The report appeared the day after Playbill.com broke the news that Tony Award winner and Pulitzer finalist Warren Leight contributed to the recently overhauled libretto of the show, which was seen in Manhattan backers' presentations Nov. 10-11. New songs by the show's originating team of composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater (Sister Act) were also added to the rewrite.
A spokesman for Leap of Faith confirmed the accuracy of the producers' goal to bring the $10-15 million musical, based on the 1992 Steve Martin film vehicle, to Broadway in fall 2012. No theatre, dates or cast were announced, though Tony Award nominee Raul Esparza played the con-man preacher, Jonas, in the 2010 tryout at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles — and was singing the gospel-country score in the Nov. 3-11 Equity reading that culminated in the industry presentation.
In a change from the past, Christopher Ashley (Memphis) directed the presentation; Tony winner Rob Ashford was the project's original director for the world premiere. Read Playbill.com's Nov. 14 story about the progress of Leap of Faith here. Esparza played Reverend Jonas Nightengale, the consummate flim-flam man who meets a small-town woman and single mother who challenges everything he believes in.