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Center Theatre Group in talks to premiere 'Leap of Faith' musical at Ahmanson

January 29, 2010 |  8:00 am

Leap Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group said Thursday that it is in talks to produce the world premiere of "Leap of Faith" at the Ahmanson, but added that no plans have been finalized.

The long-gestating stage musical is an adaptation of the 1992 film starring Steve Martin, Debra Winger and Liam Neeson. Oscar-winning songwriter Alan Menken has composed the score for the musical.

A spokeswoman for CTG said that a number of company leaders, including artistic director Michael Ritchie, attended a workshop production of "Leap of Faith" that was held earlier this month in New York.

"It is our intention to do it but it is not set," said the spokeswoman. She added that if plans come together, the musical would possibly begin previews in the late summer with an opening day in September.

Earlier on Thursday, Playbill ran a story saying that CTG was set to produce the world premiere this summer at the Ahmanson. But the CTG spokeswoman said the report failed to mention that the musical has not been confirmed yet.

The New York workshop production starred Tony-nominee Raul Esparza in the lead role. CTG said no casting has been confirmed for the production but added that Rob Ashford is attached to direct. Ashford recently directed the company's production of "Parade" at the Mark Taper Forum.

A few years in the making, "Leap of Faith" has had a number of false starts. At one point, Taylor Hackford was set to direct the production on Broadway, but he has since left the musical.

The musical features a book written by Janus Cercone, who penned the original screenplay. Glenn Slater penned the lyrics.

The 1992 film tells the story of a bogus faith healer (played by Martin) who becomes stranded in a small town where he finds that the inhabitants aren't as gullible as he expected.

CTG said that it has issued a casting notice for the production.

A report in the New York Post earlier this month stated that the musical's workshop running time -- 2  hours, 45 minutes -- posed a problem for some viewers.

-- David Ng

Credit: Paramount Home Video