‘Leap of Faith’ takes a while

But creatives believed in conversion from screen to stage

Tuner “Leap of Faith” took one from the 1992 film to the stage, opening at the Ahmanson Theater on Oct. 3 with hopes of going to Broadway.

Talking of the musical’s long gestation process at the opening-night party in L.A.’s J Restaurant and Lounge, Janus Cercone — who penned the 1992 Paramount pic and the book for the musical — called it her baby, adding, “If I’d had a child he’d be in college by now.”

Producer Michael Manheim said the long wait was necessary. “It had to go through its own process,” he said. “We weren’t interested in simply doing a remake of the movie. There’s no point in that. So we made some fundamental changes.”

Alan Menken, who penned the songs with Glenn Slater, said, “This musical exists for a higher purpose. I think it has something to say. It has entertainment value, but within it there’s something more.”

Perhaps it was that something that drew Center Theater Group’s Michael Ritchie and many Hollywood attendees, including Jimmy Smits, Brooke Elliott and “Modern Family’s” Eric Stonestreet, Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen and Reid Ewing.

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