As the title coach in the hit Broadway sports drama Lombardi, Dan Lauria functions as a motivational figure both on and offstage. In the same way that any football coach readies for a game, Lauria has his own pre-performance rituals, arriving an hour early for each show for a shower “to remove the day” and move into the Lambeau Field mindset. Lauria invited Broadway.com to his backstage dressing room at Circle in the Square Theatre to show off his pre-game essentials. Take a look!
Photo by Jenny Anderson for Broadway.com
“Every day I pick up coffee for Judith Light and myself, and on matinee days she brings soup for both of us. That’s kind of our tradition.”
“[Co-star] Keith Nobbs gave me this picture of James Cagney because I give the young actors old movies to study. As they walk by my room, I shout ‘What did you watch?’ and if they say ‘Oh, we didn’t have time today,’ I yell at them. I think Cagney would have been a great Lombardi.”
“This is a knob from a cabinet in the basement of Vince Lombardi’s house. It’s like a good luck charm.”
“Everybody knows Lombardi had a big gap in his front teeth. I have a natural gap, but we make it look wider with nontoxic black nail polish. Every night I put it on the center of my teeth, with a little brown in between because he smoked a lot. This is not a plug for his dentist, that’s for sure!”
“A half-hour before the show, I shut off all the lights in the room except for this lamp. My dresser, Kelly, who has since moved on to a new production, gave this [one-bulb] lamp to me because she noticed I had to unscrew all the bulbs from another lamp every night.”