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Lombardi play prepares for official opening

So after spending a few minutes with Schein and Carlin on SNY’s Loudmouths and scrubbing off the much-needed makeup and wolfing down an eggplant parm hoagie from a deli down the street from the Motel 6 in midtown Manhattan, I headed over to the Circle in the Square theater for a preview showing of the new play, Lombardi, which is based on the David Maraniss biography of legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered.

At the theater, I met up with Peter King, his lovely wife, Ann, and two of their friends. Before the show, Peter and I met co-producer Tony Ponturo and director Thomas Kail, who looks even younger than Rosenthal. After the show, Ponturo took us backstage to meet the six-person cast: Dan Lauria (Vince Lombardi), Judith Light (Marie Lombardi), Keith Nobbs (Look magazine reporter Michael McCormick), Bill Dawes (Paul Hornung), Robert Christopher Bailey (Dave Robinson), and Chris Sullivan (Jim Taylor).

With sweat spotting the front of his white dress shirt after the 95-minute, one-act play, Lauria spoke enthusiastically about the complexity of Lombardi, pointing out that various aspects of the late coach’s personal life and career could generate their own 90-minute plays.

Though I’m no expert in theatrical protocol (except for knowing when to turn off the Sprint phone and when not to lift a cheek and, you know, slide the trombone), the show is still in previews and not yet ready for formal reviews. Which is a good thing, because my reviewing skills roughly are on par with Andy Bernard’s abilities as a muffin critic.

What I am qualified to say is that I’ll definitely see it again, probably when I bring Florio Jr. to town in November.

The show officially opens on October 21. If you’re a football fan and if you’re going to be in New York, it’s a no-brainer addition to the visit.

Even if you’re a fan of the Bears, Vikings, or Lions.