Last season I saw Lombardi, a play about legendary Green Bay Packers football coach Vince Lombardi. It was pretty great stuff but both Mrs. Wife and I couldn’t imagine who, other than myself, would be interested in both football and plays.
Well, Lombardi is an unexpected hit. The fact that the Packers won the Super Bowl was an unforeseen bit of good fortune. This might have encouraged the Producing Powers That Be because I just saw another drama that drips testosterone. This time, they’re mounting a production that doesn’t include any female characters! At least Lombardi’s wife was major role.
That Championship Season is still in previews and has not been reviewed yet, so I don’t know what I should think.
Just kidding. It was pretty great stuff. A championship-winning basketball team reunites and every one of them is living a deeply flawed life—especially the coach, who is supposed to be their moral compass and mentor. Anti-champions. There’s copious amounts of drinking—an amount that stretches credibility.
Keefer Sutherland plays against type as a milk toast junior high school principal. I’m not a huge Chris Noth fan—he tends to be kind of flat—but he showed some real fire. Stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan embodies the soft victim. (Although, he couldn’t come up with real tears when the script called for it. I hate fake crying on stage. Amateur!) Brian Cox is a British national treasure. He’s never bad in anything. [He pulls off an authentic American accent. The next night, I saw him in the movie Red where he dons a convincing Russian accent. What a champ!]
Jason Patrick is also stellar. The added dimension is that this play was written by his father, Jason Miller. Imagine being on the big stage speaking dialogue that your father wrote. It’s a thrill that not many will experience. It’s a shame his dad isn’t alive to see it.
Trivia factoid: Sutherland and Patrick are reunited from the vampire film The Lost Boys, which my brother cleverly rechristened The Lost Boy Models.