The Unbearable Banishment: Hut hut hut. And then, enter, stage right

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hut hut hut. And then, enter, stage right

Unlike Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, which got a lot of hype and a lot of press but, ultimately, wasn't very satisfying (for me, anyway), here's a play that isn't making a lot of noise but delivers the goods.

Mrs. Wife said, "Who are they trying to appeal to? Other than you, I don't anyone who likes both football and theater." And that's a good point. A few years ago they had the boneheaded idea of turning Nick Hornby'a High Fidelity into a musical. It was a disaster. Rob, the protagonist of High Fidelity, is the kind of guy who wouldn't be caught dead at a Broadway musical. Likewise, someone who watches the Green Bay Packers every Sunday isn't likely to attend theater. But they'd be missing out on a compelling story that would mean a lot to them.

The play is filled with great performances and it absolutely deserves to be seen. It has a little to do with football and a lot to do with the relationship between legendary ball-busting NFL coach Vince Lombardi and his wife, Marie. Marie is played by Judith Light of Who's The Boss fame and she nails her character's sad resignation. Likewise, Dan Lauria, storming about the stage, is a convincing Lombardi. The supporting cast does fine work, especially Keith Nobbs as a young journalist who inserts himself into their lives.

A clippy :90 minutes with no intermission. A great venue with every seat close to the action. The actors leave all their guts on the stage. What more do you want, for cryin' out loud?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe they should have named it "Soul of a Naked Warrior", "Meatmaster of the Gridiron" or something more likely to appeal to the performance crowd?

December 14, 2010 at 7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate it when a hernia operation goes awry.
Still, I'm sure it makes a glorious sight. You know what they say: no guts, no glory.

December 14, 2010 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Daisy: It's a shame because it's a great piece of theater but I think it's struggling.

kykn: You know what they say; no audience, short run.

December 14, 2010 at 8:10 AM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

I don't care one hoot about football, but I'd go see it. It's the plot that counts.

December 14, 2010 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger SJF said...

I'm no football fan but I really enjoyed "Lombardi" and thought it worked well on all levels. Especially Judith Light's wonderful performance. Deserves recognition around Tony time.

December 14, 2010 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Ponita: Exactly. But apparently, a lot of people can't see past the football connection.

Sharon: I agree! She deserves at least a nomination. If business were better, she'd be in consideration, but they're struggling to find an audience.

December 14, 2010 at 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no understanding of your national game (I'm a RU girl), but good theatre? Yes.

December 15, 2010 at 12:37 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

I'd love to see it. There is something about anything connected with football that conjures up my sport mad late Dad and I can watch it and feel close to him.

December 15, 2010 at 6:01 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

MIT: That's the beauty of the show. You don't have to understand ANYTHING about football to enjoy the show.

Pat: I'm betting that this story is connecting on that level with a lot of people. Football nuts and parents who butted heads.

December 15, 2010 at 6:10 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

You know there's been a play running in Pittsburgh called The Cheif for a few years now off and on, it's about Art Rooney the original owner of the Steelers, i haven't seen it but i can gurantee that annoying Stiller fans start chanting "here we steelers" at some point.

December 15, 2010 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

Holy typo Batman, i can't spell fer shite.

December 16, 2010 at 8:12 AM  

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