BEGINS PREVIEWS TOMORROW, SEPTEMBER 23
Production recently featured in the Daily News, New York Observer and Sports Illustrated, among others
The new Broadway play LOMBARDI, starring Dan Lauria as the legendary Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi and Judith Light as his wife Marie, begins previews this Thursday, September 23 at the Circle in the Square Theatre, ahead of an October 21 opening night.
Directed by Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail, LOMBARDI is an original play written by Academy Award winner Eric Simonson and based on the best-selling biography When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss. Joining producers Tony Ponturo and Fran Kirmser as special producing partner is the National Football League, marking the organization’s first foray on Broadway.
The cast also features Keith Nobbs as Michael McCormick, Bill Dawes as Paul Hornung, Robert Christopher Riley as Dave Robinson and Chris Sullivan as Jim Taylor.
The production has been in the news lately, including a feature in this past Sunday’s New York Times Arts & Leisure section.
Lombardi’s Wife is Well-Coached
BY JOE DZIEMIANOWICZ
The New York Daily News
September 17, 2010
During her long career, Judith Light has acted up as a prostitute on “One Life to Live,” given Tony Danza his marching orders on “Who’s the Boss?” and been fashionably scandalous on “Ugly Betty.” Now she tackles a topic that’s new to her: football.
In “Lombardi,” kicking off on Thursday at Circle in the Square, Light portrays the wife of Vince Lombardi (played by Dan Lauria), the Brooklyn-born coach of the Green Bay Packers famous for turning a losing team into winners in the 1960s. The play, by Eric Simonson, is based on David Maraniss’ best seller, “When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi.”
“Everything I know about football I’ve learned for this play,” Light says. “Not just about the sports and the psychology, but what it takes to make a person operate at the highest level.” (“Lombardi” will be hosting “Touchdown Tuesdays,” a talk-back series after the show, beginning Oct. 12, with Maraniss; on Oct. 19, it’s ex-N.Y. Giant Sean Landeta and Giants play-by-play announcer Bob Papa.)
Light, who devoured the Maraniss bio, adds: “Marie Lombardi was the only girlfriend Vince ever had. They were a power couple.”
BY KIMBERLY KAYE
The New York Observer
September 10, 2010
Starting September 21, theater aficionados outside of Circle in the Square on Broadway will be sharing turf with an unlikely set of ticket-holders: football fans.
Last April, producers Tony Ponturo and Fran Kirmser announced plans for Lombardi, about inspirational football coach Vince Lombardi, with The National Football League as a producing and marketing partner—the first time the NFL or any major sports organization has ever paired with Broadway for a live theatrical event.
A bio-drama based on David Maraniss’ book When Pride Still Mattered, the play stars TV’s Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years) as gridiron legend Lombardi, whose hard-nosed coaching tactics and mythic leadership skills transformed the Green Bay Packers into one of the NFL’s most formidable championship franchises and Lombardi into the archetype for the all-American football coach. Judith Light (Ugly Betty) also leads the show’s cast of seven, costarring as Lombardi’s ever-supportive, if frequently frustrated, wife Marie.
So, how’d the NFL end up playing ball on a niche field like Broadway? To the show’s producers, the relationship between the production and its partnering organization is symbiotic by necessity…
September 6, 2010
In a pivotal scene from the upcoming drama, Vince Lombardi shows his Packers the play that will make them the first Super Bowl dynasty
Lombardi. The very name tingles with dramatic possibility, which will be realized on Broadway next month. Based on When Pride Still Mattered, David Maraniss’s 2000 best seller, and written by Eric Simonson, a member of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Lombardi depicts the on-field triumphs of the feared-yet-beloved Packers coach who remains so hallowed that his name is on the trophy given to the Super Bowl champions. In the title role is Dan Lauria (cantankerous dad Jack Arnold in TV’s The Wonder Years); his troubled wife, Marie, is played by Broadway and TV veteran Judith Light. In the scene below, provided exclusively to SI, it is 1959 and Lombardi, who has just taken over in Green Bay, is having his first meeting with running backs Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor, to whom he begins detailing the power sweep, the play that would become the cornerstone of the Packers’ dynasty and the two players’ eventual ticket to the Hall of Fame…
BY PETER ROBERT CASEY
The Huffington Post
September 16, 2010
The forthcoming play, “Lombardi,” will begin previews September 23 at Circle in the Square Theatre in advance of its October 21 opening. One of the key factors in the play is the great level of detail that goes into each actor’s role. As Director Thomas Kail said recently, “We just want to get it right.”
However, for all that realism, the one character who pulls all the powerful personalities together isn’t real at all. He is the only fictional character in the play, a young journalist from New Jersey named Michael McCormick, who is dispatched to Green Bay by the now-defunct, but then very popular Look Magazine to write a profile on the coach and those around him. It is Michael who the audience will learn from and who will be able to extract the stories from Vince, Marie and the three players, and who will ultimately weave it all together.
The job of bringing Michael to life falls to New Yorker Keith Nobbs. A young veteran actor of both television and the theater, Nobbs is a die-hard Knicks and tennis fan who has thrown himself into the role of sportswriter to bring Michael to life and unite the characters. You can see young Michael on the Lombardi website in a new commercial, and learn more about the play at lombardibroadway.com. We caught up with Nobbs this week to understand more about the role and the value it brings to the show…
Tickets can be purchased online at www.telecharge.com, by phone at 212-239-6200, or in person at the Box Office (50th Street, West of Broadway).
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