“Lombardi” Opens at Pen Players

Neil Friedman (center) is Coach Vince Lombardi in the northeast Wisconsin professional premier of “Lombardi” on stage at Peninsula Players Theatre. Brandon Dahlquist (left) plays Paul Horning.

Vince Lombardi returns to northeast Wisconsin in Eric Simonson’s Broadway play Lombardi, which takes the stage at Peninsula Players Theatre for six weeks through Oct. 14. Lombardi is based on the bestselling biography When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss.

In the mid-1960s the Packers failed to qualify for the championship game for two years and Look Magazine reporter Michael McCormick visits Green Bay to write an article on the Packer’s coach Vince Lombardi. Lombardi’s wife Marie invites the reporter to stay with them while in town and encourages Michael to talk to certain players and to observe practice sessions.

Through flashbacks Marie shares how they got to Green Bay, and through conversations with Jim Taylor, Dave Robinson and Paul Hornung, Michael learns of the honor and pride in being driven to win by Lombardi.

Lombardi is under the direction of Peninsula Players Artistic Director Greg Vinkler. He shares, “I knew I wanted to bring this story to our audience from the moment I heard about this play; the legendary Vince Lombardi, the Green Bay Packers. I knew Peninsula Players had to do this show.”

Lombardi features Neil Friedman as Vince Lombardi, Carmen Roman as Marie Lombardi, Brandon Dahlquist as Paul Hornung, Matthew Brumlow as Michael McCormick, Donte Fitzgerald as Dave Robinson and Jim Fletcher as Jim Taylor.

Vinkler adds, “Peninsula Players company member Neil Friedman was part of the original cast work-shopping the script. At a recent donor event, author David Maraniss said Neil set the bar for every actor who follows to play Lombardi.”

Lombardi will be performed Tuesdays through Sundays at 7 pm, except for a 4 pm matinee on Sept. 16, 23 and Oct. 14. There are no performances on Mondays.

Peninsula Players also offers seminars, discussions and backstage tours. Saturday seminars will be held Sept. 15, 22, 29 and Oct. 6, 13 at 2:30 pm. A post-show discussion with the cast is set for Sept. 16. Free backstage tours will be held at 2 pm, Sept. 9, 30, and Oct. 7. To reserve a spot for seminars or tours, call 920.868.3287.

Tickets range from $33 to $39; discount tickets are available for groups of 15 or more.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call 920.868.3287 or visit