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Lombardi kicks off Cleveland Playhouse's fall season with a bang

By Tyler Moliterno
On October 9, 2012

  • Graham Beck is a Journalism and Promotional Communication major at Cleveland State University.

"Lombardi," the first play of the 98th season of the Cleveland Playhouse, is a play that examines one week in the life of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi through the eyes of a reporter (Nick Mills) observing him for a new article.
The week in focus is not the one leading up to the first ever Super Bowl, which Lombardi and the Packers eventually won, nor is it the last week of his life. It is just one ordinary week, and as the play progresses we find it to be one the most important for Lombardi.
Actor Bob Ari is a wonderful depiction as the late coach as he embodies the "Imperfect...Perfectness" of Lombardi. Ari and Mills are truly the cornerstones of the story and both turn in fantastic performances.
The set features a backdrop of a football field, and with the help of a projector has the ability to become any number of locations in Green Bay, all while subtly reminding you of what's always on Lombardi's mind - football.
On the negative side, the script has a tendency to just have characters address the audiences for long blocks of exposition instead of using dialogue to explain what's happening, which leads to some tedious moments.
All in all this show scores, and is a great way to "kick off" the new season.

Grade: A 

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