Marvin Lewis: The Musical!

Returning to the Skyline Chili Center in downtown Cincinnati for its fifth consecutive mid-January launch, it’s Marvin Lewis: The Musical! Featuring songs from that one Cincinnati artist who isn’t the Isley Brothers, this milquetoast, moderately violent play carries an inspirational message: you could change the world if Wild Card Weekend didn’t exist! Inspired by true events, Marvin Lewis: The Musical! takes you from the caked earth of Pocatello, Idaho, to the glitzy catwalks of Covington, Ohio and the dysfunctional locker rooms of Paul Brown Stadium.

A man with a code, Marvin Lewis is struggling to live up to his personal expectations, so he finds a franchise whose goals are suitably modest. Marvin soon realizes just how much work he has ahead of him. With the franchise’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the form of the supporting cast of a redheaded gunslinger, an ex-con, a slew of really talented wide receivers who are woefully underutilized, and a guy (with whom we went a little nuts on the naming, our apologies) called Vontaze Burfict.

With direction and choreography by five-time playoff-game-winning coach Marty Schottenheimer (Requiem for a 1-Seed, My Son is a Disappointment), and based on a book by US Ambassador to Ireland and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney (I Didn’t Say You Had to Hire the Guy), Marvin Lewis: The Musical is the winner of many regular-season Tony Awards. The musical’s score has drawn widespread acclaim, and features such delights as:

  • If I Were a Ball Coach
  • Gee, Officer [Fill In Name of Arresting Officer]!
  • Ochocinco’s Canto
  • Seasons of 8-8 (How Do You Measure a Year?)
  • Punting Time
  • Fugue for Wild Cards
  • You Can’t Get a Pac-Man With a Gun
  • Defying Parity
  • Springtime for Gingers
  • Punting Time (4th and 3 Reprise)
  • Fifteen Yards: Vontaze’s Lament
  • Maybe/Next Year

Rollick in the seats as you laugh, cry, and cheer with the one team–and the one coach–that seemingly can’t get over the hump. Here’s what the critics are saying so far:

  • “This is Groundhog Day without Bill Murray and a satisfying payoff.” – Bill Murray
  • “I loved it. I never felt threatened in the slightest.” – Mike Tomlin, coach, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • “Ditto.” – John Harbaugh, coach, Baltimore Ravens
  • “Even I got a good laugh out of it, and I, honestly, have no right to be laughing at anything.” – TBD, coach, Cleveland Browns
  • “We’re contractually obligated to bring this show to certain markets.” – Anonymous CBS executive, whilst sobbing

So what are you waiting for? Buy your tickets today, as you may never have the chance to see this play again! (Well, you will next year. You absolutely will, but just humor us.)

Also, if you’re attending, please don’t throw trash at the stage. The police will be coming around to ask “Who Dey?” (as in “who are those people vandalizing the theater?”) More importantly, though, it would seem ill-fitting to end a Marvin Lewis-themed musical by cleaning house.


Lucas Hubbard is a writer and artist currently at work on a ballet tribute to Rex Ryan. You should follow him on Twitter.