A few months ago, after filing a story from Los Angeles, senior writer Bruce Newman stopped off at a theater in Denver. It was no casual foray. The occasion was the first public reading of Shooting Stars, a comedy written by Molly Newman, Bruce's younger sister. Obviously there's more than one writer in the Newman family.
"Molly and I are each other's biggest fans," says Bruce, 33, who wrote the profile of Ray Knight and Nancy Lopez in this issue (page 34). "Bruce has always cast a big shadow because of his talent," says Molly, 31, who coauthored the musical Quilters, which had 24 performances on Broadway in 1984. "His support means a lot to me."
The two youngest of Alan and Betty Newman's four children have ventured far from their Evansville, Ind., roots. Bruce, who joined us in 1975 after graduating from Indiana University, lives in Greenwich Village. "I loved New York from the moment I set foot on the pavement," he says. Molly, who is married to land developer Thomas Jones, lives in Denver, where she is a writer-in-residence at the Denver Center Theatre. It was on that stage that Quilters began its remarkable trip to Broadway—where it earned six Tony nominations—a path that Molly hopes Shooting Stars will soon follow.
But the Newmans haven't completely shed their Hoosier skin. Last year Bruce produced a memorable reflection on the passions aroused by Indiana high school basketball (SI, Feb. 18, 1985). And Molly's comedy revolves around the kind of barnstorming women's basketball team that used to pass through Indiana years ago. Her choice of technical consultant for Shooting Stars was hardly surprising. "I followed basketball growing up," said Molly, "but I still needed to lean on Bruce. I'm sure the question he remembers the best is when I asked him if a point guard is called that because he gets a lot of points."
The comedy, sponsored in part by the Denver Nuggets, will be produced by the Denver Center Theatre next season. "I think Molly was worried that Quilters was a fluke," says her brother, "but this show proves that she's a real talent."
Bruce can take a lot of brotherly pride in his sibling. "He was always the one telling me I was a better writer than he was," says Molly. "I never believed it—still don't—but those words meant a lot to me."