Some who know me, know that I am a huge Celtics fan, and when I first saw the casting call for this play on playbill I didn’t believe it. I said to myself, a play about Larry Bird & Magic Johnson?! Is this really happening? and on Broadway at that. Opening in just a few days on April 11th, I was lucky enough to receive comp tickets to the show last night. (Thanks @PublicTheatreNY)
Sport themed plays aren’t new to Broadway, its actually been quite a trend. Bringing this particular story to Broadway to story was a collaborative want by the creative team and wasn’t a new venture for producers Tony Ponturo and Fran Kirmser and director Thomas Kail , whom worked on Lombardi together. (A play about the life of former Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins head coach). Lombardi did well at the Box Office and hopefully they will have the same success with Magic/Larry. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are co-producers of the project and Magic will be doing a Talk-back following the 2pm matinee performance on Friday April 13th. What a treat! I would love to be there for that!
In an interview with Bleacher Report, Kail said, “I think that there is a great opportunity to bring sports fans to the theater. Once you have seen a play onstage, we hope it will open the door to people wanting to see other non-sports related productions as their introduction to the theater.” Ironically, I was thinking the same thing as I sat in the audience last night.
I was so happy to take my mom and my little brother along for the Magic/Bird ride as part of my mother’s birthday weekend. I really enjoyed the show. There were a few kinks but that’s what previews are for. When I asked my brother what he thought about the show he said, “I liked it. I thought the multiple roles were seamless. It was like the documentary in play form. I don’t think a person who likes sports could not like it.” The comedy and humanity in this show is really touching. Despite their differences, these two men found a way to come together and become one of the most famous friendships in professional basketball history. Being different doesn’t mean there isn’t a humanized way to relate to one another and I hope that this show reminds people of that.