“Forgotten Hollywood”- Joe Louis Story to Broadway…

Posted on June 25, 2014 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

   The producing team behind some recent sport-related Broadway shows have just gotten the rights to tell the story of boxing great Joe Louis. If they turn it into a stage story, Fran Ponturo and Tony Kirmser will have their fourth sports-related play since 2010.

Joe_Louis_by_Alston   Louis’ life certainly has plenty of fodder for a dramatic retelling, especially his rise to becoming arguably the world’s  heavyweight champion, and his decades of conflict with the IRS over millions in back income taxes and interest. His history is highlighted by his two fights with Max Schmeling, the German champion whose victory in their first bout was hailed by Adolf Hitler. Louis demolished Schmeling in their rematch on June 22nd, 1938. After Louis claimed the heavyweight title in 1937, he held it for over 11 years, making 25 defenses to set a fine record unlikely to be broken. Louis’ influence in both boxing and race relations has been immense. He died in 1981. It would be the latest boxing-related show in New York following the musical Rocky, based on Sylvester Stallone’s film.

   Ponturo and Kirmser have a long history with mining the theatricality in sports stories . Their Lombardi, about the Green Bay Packers coach, turned into a modest hit, but Magic/Bird, about the friendship between basketball legends Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird, didn’t do as well, closing after only 37 shows. The third — a look at the New York Yankees called Bronx Bombers — lasted less than a month. Kirmser and Ponturo will serve as executive producers of Legendary Pictures’ feature film version of their Lombardi.

   In the meantime, the production team are returning to the ring. Sound the bell!

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 at 12:10 am and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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