Tesori

News   Hoopz Musical Still in Development, Minus Parks and Tesori Hoopz, the Disney stage musical about the Harlem Globetrotters that has been dribbling in development for several years, no longer has composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Suzan-Lori Parks on board.
Suzan-Lori Parks
Suzan-Lori Parks

Tesori, the Tony Award-nominated composer of Thoroughly Modern Millie and the new Off Broadway musical, Caroline, or Change, told Playbill On-Line that although there was discussion about the collaboration — and the writers did meet and riff — no songwriting was started on the project. Tesori, herself a busy composer juggling projects, said getting together with Pulitzer Prize-winner Parks was difficult due to scheduling.

"She was working on drafts, but it's not like we ever started," Tesori said. "In a way, it melted before it even solidified, at least for our collaboration."

The composer, who score the direct-to-video sequel of Disney's animated "Mulan" (to be released in 2004), said contracts weren't signed, but the intention to collaborate was agreed upon by Disney and the writers.

A spokesman for Disney Theatrical said, "Hoopz remains a project in development at Disney Theatrical," although neither Parks nor Tesori are involved.

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The project has been in development for at least six years with various artists attached. Drafts were written by Parks, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Topdog/Underdog.

There was talk that it would have its premiere at Trinity Rep in Rhode Island, but the show has yet to materialize.

Among those attached to Hoopz in the past were Marion McClinton, Reg E. Gaines, Savion Glover, Kenny Leon and others.

Hoopz is about the rise of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team in the mid-20th century and was previously shepherded by Stuart Oken.

A 1999 casting call for the developing show alerted those interested to "be prepared to play basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters and dance."

Disney's current Broadway hits include Aida, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. In development are stage versions of The Little Mermaid and Tarzan.

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