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Tale of iconic Green Bay Packers coach to open in Buford

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The story of an iconic football coach, "Lombardi" opens this weekend at the Buford Community Center. The play runs through Sept. 1. (Special Photo)

IF YOU GO

• What: “Lombardi”

• When: 7:30 p.m. today, runs through Sept. 1; times and dates vary

• Where: Buford Community Center’s Sylvia Beard Theatre, 2200 Buford Highway, Buford

• Cost: $10 to $18

• For more information: Visit www.bufordcommuni...>

BUFORD — Vince Lombardi once said, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

To prove its commitment to excellence, GTA SouthernStage kicks off its season with the story of the Green Bay Packers coach in the Broadway hit “Lombardi” at the Buford Community Center.

The play by Eric Simonson takes a look at all aspects of the legendary coach’s life with his team and his family. Simonson’s play premiered on Broadway at the Circle in the Square Theatre in October 2010. The play is based on the book “When Pride Still Mattered — A Life of Vince Lombardi,” written by David Maraniss.

“Lombardi” follows the coach through a week in the 1965 season, as he attempts to lead his team to the championship.

“There is a lot of Vince in me. I understand him, his passion, his tunnel vision, moods and temper. He reminds me a lot of my father,” said John Woodson, who plays Lombardi. “Sometimes as an actor you are fortunate to find that a character, for whatever reason, speaks to you. Then you drop in and you have to get out of the way to let it happen.”

In the play, Derrick Ledbetter plays reporter Michael McCormick, who is sent to get the story of what motivates Lombardi for LOOK magazine. He believes the story is more than the behind-the-scenes look in Lombardi’s life.

“This play has a lot to do with the way we communicate with each other,” Ledbetter said. “Every relationship we have has a different way of communicating, and this play captures the essence of these differences between fathers and sons, mothers and sons, and husbands and wives.”

If you’re on a budget, but interested in attending the performance, Buford Rush Tickets will be available for all evening shows. Patrons with a Buford address on their picture ID will be able to purchase two front row seats for half price ($9) in the Buford Community Center box office beginning at 6:30 p.m. the night of the show. These tickets cannot be purchased in advance.

The show runs through Sept. 1.