Ponturo says there are many reasons why the Circle in the Square Theatre has been filled to an average of 80 percent capacity, even though the show has gotten mixed reviews.
He says it starts with the having the right people from Eric Simonson for the adaptation to Thomas Kail, who directed “In The Heights,” which won four 2008 Tony Awards. And then there are the actors of course, most notably Dan Lauria from the “Wonder Years” as Lombardi and Judith Light, known from “Who’s The Boss?” and “Ugly Betty,” as his wife Marie.
But it’s also Ponturo’s behind-the-scenes plan that laid the groundwork for success. He helped raise his own money through 27 partners, who gave six figures each. His team arranged a barter marketing deal with the NFL to be able to use the league marks and establish a promotional partnership. They also heavily pushed for influencers to see the show. The Miami Dolphins, for example, are arriving early in New York before their game against the Giants this week in part to see the show.
Ponturo said the show cost in between $2.5 and $4 million to bankroll and if the Lombardi continues through the spring, he’ll be able to pay back all of his investors and start to see profits.
What does Lombardi’s longshot success story tell us about sports themes on broadway?
“It proves that new topics can be looked at if you have a good script, good acting and you deliver the goods,” Ponturo said.
Or as one man once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
That man was of course Vince Lombardi.
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