Eric Simonson’s bio-drama “Lombardi” stars Dan Lauria, who bravely and unapologetically puts the man’s flaws and foibles on full display. (Toward the end of the evening, one of his admirers calls Lombardi “the most IMPERFECT perfect man” he’d ever met; it is as accurate a description of a man whose angels and demons were constantly clashing with each other as any.) He is middle-aged when we meet him, on the cusp of taking over the losing Green Bay franchise after an assistant coaching gig with the Giants. He is a bully, and stubborn to a fault: not only does he poke his nose defiantly into everyone’s face even during the most innocuous of conversations, but he steadfastly refuses to see a doctor even after years of stomach pain, a stubbornness that eventually — at the age of fifty-seven — leads to his death.
Lauria is excellent; he looks like Lombardi, he talks like Lombardi — he IS Lombardi. Excellent, too, is Judith Light, who, as Marie, is both the perfect adversary for her overbearing husband and a surrogate mother for the young reporter as well as Vince’s “boys”.