"Magic/Bird," the new play by Eric Simonson that opened this week on Broadway, tells the story of the rivalry and off-court relationship between two of basketball's greatest players -- Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
A basketball-themed play, at the Longacre Theatre, may seem like an odd fit for Broadway, where financial success is still defined by the mega-musical likes of "Wicked" and "The Lion King." But the modest success of "Lombardi" in 2010 proved that a sports play could find its audience amid the theatrical razzle-dazzle of New York.
Simonson also happened to pen "Lombardi" and he was brought on board "Magic/Bird" by some of the same producers. Tug Coker and Kevin Daniels play Bird and Johnson, respectively. Their athletic rivalry pitted Bird's Boston Celtics against Johnson's Los Angeles Lakers.
Johnson, now one of the new owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers, was in New York this week for the play's opening. He and Bird appeared Wednesday on "Late Night with David Letterman."
How did critics -- a group of people not known for their sports enthusiasm -- react to the play? Their response so far has been less than enthusiastic, to say the least.