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LOMBARDI featured in The New Yorker & New York Magazine


Featured in The New Yorker & New York Magazine


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, opens Thursday, October 21 at the Circle in the Square Theatre.

Directed by Tony Award nominee Thomas Kail, LOMBARDI is an original play by Academy Award-winning playwright Eric Simonson, based on the best-selling biography When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi by Pulitzer Prize winner 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 was featured this week in both The New Yorker and New York Magazine.



The New Yorker

October 18, 2010

Broadway and football: it was only a matter of time before someone put the two together. Both involve spectacle, the airborne male physique, and the occasional offensive line. But the two disciplines have occupied mostly separate spheres—until now. Next week, “Lombardi,” a bio-drama about the football coach Vince Lombardi, based on a biography by David Maraniss, opens on Broadway, and the National Football League has signed on as a producing partner.

The day before previews, Tracy Perlman, the league’s vice-president of entertainment marketing and promotions, was at the Circle in the Square, where N.F.L. employees were completing a lobby display of memorabilia. “It’s welcoming to football fans,” Perlman said, pointing to a glass case holding items that included Lombardi’s green Packers jacket, his college yearbook, and two footballs signed by the winning players from Super Bowls I and II. “Those came from the Hall of Fame,” an N.F.L. worker wearing rubber gloves explained; he was still awaiting delivery of the bench from the Ice Bowl, the 1967 Championship Game played under such frigid conditions that the referee’s whistle got stuck to his lips.

Perlman was accompanied by the show’s originators, Tony Ponturo and Fran Kirmser, who met as producers on “Hair.” Ponturo, who was previously a sports-marketing executive for Anheuser-Busch, had ties in the pro-football world and arranged a meeting with the N.F.L.’s commissioner, Roger Goodell. “I get a message—‘Tony’s coming to see you about a Broadway play,’ ” Perlman recalled.

Click here to read the rest of the feature, or pick up the magazine, on stands now.

Long Story Short:

Vince Lombardi’s 40-year broken-field run, from Green Bay to Broadway


New York Magazine

October 18, 2010

1. Brooklyn-born Vince Lombardi, an assistant coach for the Giants, seems stuck at age 45, and even considers going into banking, when he takes a job coaching the last-place Green Bay Packers in 1959. By 1962, he’s on the cover of Time; in his nine years in Green Bay, the Packers win five NFL titles, including the first two Super Bowls.

2. Lombardi retires in 1968, then coaches the Redskins for a year. Nixon reportedly considers asking him to be his ’68 running mate (turns out he’s a Democrat), and Packers guard Jerry Kramer publishes a memoir, Instant Replay, written with New York contributor Dick Schaap, in 1968. Lombardi dies of cancer in 1970, at 57, and the Super Bowl trophy is named for him.

3. Kramer tries to get a Lombardi film off the ground—with Jack Nicholson!—but is beaten to the screen by a 1973 one-hour TV special, Legend in Granite, starring Ernest Borgnine.

4. Lombardi’s gray-suit mien and scandal-free life is out of style in the seventies and eighties. Michael O’Brien’s biography Vince appears in 1987; it’s tepidly received. By 1999, though, Greatest Generation revisionism has kicked in, and David Maraniss publishes the definitive When Pride Still Mattered. Tony Ponturo, a sports marketer for Anheuser-Busch, takes notice.

Click here to read the rest of the feature, or pick up the magazine, on stands now.

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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For sports inquiries, please contact Joe Favorito: 917-566-8345 / fatherknickerbocker1@yahoo.com.

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