Will Raúl Esparza Make a Leap of Faith to Broadway?

News   Will Raúl Esparza Make a Leap of Faith to Broadway? Raúl Esparza may play the lead in the upcoming movie-based musical Leap of Faith, according to Variety.
Raul Esparza
Raul Esparza

Army Archerd — who spoke with the musical's director Taylor Hackford — reports that the Company Tony nominee may star in the Broadway-bound work. Production spokespersons had no casting information at this time.

The trade magazine columnist noted the musical's director spoke with Esparza at the Oct. 20 Motion Picture & Television Fund event "A Fine Romance." (That event was hosted by Hugh Jackman — who has previously been attached to star in Leap of Faith.)

Leap of Faith is aiming for a spring 2009 bow on Broadway. Hackford ("Ray") will direct the new musical featuring music by Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast), lyrics by Glenn Slater (Newyorkers) and a book by Janus Cercone, who wrote the original screenplay.

Esparza has appeared on Broadway in Company, Taboo, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cabaret and The Rocky Horror Show — earning Tony nominations for his work in the first two. He has also appeared onstage in tick, tick . . . BOOM!, The Normal Heart, Sunday in the Park with George and Merrily We Roll Along. The actor — who next stars on Broadway in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming — recently made a guest appearance opposite Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth in the ABC series "Pushing Daisies" and will return to the new show in November.

Leap of Faith will mark the first Broadway musical that composer Menken has penned directly for the Broadway stage (Little Shop of Horrors played Off-Broadway and on film prior to reaching Broadway).

In the 1992 film Steve Martin (Picasso at the Lapin Agile) starred as a fake faith healer who travels with a band of con artist helpers swindling townsfolk from one location to another. The movie also featured Liam Neeson (The Crucible), Philip Seymour Hoffman, (Long Day's Journey Into Night) and La Chanze (Once on this Island).

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