Earvin "Magic" Johnson Set for Talkback at Added Magic/Bird Performance

By Michael Gioia
03 Apr 2012

Magic/Bird, Eric Simonson's drama about the rivalry and friendship of basketball heroes Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird, will welcome Hall of Famer "Magic" Johnson for a special talkback following the April 13 matinee.



Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo, producers of the new play, announced that the talkback at the Longacre Theatre will follow a newly added 2 PM matinee performance.

"We are very excited to be able to have Magic join us for this talkback following the matinee performance," said producers Kirmser and Ponturo in a statement. "We have seen already in previews that this story is one for all ages, and we think hosting a special matinee that Friday, when many young people are off from school, will give parents a chance to bring their kids to experience the play and then hear Earvin himself talk, in once in a lifetime opportunity."

Magic/Bird, which began previews March 21, will officially open on Broadway April 11.

The talkback with Johnson is the first in what will be a series of special nights throughout the run of the show. On April 19 a host of retired NBA stars will be on hand for "Legends of Basketball Night," and the United States Olympic Committee will host a special "Olympic Athlete Night" April 17. Other special events will be announced at a later time.

Directed by Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail (In the Heights, Simonson's Lombardi), the cast includes Kevin Daniels as Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson and Tug Coker as Boston Celtics star Larry Bird, plus Deirdre O'Connell, Peter Scolari, Rob Ray Manning, Jr. and Francois Battiste, playing multiple roles.

Here's how the producers bill Magic/Bird: "At the heart of one of the fiercest rivalries in sports history, two of the greatest basketball players of all-time battled for three championships, bragging rights, and the future of their sport in the 1980s. Johnson and Bird electrified the nation on the court, reinvigorated the NBA, and turned their rivalry into one of the greatest and most famous friendships in professional sports."

Read Playbill'com's exclusive interview with Johnson.

For more information, visit www.magicbirdbroadway.com.