19 Oct 2013
Director Thomas Kail used shafts of light, video projections (still shots, sports footage, animation) and the entire breadth of the venue's in-the-round stage to tell the tale of the passionate Brooklynite who led the Green Bay Packers to Super Bowl victory more than once.
Lombardi was drawn from the best-selling biography "When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi" by David Maraniss. The play is set over a week in 1965 — five years before Lombardi's death from colon cancer at age 57. The play shifts back and forth in time.
Here is another look at the opening night:
In a gruff but lovable tone, Dan Lauria (TV's "The Wonder Years") played the late coach — and is something of a lookalike, with gap tooth and fireplug stance. Two-Time Tony Winner Judith Light played his understanding, supportive and conflicted wife, who deeply misses the East Coast. Her feelings for home were aroused when a young (fictional) reporter, played by Keith Nobbs (Off-Broadway's Stupid Kids, Four, Fuddy Meers), came to stay with the Lombardis for a week, to write a profile for Look magazine.
Nobbs' Michael McCormick was the audience's way into Lombard's world, which was populated by three representative football players: Jim Taylor (played by Chris Sullivan), Paul Hornung (played by Bill Dawes) and Dave Robinson (played by Robert Christopher Riley). The understudies were Jeff Still, Henny Russell, Brad Schmidt and Javon Johnson.