They're selling cheeseheads in the lobby of the Milwaukee Rep's Quadracci Powerhouse Theater. And Packers T-shirts, caps, books and assorted tchotschkes.
Theatrically lighted Packers pennants hang inside the Powerhouse. The occasion, of course, is the Rep's production of "Lombardi," the first staging of the drama since its Broadway engagement ended in May.
A biographical snapshot of the Packers' coaching legend, the show sold an unprecedented 20,000 tickets before it opened, and the Rep has extended its run to Nov. 20.
Here are a few brief observations.
"Lombardi" is quite entertaining, even if you have no particular interest in him, the Packers or football. It's a good story.
Inspired by David Maraniss' superb 1999 biography "When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi," the play serves up an unvarnished portrait of the tempestuous coach. His Vesuvian volatility and personal struggle with anger are on display.
Lombardi's long-suffering wife, Marie, is the yeast that makes the play rise, and actress Angela Iannone's tart edginess fits the role to perfection. The show is always more interesting when she is onstage.
Actor Lee Ernst, a true theatrical chameleon, captures the coach's appearance and burly physicality, down to the gap-toothed grin. The smile's authenticity is achieved with a dental appliance.
Sean Malone, the president of the Ten Chimneys Foundation, which owns and operates the historic Lunt-Fontanne estate in Genesee Depot, has been chosen to participate in a prestigious two-year national chief executive program for arts administrators. He joins executives from the American Ballet Theatre, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Norman Rockwell Museum and other organizations in the exercise.
Participants will attend three four-day conferences that address the financial and cultural challenges facing arts groups and their administrators. The Harvard, University of Michigan and University of Texas-Austin business schools are collaborating on the program.
Malone began working at Ten Chimneys in 1996 while completing his MBA from UW-Madison. He was named first vice president of the foundation two years later, and became president in 2002.
For the fifth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2011."
It makes sense. Being located across the street from the Broadway Theatre Center and only a few blocks from Next Act Theatre's new performance venue, Verduras Tea House & Cafe has extended its hours to accommodate show audiences.
The restaurant, which has been serving breakfast and lunch, is staying open until 7:30 on Thursdays and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The all-vegetarian menu contains sandwiches, soups and salads, including some that are vegan. More than 40 teas are also available.
Verduras has started booking bachelorette parties, and owner Jennifer Nowicki is seeking acoustic musicians to play for tips on Sunday afternoons. Interested musicians should email Nowicki.
The work of artist Julia Bennker will be on display at the cafe on Gallery Night, Oct. 21. Verduras will have special Gallery Night hours, staying open until 10 p.m., and guitarist Anthony Hanratty will play from 6:30 to 8:30.
It's been 47 years since "Sunrise, Sunset" was first sung on a Broadway stage. The sentimental tune is the second to last number in the first act of "Fiddler on the Roof," and it marks the wedding day of characters Tzeitel and Motel in the musical's story line.
"Sunrise, Sunset" has become a nuptial ceremony standard, sung at weddings of many faiths, but the lyrics recalling a little girl and boy who grow up to be bride and groom don't exactly fit same sex matrimonial celebrations. "Fiddler" lyricist Sheldon Harnick, who is 87, has remedied that by altering the words to his famous song, writing separate new versions for male and female gay couples.
The male lyrics debuted at a wedding in Tappan, N.Y., on Saturday. Here is a story about it from Playbill.com. The lyrics are included.