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Red's Army

“Magic/Bird” gets it right, telling the story from a new perspective

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) March 25, 2012 Uncategorized 10 Comments

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I know the Magic Johnson/Larry Bird story.  A lot of us do.  So when I walked into Broadway's Longacre theater last night, I was really curious to see how they pulled off telling me a story I already know in their production of "Magic/Bird."   

Here's the thing.  I didn't know it like this. 

This might have been the last, untold dimension of the story.  It's not just the first-hand account of the story.  Most of us have heard Larry and Magic talk about their relationship.  But we have only heard Larry and Magic tell the stories after the fact.  What Magic/Bird does is transport you back in time so you can see things as they happened.  

For example, I knew that Larry and Magic started to become friends during the filming of their Converse commercial.  In the play, you got to hear the conversation.  You got to see Larry Bird's mom talking to Magic, embarrassing Larry, and then the two megastars with opposite personalities and upbringings realize they were, in many ways, also exactly the same. 

Tug Coker hooked me on his performance of Larry Bird early on in a scene where he was talking to Red Auerbach about an injured finger.  Red said "shoot"… and Coker assumed a picture perfect Bird shooting form.  For a hardcore fan like me, it was a little detail that nailed it for me. 

I'm not going to get into a full review of the show other than to say I really liked it.  It was funny when it had to be, serious when needed, and slickly produced by interspersing actual footage.  As a pure sports fan who had never been to a broadway show before, I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the show. 

The most important thing for those of us who know the story inside and out is that it's a glimpse into how these guys reacted to each other, and what each of them were doing on their respective teams.  It's as close to being there as I've been.  I've read, seen and heard the accounts of the story, even the first hand accounts.  But I've never seen it like this before.  Magic/Bird just gets it all right.

To purchase tickets, click here.

To see more about the cast, click here

More photos from the production after the jump

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Larry Bird and Red Auerbach talk to a reporter after Larry arrives as a rookie

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Jerry Buss speaks to Magic Johnson after Magic is drafted by the Lakers

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Tug Coker as Larry Bird

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Magic and Larry have lunch with Larry's mom during the filming of their Converse commercial

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01157053529f970b zippittyay

    One could assume it would come to Boston eventually, right?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    I’m sure its possible, but I think that decision depends on the success of the show on broadway

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redslovechild1 Redslovechild

    Based upon these pictures, one question quickly comes to mind :
    Is Jerry Buss and Red Auerbach being played by the SAME actor?!?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    yes

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redslovechild1 Redslovechild

    Do you believe that the decision not to hire a second actor diminishes the realism and quality of the production?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    Honestly, their parts are so quick that it works fine.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redslovechild1 Redslovechild

    This same actor also plays the part of Pat Riley?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/sothewind Lee in Oregon

    I wasn’t taking this seriously until your review, makes me want to go see it. Jackie M must be getting some dough off this (I would hope).

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    Yes. But again, the Pat Riley role is minimal. He shows up twice and has just a few lines.

  • SPF

    Seeing it in May. Thanks for the review. What’d they have in way of show merchandise?