Plantation's Mosaic Theatre and GableStage in Coral Gables both have hit shows at the moment: Eric Simonson's Lombardi, about legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, at Mosaic, and Red, about abstract expressionist Mark Rothko, at GableStage. Both plays are running through Dec. 4, with some performances sold out or nearly so, so if you're interested in going and have been procrastinating, call or click for tickets.
Mosaic artistic director Richard Jay Simon is helping drive his show's solid box office with a series of celebrity talk-backs after certain performances. This weekend original Broadway Lombardi star Dan Lauria and the coach's daughter, Susan Lombardi, will chat with the audience after the 7 p.m. Sunday performance. Columnist Dave Hyde and ex-Dolphins player Jim "Crash" Jensen are to talk after tonight's 8 p.m. show. Columnist Ethan Skolnick is seeing the show at 8 p.m. this Saturday.
Other special guests who have confirmed are CBS4's Jim Berry (8 p.m. Nov. 25), the Herald's Greg Cote (3 p.m. Nov. 26), Local 10's Will Manso (2 p.m. Nov. 27) and Local 10's Andrea Brody (8 p.m. Dec. 2).
With Lauria in town this weekend, Simon has engineered a fundraiser for both his theater and GableStage. The actor, who played the dad on the popular TV series The Wonder Years, has written a dark comedy called Dinner With the Boys. He, Mosaic's Lombardistar Ray Abruzzo and actor Richard Zavaglia will do two benefit staged readings of the play.
The first is Monday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. at GableStage in the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is $25 for subscribers, $30 for others. Wine and light refreshments come with the cost of the ticket. For GableStage info, call 305-445-1119 or visit the theater's web site.
Mosaic's reading is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, in its theater at the American Heritage Center for the Arts, 12200 W. Broward Blvd., Bldg. 3000, Plantation. Again, subscribers pay $25, others $30, and you get wine and munchies. Call 954-577-8243 or visit the Mosaic web site.
Go to either, and you're seeing stars while helping a not-for-profit theater company fund its work.
(Photo of Ray Abruzzo as Vince Lombardi by George Schiavone)