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Magic Johnson And Larry Bird Subject of New Broadway Play

First Posted: 11/ 8/2011 2:01 am Updated: 01/ 7/2012 4:12 am

Some of the most successful Broadway plays of the last season have also been some of the most unorthodox, what with Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark and South Park's The Book of Mormon attracting audiences far and wide. It's only appropriate, now, that plays begin push the envelope into the unexpected world of sports.

The legendary rivalry and friendship of NBA hall-of-famers, Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird is set to be adapted into a Broadway play, with the venue as yet unannounced. Producers Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo are aiming for a March 21, 2012 opening of their new play, "Magic/Bird," with a first preview scheduled for February 27th. The 95-minute six-actor play is in the middle of casting, but despite the apparent height requirements, Ponturo promises top talent. Ponturo told Playbill.com, "Like every producer, you like to look for talent that has a reputation... in the theatre business. These will be names that people will recognize."

While they may not find actors who are 6-foot-9 specifically, they are looking to at least find actors who are relatively close in height or as the casting notice states, "Taller is good." Though it's not a common on Broadway as a whole, Kirmser and Ponduro have created sports-themed theatre before. The two were responsible for "Lombardi," a play about the famous Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, that ran from 2010-2011.

Since there is no specific source material that the plays draws from, Kirmser and Ponturo enlisted the help of those who lived it, namely Johnson and Bird themselves. The two NBA legends have been involved in the creative process every step of the way. The play will also be produced in association with the National Basketball Association, marking the organization's first Broadway effort.

Johnson told Playbill.com, "I have great love and respect for Larry Bird, and am elated that our personal and professional relationship will now be exposed to an even larger audience through this dramatic production."

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Filed by Andrew Reilly  |