"Leap of Faith" is a brand new musical based on the 1992 Steve Martin film, and it's born again with the divine intervention of an eight-time Oscar-winning composer, a four-time Tony-nominated actor and an actress who has always had the courage to try just about anything.
In the musical, a revival tent preacher gets stranded in a small Kansas town and falls for a single mom. Eventually, someone is going to take a leap of faith.
"I have an interesting relationship with the word 'courage' because part of it is I won't accept less from myself, and that means putting myself in really fearful situations," said Brooke Shields who plays Marva, a small-town woman and single mother.
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Raúl Esparza plays Rev. Jonas Nightengale, the consummate flim-flam man. Esparza is a Broadway legend and this show lands squarely on his mirrored-sportscoat shoulders. He has proven time and again that he is up the challenge. But he said putting on a musical is always tough.
"What's the story? The Larry Gelbart joke, 'If Hitler was alive and well, I hope he's out of town with the new musical,'" said Esparza. "It's not an easy process. No one is used to this process."
When the man behind the music is Alan Menken, your leap is faith-based. Menken is a pro at creating a musical journey.
"I am blessed with the ability to open up and let the music pour," said Menken.
"We're making changes every day and trying to make the best piece you possibly can," said Esparza.
"We've had nine performances. Nine times people have leapt to their feet, and they're not going to the exit," added Shields.
"Leap of Faith" continues in preview performances while the cast and crew continues to tweak with the show. It officially opens Oct. 3 at the Ahmanson Theatre.