Leap of Faith Slated for Spring Workshop; Ashford, Kosarin Join Creative Team

News   Leap of Faith Slated for Spring Workshop; Ashford, Kosarin Join Creative Team
A workshop of the forthcoming Broadway musical Leap of Faith, based on the film of the same name, will be held in New York City this spring, Playbill.com has learned.
Rob Ashford
Rob Ashford Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The workshop, which will be directed by Taylor Hackford ("Ray"), is scheduled for April 7-May 9, 2008, according to a casting notice. Rob Ashford (Curtains, Thoroughly Modern Millie) has signed on as choreographer. Music direction will be by arranger Michael Kosarin (The Little Mermaid).

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 film's original screenplay.

Raúl Esparza and Hugh Jackman have previously been mentioned as possible stars. No official casting has been announced.

Esparza currently appears on Broadway in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming. The actor played 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.

Hugh Jackman earned a Tony Award for his Broadway debut in The Boy From Oz. 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).

Menken, who last teamed with lyricist Slater on the musical version of Sister Act, also recently continued his film collaboration with Stephen Schwartz on the score for the new Disney film "Enchanted." They had previously worked on "Pocahantas" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." Menken's Disney resume also includes "Aladdin," "Home on the Range" and "Hercules."

In the 1992 film "Leap of Faith," 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 (The Color Purple).

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