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Broadway’s LOMBARDI in Today’s New York Times

LOMBARDI in Today’s New York Times


Broadway’s LOMBARDI has just announced a new block of tickets on sale through June 19 2011.  In today’s New York Times, reporter Patrick Healy writes about the challenges facing shows currently running on Broadway, and what LOMBARDI’s producers are doing to attract audiences ’beyond the usual theatre crowd.”

 Delving Into the Broadway Playbook to Stay Open

“In the face of daunting odds — odds that led nine Broadway shows to close on Sunday — stands “Lombardi,” the play about the legendary Green Bay Packers coach that is the only brand-new drama to survive the fall season. The producers of “Lombardi” made the bullish announcement on Tuesday that they would extend ticket sales through June 19, even though the winter is traditionally a graveyard for plays like this one, which lack audience-drawing stars.

So what fills the producers with a fighting spirit that Vince Lombardi would admire? Confidence in a marketing strategy that is aimed at sports fans and men, not just the usual theater crowd. The producers of this biographical play have already booked visits by fans from colleges with proud sports traditions, like Fordham (Lombardi’s alma mater), Syracuse and Boston College, and they have promoted the show as a kind of leadership training to draw in CBS sales executives on a team-building retreat and members of the Miami Dolphins who were in town to play the Jets last month.

The producers are also reaching a more traditional Broadway crowd by promoting their two lead actors, Dan Lauria as Lombardi, and Judith Light as his wife, Marie, who are giving critically praised performances.”  READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE

 LOMBARDI opened in October; both theatre critics and sports writers weighed in:

 “Eric Simonson has given us an extremely well-crafted piece of intelligent middlebrow theater, a regular-guy equivalent of Frost/Nixon. A good one for the guys.  It is both tasty and filling. I know nothing about football and less about the Green Bay Packers, but LOMBARDI  held my attention from start to finish, and when it was over, I went home feeling properly entertained.” Terry Teachout, The Wall Street Journal

 “There’s a place for LOMBARDI in the Broadway huddle…  It is theatrical catnip for husbands or boyfriends otherwise reluctant to see most Broadway shows: Football! Vince Lombardi! The legendary Packers!” The Associated Press

 “Even if you never cared about Lombardi, you will enjoy LOMBARDI. And that really is everything.” Mike Vaccaro, New York Post

 “I loved LOMBARDI” Fox Five

 “A rare Broadway drama that’s also a real crowd-pleaser.” AOL

 “Sports fans will get a huge kick out of the it, but there’s plenty for the uninitiated as well. As entertainment, LOMBARDI scores points.” Roma Torre, NY1

 “With its uniformly good cast, tight direction and frequent flashes of humor, Lombardi is solid playing in every sense of the word.” David Cote, Time Out New York

 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.  The production opened in October at Circle in the Square Theatre.

 Starring Dan Lauria as the legendary Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi and Judith Light as his wife Marie, LOMBARDI also features Keith Nobbs as Michael McCormick, Bill Dawes as Paul Hornung, Robert Christopher Riley as Dave Robinson and Chris Sullivan as Jim Taylor.  Joining producers Tony Ponturo and Fran Kirmser as special producing partner is the National Football League, marking the organization’s first foray on Broadway.

Tickets are currently on sale through June 29 2011 and 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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