Kail to direct ‘Magic’

Basketball play shoots for spring 2012

Legit director Thomas Kail (“In the Heights”) has signed on to helm “Magic/Bird,” the upcoming basketball play produced by the duo behind pigskin bio-play “Lombardi.”

The project reteams Kail and playwright Eric Simonson, who collaborated on “Lombardi.” The design team also has been nailed down with a roster that includes David Korins (set), Howell Binkley (lights), Paul Tazewell (costumes), Nevin Steinberg (sound) and Wendell K. Harrington (projections).

As with “Lombardi,” projected footage of sporting events looks to figure prominently in the production. Whereas the NFL signed on as a producer and promotional partner for “Lombardi,” the NBA will take on a similar role for “Magic/Bird.”

Play follows the 1980s rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Both have been involved in the development of the script.

“Magic/Bird” reps the latest move by producers Fran Kirmser and Tony Pontura to attract a non-traditional demo to the Rialto, which isn’t usually much of a magnet for sports fans. “Lombardi” did enough biz to remain on the boards for much of last season, although the Main Stem production didn’t quite recoup.

“Magic/Bird” aims for a spring 2012 preem on Broadway in a Broadway venue still to be determined.

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