Matthew Morrison, Neil Patrick Harris and ‘Modern Family’ cast at ‘Leap of Faith’ opening

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Opening night for the new Broadway-bound musical ‘Leap of Faith’ for a moment seemed more like a TV Land party than the typical crowd on a Sunday night at the Ahmanson Theatre.

Gathered off to the side (and later seated together inside the theater) were cast members from the ABC series ‘Modern Family’ — Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson — there to cheer on Stonestreet’s girlfriend, Katherine Tokarz, a “Leap of Faith” ensemble member. (Click the pic of new parents Courtney Mazza and Mario Lopez, right, to launch a photo gallery of red carpet arrivals.)


Matthew Morrison of ‘Glee’ greeted ‘Leap of Faith’ director-choreographer Rob Ashford in the courtyard before stopping by the red carpet for a quick photo. Former ‘Will & Grace’ star Eric McCormack caught up with ‘Modern Family’s’ Ferguson nearby. Neil Patrick Harris of “How I Met Your Mother,’ with his partner, actor David Burtka, waved to friends in the audience as he took his seat toward the front of the orchestra section.

Jimmy Smits of the struggling NBC series “Outlaw” stopped on the red carpet for photos with girlfriend Wanda De Jesus, lately of ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles.’ Other TV stars included:

Yvette Nicole Brown of ‘Community,’ Vanessa Williams of ‘Desperate Housewives,’ Susan Sullivan of ‘Castle,’ Lisa Vidal of the new series ‘The Event’ and ‘Extra’ host Mario Lopez. Ben McKenzie of the series ‘Southland’ stopped by the opening-night party at J Restaurant & Lounge after wrapping up his performance of ‘The Glass Menagerie’ next door at the Mark Taper Forum. The musical, based on the 1992 Steve Martin film of the same name, features Broadway heartthrob Raul Esparza as a shady tent-show preacher who falls for Marva, a waitress and single mom, played by Brooke Shields. The show’s music and lyrics were written by Disney favorites Alan Menken (‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘The Little Mermaid’) and Glenn Slater (‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Sister Act, the Musical’), and the book of the musical was written by ‘Leap of Faith’ screenwriter Janus Cercone and Slater.

Also attending the opening were actress Lolita Davidovich, who played Marva in the original movie, singer-actor Ben Vereen, Garry Shandling, Russ Tamblyn, actress Katy Mixon, Tony-winning actress Adriane Lenox and Priscilla Presley.

‘Leap of Faith’ continues at the Ahmanson through Oct. 24.

— Lisa Fung