Recently returned from NYC to see more shows as part of my duty as Arizona’s Tony Award voter, I have 60 to season this season!
It’s fall and time for Tony season and football! No, this is not a mistake for this new season on Broadway the two go hand in hand. LOMBARDI the new play on Broadway about the legendary coach and the namesake of the Super Bowl trophy is playing at Circle in the Square. Call it kismet, but following a trip to Lambeau Field and watching my husband’s beloved Packers I flew to NYC to see LOMBARDI. Dutifully attired in my Packer jersey (#12) I ran into Thomas Kai, the director in the lobby. (You will remember that Tommy was the director for IN THE HEIGHTS and came to ASU GAMMAGE to help Lin Manuel Miranda work back into the show, Tommy even joined us for our TalkBack).
Tommy was delighted to see me in my Packer jersey and commented that it helped to set the correct tone. The play focused on Vince the coach and home life with his indomitable wife Marie. The PACKER National was in full attendance. This play marks another first on Broadway; one of the producing partners is the NFL. The NFL was so excited about LOMBARDI that there are plans for other Broadway shows. Hmmm. …CARDINALS the musical. We’ll see.
Inspiration abounds with the PITMEN PAINTERS at the Manhattan Theatre Club at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. This is a great story of British miners who discover their talent and love for culture and they proceed to capture the attention of the visual art world. A true story that underscores that creativity is not the sole province of one class. These fine actors came from across the pond in the West End where PITMEN PAINTERS is a huge success.
Cherry Jones dominates the stage and gets a hold of you and does not let go in MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION. The play is about the business that Cherry’s character is in and her conservative daughter coming to grips with it. While the play feels long in the run and does bog downed in parts, seeing Cherry Jones is worth it.
Always keeping an eye out off Broadway, plus following up on a rain check performance of Edward Albee’s ME, MYSELF & I at Playwright’s Horizons which closed out my trip. The first time I was scheduled to see the show one of the leads who plays a twin was out sick. So the theater graciously rerouted us to later performances. The story of a twin trying to separate himself from family was Albee-lite, but I do love the fact that Playwrights Horizons invests in new work and is the most patron accommodating theater.
Already planning my next trip as TONY letters await for BRIEF ENCOUNTER, LIFE IN THE THEATRE and TIME STANDS STILL (which I saw last year but it must have missed the Tony nom deadline). See you at ASU GAMMAGE or on ole Broadway.
- Colleen Jennings-Roggensack