Lombardi play prepares for official opening

So after spending a few minutes with Schein and Carlin on SNY’s Loudmouths and scrubbing off the much-needed makeup and wolfing down an eggplant parm hoagie from a deli down the street from the Motel 6 in midtown Manhattan, I headed over to the Circle in the Square theater for a preview showing of the new play, Lombardi, which is based on the David Maraniss biography of legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered.

At the theater, I met up with Peter King, his lovely wife, Ann, and two of their friends.  Before the show, Peter and I met co-producer Tony Ponturo and director Thomas Kail, who looks even younger than Rosenthal.  After the show, Ponturo took us backstage to meet the six-person cast:  Dan Lauria (Vince Lombardi), Judith Light (Marie Lombardi), Keith Nobbs (Look magazine reporter Michael McCormick), Bill Dawes (Paul Hornung), Robert Christopher Bailey (Dave Robinson), and Chris Sullivan (Jim Taylor).

With sweat spotting the front of his white dress shirt after the 95-minute, one-act play, Lauria spoke enthusiastically about the complexity of Lombardi, pointing out that various aspects of the late coach’s personal life and career could generate their own 90-minute plays.

Though I’m no expert in theatrical protocol (except for knowing when to turn off the Sprint phone and when not to lift a cheek and, you know, slide the trombone), the show is still in previews and not yet ready for formal reviews.  Which is a good thing, because my reviewing skills roughly are on par with Andy Bernard’s abilities as a muffin critic.

What I am qualified to say is that I’ll definitely see it again, probably when I bring Florio Jr. to town in November. 

The show officially opens on October 21.  If you’re a football fan and if you’re going to be in New York, it’s a no-brainer addition to the visit. 

Even if you’re a fan of the Bears, Vikings, or Lions.

12 responses to “Lombardi play prepares for official opening

  1. I read this item with mixed feelings, knowing that it sounds like an interesting play, and Dan Lauria (the dad on THE WONDER YEARS) is a great choice to play Lombardi, but also knowing that the knuckle draggers who make up a portion of the readership (or have the site read to them) will immediately call Mr. Florio a girl, a homo, and all other manner of insults, for attending a play, and the inane calls for “this is a football site, why y’all talkin’ ’bout culture” will rear their ugly heads as well.

  2. Dang, Florio! I may give you a hard time, and it’s well deserved at times, but a Motel 6? Either your cheap as I am, or NBC is slack as you know what.
    No matter the accommodations, make sure you do a bed bug inspection and follow the advice given to avoid them while staying in NYC. Which seems to be, just don’t go to New York City.
    Kills me as well. An “eggplant parm”? Really? I’m sure it was great, but with all the good grub in the foodie capital of the world, you get that? I know you have been there many times before, but c’mon man!!
    Anyhow, glad you enjoyed the play. Now go review some slices of pizza pie for us, get drunk, and remind everyone how N.Y.C. smells like a sewer system most of the year.
    …and don’t forget about the bed bugs!!

  3. I wonder when the off-Broadway “Steckel” will open. Rumor has it that on the flip side of ticket there will be a half off coupon for a soup and sandwich combo at Joe Senser’s Sports Bar.

  4. Mike,
    Long time follower…As a NYC native,love the sarcasm…
    2 things
    1) It’s not a hoagie in NY, it’s a hero
    2) Lose the Carlin connection, unless you really still like HS gym humor

  5. Nothing like creating a story just so you can name drop.
    We don’t give a crap about a play when most of us have no chance to see it.
    Call us when the movie comes out. That way you can name drop again and make yourself feel good.

  6. Lombardi? …..I’ll pass on that crap.
    I’m waiting for the remake of The Beggar’s Opera …..a wonderful play starring Brad Childress and his trio of Hutch,Allen and Longwell who fly to the Favre plantation in search of a QB….

  7. Wow I thought West “by God” Virginia’s only made moonshine and ate opposum pie on Friday nights!

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