“Magic/Bird” will dramatize the fierce on-court rivalry and friendship between two Hall of Fame stars: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
“I just remember growing up and being so inspired by the way they played against each other,” said Fran Kirmser, who co-produced “Lombardi” with Tony Ponturo. “It was an extremely competitive relationship but it was also a respectful one.”
The play will follow the players’ parallel careers from 1979 to the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, on which Mr. Johnson played after being diagnosed with the H.I.V. virus and retiring from the N.B.A. Ms. Kirmser and Mr. Ponturo are planning a spring 2012 opening at a theater to be determined.
“Magic/Bird” will be written by Eric Simonson, based on interviews with the two players. It will be produced in association with the National Basketball Association, which will provide marketing help and video and film footage, the same role the N.F.L. played with “Lombardi.” And the theater lobby will be filled with memorabilia on display, as the Circle in the Square Theater’s is for “Lombardi.”