sports in the spotlight
Posted by Dale Buss on January 26, 2011 04:00 PM
The Green Bay Packers’ drive to Super Bowl XLV has created an unlikely — or, is it very likely? — coterie of cheeseheads in one quarter of New York City: the cast of the Broadway play Lombardi.
It wasn’t a great fall season for new dramatic productions on the Great White Way, and the theatrical rendering of the life of Vince Lombardi, the legendary Green Bay Packers coach and general manager, didn’t bust attendance records.
But the play has beaten the odds and survived long enough to pick up a little momentum from the team’s slipstream as the Super Bowl between the Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers nears.
Cast members such as Dan Lauria, who plays Lombardi, haven’t been shy about making the association. At the end of the matinee performance on Sunday, Lauria yelled out to the audience, “The Packers are winning 14 to nothing at halftime” of their NFC Championship Game with the Chicago Bears. Then he and much of the rest of the cast bolted to a local bar to watch the rest of the contest.
“It’s not hard to become a fan,” Robert Christopher Riley, who plays one of Lombardi’s favorite players (Dave Robinson), told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
All of which creates one potential problem: Lombardi is scheduled for a matinee on February 6, and Super Bowl XLV kicks off at 6:30 that evening.
Lauria fantasizes about being able to make it to the big game anyway. For much of Lombardi he wears the coach’s signature fedora and coat. “I think it would really spook the Steelers if they saw me walk by in that camel coat,” he said.