Rep Resident Acting Company Member Lee E. Ernst will take on the iconic role of Vince Lombardi in the Oct. 11-Nov. 13 staging on The Rep's Quadracci Powerhouse stage.
The play is based on the book "When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi" by David Maraniss. The Broadway production closes May 22; the Rep staging is independent.
Playwright Eric Simonson said in a statement, "I grew up in Wisconsin, so [Lombardi] was always a part of the ether. When I started doing a play on him, it was not just to recount a famous man's life story, it was really to find out and unearth the reasons why this man was famous. He's a fully dimensional man, a complicated man, more complex than people realize."
Simonson, a Steppenwolf Ensemble Member, created an earlier version of the play entitled Lombardi: The Only Thing, which premiered in 2007 with Madison Repertory Theatre at the Overture Center. The play then had a successful run at Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee the following year. After some interest surfaced in a Lombardi play for Broadway, Simonson developed an entirely new play leaving only one five-minute scene from the original script.
The resident Milwaukee Rep production will be directed by Sanford Robbins, who directed Lee E. Ernst in The Rep's 2007-08 production of Cyrano.
Other members of the creative team include Linda Buchanan (scenic designer); Holly Payne (costume designer); Thomas C. Hase (lighting designer) and Lindsay Jones (sound designer).
"The Rep is planning a range of activities in addition to the stage production to celebrate the Lombardi legacy, The Packers and the homecoming of this hit Broadway play to Wisconsin," according to a statement.
Tickets for Lombardi (and the rest of The Rep's 2011-12 season) are currently available by subscription only. Subscription prices range from $60-$468. Single tickets will go on sale this summer.
For additional information, contact The Rep's Ticket Office at (414) 224-9490 or visit www.milwaukeerep.com.