A COVER STORY: Magic/Bird
By Matthew Blank
Magic/Bird, Eric Simonson's drama about the rivalry and friendship of basketball heroes Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird, will begin previews at Broadway's Longacre Theatre March 21 toward an opening night of April 11.
Tickets, priced $60-$125, are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.telecharge.com. For group sales of ten or more, call (212) 554-3430.
The complete cast under the direction of Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail (In the Heights, Lombardi) will include Kevin Daniels as Los Angeles Lakers star 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.
Producers Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo also produced Simonson's football-centered Lombardi on Broadway. Their creative team is David Korins (set), Howell Binkley (lighting), Paul Tazwell (costumes), Nevin Steinberg (sound) and Wendall K. Harrington (projections), "who will weave historic NBA film footage throughout the play," according to the producers.
O'Connell will play Georgia Bird/Shelly/Patricia Moore, Scolari will be Red Auerbach/Jerry Buss/Pat Riley, Rob Ray Manning Jr. will play Michael Cooper/Henry Alvarado/Frank, and Francois Battiste will be Jon Lennox/Ron Baxter/Willy.
The production has the support of the National Basketball Association and the participation of Bird and Johnson.
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."
For more about the project, visit www.magicbirdbroadway.com.
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