Sports have produced legends from time to time that have not only changed the outlook of a game but also taken it to a whole new level. Most legends are born through sheer dedication, struggles as well as the will to be the best. Sports in every form have players to boast about. Football has produced many stars but the one that shines among all is the legendary, Vince Lombardi
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The hall of famer was the head coach and manager of the Green Bay Packers and is unarguably one of the most inspirational personalities of all times. Having joined the club in 60s, he helped them rise from the ground to become the most successful team of that era. Zero tolerance for slackers, he led the Packers to nine championship finals out of which they won five, along with two Super Bowl victories. The sensational sportsman got famous for his quote, "Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything". Though the icon is no longer alive, he is remembered through many honors and recognitions. Among all his acknowledgements the greatest one remains having the NFL’s Super Bowl trophy being named after him.
Besides this Lombardi has many monuments built in his honor as well as books written on his leadership and great legacy. One of these books titled, "When Pride Still Mattered" has recently been adapted for stage by the Academy Award winner, Eric Simonson. Penned by David Maraniss, the biography also sheds light on Lombardi’s personal life along with his football career. His life off the field and his relationship with his wife are brought to surface, along with the key players who were molded by his inimitable leadership.
Lombardi premiered in October this year on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre and brought in a lot of sports fans. The show effectively flips through several memorable chapters in the legends life and highlights his journey as a coach and as a person. His rise to the top amidst adversity, his personality along with the relationship with his family remains the essence of this classic play. The audiences are exposed to the various sides of the sports icon, who quite often appeared as a tyrant and sometimes a tragic soul. His players as well as the opponents never saw him waver from his principles and even in defeat he managed to achieve some elusive, inner victory. Lombardi, the play also showcases Vince’s growth from a slave driver to a man who came to love his team
He was known to motivate his players and bring them back from the direst situation with the faith that they will do better and appear as champions. His approach not only produced fighter players but also tremendous human beings, who grew beyond themselves. Lombardi is an outstanding story of an extraordinary man. The beauty of the play is that they haven’t shown the star as a hero only, but also highlighted his complex character that included equal amounts of failures. Vince Lombardi didn’t have an ideal family life and he was often known to fall into dark fits of depression.
The contradictions in his personality are brilliantly brought on stage by the actor Dan Lauria. Lauria engrosses himself deeply into the performance and creates a magnificent aura all around. Clad in an overcoat and with thick glasses, he’s the fitting image of the sports idol. Judith Light portrays the character of Marie Lombardi and with just few performances has won the hearts of many. She has beautifully captured the loneliness of Marie and at the same time demonstrated great strength as a wife of a football coach. Both the actors have given a stunning performance and have a great chemistry on-stage. Their emotional scene where Marie attends to her ailing husband along with the sorrowful apologies brings great intensity to the arena.
From the very first scene Lombardi creates an impression when Lauria steps on the stage and delivers an impassioned pre-season speech while addressing the crowd. His tone and energy keeps the audiences at the edge of their seats and riles them up. With only few performances under its belt, Lombardi has already earned itself rave reviews and is on the path to become a historical play. Even if you’re not a sports fan you’ll enjoy this wonderful show and be swayed by the emotions. Get your Lombardi Tickets now and witness a classic story of triumphs, sacrifices and confrontations. It’ll be an enchanting experience!
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