Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lombardi on Stage

After a late night following the game on Monday, and then arriving home at 12:30 a.m. last night from Milwaukee, we are here with a late update to the blog. As mentioned, we attended the “Lombardi” play last night, and we have a one-word review for you: EXCELLENT. Because of the logistics of the play only being performed in New York last year, and in Wisconsin this year, most fans will never get the opportunity to see it. It follows a young reporter from LOOK magazine who stays with the Lombardi’s (this was not uncommon in those days) during a week of the 1965 season to write a feature on the coach. Besides Lombardi (played by Lee Ernst, above) and the reporter, the main characters are Marie Lombardi, Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, and Dave Robinson. About ten other players rounded out the cast (plus a few cheerleaders). Factually, it was based on David Maraniss’ book When Pride Still Mattered (1999), and we were impressed at all of the details from era at they got 100% right. Overall, we are very glad that we got the opportunity to see the play. Ideally, since the N.F.L. backed the play, they should’ve filmed it and put in on the N.F.L. Network.

Marie Lombardi (Angela Iannone, above) was the only person who could take Lombardi’s abuse and give it right back. Seriously, Lombardi yelled through about 90% of the performance. The reporter, Michael McCormick (Gerard Neugent, above right) was the only fictional character in the play.

Coach Lombardi addressed his players upon his arrival in Green Bay in a flashback scene to 1959.

A few players shoot pool and discuss Lombardi and the budding players’ association in a local Green Bay bar which has not been placed on the coach’s lengthy “off limits” list. Left to right, Paul Hornung (Reese Madigan), Dave Robinson (Cameron Knight), McCormick the reporter, and Jim Taylor (Arthur Lazalde).

Lombardi and McCormick discuss the reporter’s article and future.

Here are some pages from the Play Guide to the performance that we thought you might like to see.