"Iconic Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi may seem to have no connection to Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
But there is one exception.
It has to do with theater.
First of all, the musical “Hamilton” is a sensation.
People who ordinarily don’t go to shows clamor to buy tickets at breath-taking prices and travel great distances to see this hot commodity.
There has been such a stir in this area that Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton is taking extraordinary measures to sell tickets for the run of “Hamilton” there that won’t take place until two seasons from now – 2019-2020.
It is true that Vince Lombardi had nothing to do with Alexander Hamilton.
But the Broadway play “Lombardi” is connected to the Broadway musical “Hamilton.”
“Yes,” says Eric Simonson, who wrote “Lombardi.”
A native Wisconsinite, Simonson is a part-time Door County resident. He also is founder of Door Kinetic Arts Festival, an incubator for creative folks that is returning for a third year June 10-15 at Bjorklunden near Baileys Harbor.
The director of “Lombardi” was Thomas Kail.
The director of “Hamilton” was Thomas Kail.
Kail won a coveted Broadway Tony Award for his direction of “Hamilton.” Overall, “Hamilton” won 11 Tonys, including Best Musical and (for Lin-Manuel Miranda) Best Book and Best Original Score.
“Lombardi” made its Broadway premiere in October 2010 and ran until May 2011.
“Hamilton” made its Broadway premiere in August 2015, and it’s still running there.
In 2008, Thomas Kail directed “In the Heights” (music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda) on Broadway.
Soon, thoughts of putting “Lombardi” on Broadway entered the picture.
Eric Simonson says, “Tommy was reading the New York Times one day, and in the sports section it was announced that Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo were going to be producing a play about the life of Vince Lombardi based David Maraniss’s book (‘When Pride Still Matter: A Life of Vince Lombardi’). He picked up the phone, called them and said, ‘I want to do this. I want to put my name in the hat.’"