Dan Lauria & Jim Taylor Set for LOMBARDI Talkback, 4/30
On Saturday afternoon April 30 following LOMBARDI's matinee, star Dan Lauria will make history when he takes the podium at Radio City Music Hall to announce the Green Bay Packers' sixth round draft pick - in costume and in character. While teams have had former and current players make their selection, it is the first time that an actor will make a selection for a professional sports team during a draft. Lauria's portrayal of the legendary coach has been called "compelling" and "mesmerizing," by Variety, and WOR Radio says that "he nailed it." The NFL made their own history with LOMBARDI, when they made their producing debut with the show, now the longest running play on Broadway.
After the 8 PM performance, LOMBARDI will host legendary Green Bay Packer Jim Taylor at a post-show talkback, open to all ticket holders. Jim Taylor is one of the three real-life players portrayed in the show. He was selected by the Packers in the second round of the 1958 draft, the 15th overall pick. He holds many Packers' records, including both career and single-season touchdowns. He was the Packers' all-time leading rusher until Ahman Green broke his record in 2009. He won the NFL rushing title in 1962, the only season that Jim Brown did not lead the league during his nine year career. Taylor's single-season yardage mark (1474) was not surpassed by a Packer until Ahman Green ran for 1883 yards in 2003 (a 16 game season as opposed to the 14 game 1962 season). At retirement, Taylor's 83 career rushing touchdowns placed him behind only Jim Brown. Taylor was a member of four Packer NFL championship teams (1961, 1962, 1965 and 1966), where he was teamed in the backfield with halfback Paul Hornung. In the Packers 16-7 championship win over the New York Giants in 1962, Taylor set a championship record with 31 carries (for 85 yards) and scored Green Bay's only touchdown of the game. In Green Bay's 1965 championship win, he rushed for 97 yards. In January 1967, Taylor and the Packers played in Super Bowl I, in which they easily defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. Taylor was the top rusher of the game with 56 rushing yards and a touchdown (with his score being the first rushing touchdown in Super Bowl history). Taylor was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
LOMBARDI opened in October and 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 2010 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 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).