'Lombardi' reviews: mixed
The reviews are in for "Lombardi," the Broadway show about the late, great Packers coach that opened Thursday night at Circle in the Square.
They're mixed. Read them for yourself and decide what to think.
What's my take? Mixed.
Lindenhurst's own Dan Lauria inhabits Lombardi's persona and breathes new life and nuance into it, and Judith Light as his long-suffering wife, Marie, steals every scene she is in and gets to utter the bulk of both the funniest and most poignant lines.
(I spoke to someone after the preview I attended who actually knew Marie, and he said Light's rendition was dead on.)
The other actors also hit home runs - oops, wrong metaphor - with the men playing Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor and Dave Robinson portraying credible versions of 1960s football players.
My biggest problem with the show is the pivotal decision to turn a composite magazine writer character into the vessel through which the coach, his wife and players reveal their stories and their thoughts.
Normally there is nothing wrong with that. It's a familiar storytelling device. But in this case, the writer becomes too much a star of the show rather than the peripheral figure we scribes actually are.
Especially in Vince Lombardi's living room.
In business terms the big question surrounding the show - which has the blessing and marketing support of the mighty NFL - is how many football fans will show up at a Broadway show and how many Broadway regulars will show up at a show about a football coach.
That remains unanswered for now. The mixed reviews won't help with the latter group.