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Magic Johnson was on SportsBiz Game On with Darren Rovell Friday and talked about the new Bird/Magic play on Broadway.
But to me, the more interesting parts is about how this play works because of who it draws to the theater — male sports fans — and how those people don’t blink at Broadway prices because they pay that for sporting events.
It’s the dream of every young basketball player to someday end up in the bright lights of the Broadway stage. No, not Madison Square Garden. We’re talking Broadway, down the street from “Spider Man” and another “Godspell” revival.
Well, that’s where Chris Mullin has ended up, anyway.
The native New Yorker and Hall of Famer is working with the cast of one Broadway show, reports the New York Times.
At a pivotal moment in “Lysistrata Jones,” a musical comedy about basketball and sex that is coming to Broadway next month, the title character has to make a layup on the stage-turned-court. Patti Murin, the 5-foot-4 actress playing Lysistrata, made 34 of 39 shots during an Off Broadway production last spring — a solid showing for a hoops newbie who didn’t know a layup from a free throw before being cast….
Which is why Ms. Murin was eyeing the net on an Upper East Side court on Tuesday as a coach towered over her, sharing tips. That the coach was Chris Mullin, the retired N.B.A. All-Star and the product of Brooklyn playgrounds, only added to the pressure.
In the ancient Greek classic “Lysistrata,” the women of Greek soldiers withhold sex from their partners to force a truce in the Peloponnesian war. In “Lysistrata Jones,” cheerleaders and girlfriends withhold sex from a basketball team until they win a game. Insert your own “someone should have tried that with the Timberwolves” joke here.
The actors are in a five-day camp with Mullin to learn some hoops skills — dribbling, footwork, making a layup — but also to get the idea of some swagger. This is New York, where playground swagger is as much a part of the game as the backboard. The audience will recognize if it’s faked.
The next logical step for Mullin from here is choreography of a Broadway revival of “Anything Goes.”