SBD/February 18, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Tony Ponturo, Fran Kirmser To Produce "Magic/Bird" Broadway Play

Johnson, Bird will aid in creative process of Ponturo and Kirmser's play
"LOMBARDI" producers TONY PONTURO and FRAN KIRMSER Thursday announced plans for "MAGIC/BIRD," their next Broadway collaboration. The play will be produced in association with the NBA, and MAGIC JOHNSON and LARRY BIRD will participate in the creative process. Written by "Lombardi" playwright ERIC SIMONSON, "Magic/Bird" chronicles the lives of the two Basketball HOFers and their influence on both sports and pop culture (THE DAILY). DAILY VARIETY's Gordon Cox noted Kirmser "came up with the idea for 'Magic/Bird' as she and Ponturo began to think about a legit follow-up to 'Lombardi' that would take sports as its subject." The play's association with the NBA "looks likely to mirror the arrangement the producers made with the NFL for 'Lombardi.'" The NBA is "expected to provide access to historical footage and photographs, as well as promotional support targeting the hoops fans." Cox noted "Magic/Bird" is not related to "WHEN THE GAME WAS OURS," ESPN columnist JACKIE MACMULLAN's '09 book about the Basketball HOFers, or to last year's HBO documentary "MAGIC AND BIRD: A COURTSHIP OF RIVALS" (, 2/17). The producers are targeting a spring '12 opening for "Magic/Bird." Ponturo said, "One of the things we learned from 'Lombardi' is that if you bring content to Broadway that will interest the consumer, maybe people who don’t go to Broadway will come" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/18).
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