Jeanine Tesori may make the music that moves Disney Theatricals' in-development Harlem Globetrotters musical Hoopz. The composer of Violet and Thoroughly Modern Millie's additional numbers has been present at meetings discussing the drafts of the new tuner, according to Hoopz book writer, Suzan Lori Parks.
Parks, whose Topdog/Underdog begins previews March 12 at the Ambassador Theatre, told Playbill On-Line she recently turned in draft two for the show and is now working on "draft three - well, really draft 2.5." In 2001, Parks was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her "Scarlet Letter" inspired In the Blood.
A 1997 Drama Critics Award winner for Violet, Tesori has scored Lincoln Center's Twelfth Night with Helen Hunt, receiving a Tony nomination, and created dance music for The Sound of Music, The Secret Garden, How to Succeed.... and Dream. She is currently at work with Tony Kushner on the musical Caroline or Change, tentatively slated for the Public's 2002-03 season with George C. Wolfe as director.
Hoopz will have its debut at Providence, RI's Trinity Repertory Theatre, reported Variety. Artistic director Oskar Eustis said he hoped for a fall 2003 bow. However, a representative for Trinity Rep, speaking to Playbill On-Line, said current discussions are aimed only at a workshop.
The creative team still includes playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and director Marion McClinton. The duo were brought in to replace dancer Savion Glover, director Kenny Leon, and poet Reg E. Gaines, who were dismissed after a recent unsuccessful workshop, according to an article in the New York Times (January, 2002). 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. 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 Christine Ehren
and Robert Simonson