Among all his assets, one of the things that’s considered paramount in making Tom Izzo a star is his fierce sense of pride. The man is manic, refusing to back down in a blowout, exhorting his team to play tough defense and always trying to project a football-forged sense of identity. He practices hard, he coaches hard, he sings and dances hard.
Wait, what’s that?
(Izzo, who cares about the accordion? You’re surrounded by cheerleaders!)
Well, according to the DETROIT FREE PRESS, as of tonight, the last part of that sentence will actually be accurate. Izzo is set to star in a one-day only musical adaptation of his life — “Izzo Goes to Broadway” — in the campus theater at Michigan State. And make no mistake - this isn’t a fly-by-night production, either.
It’s written and directed by a Broadway director — Greg Ganakas — and co-stars some six Broadway actors who flew out to East Lansing for the production. They and the rest of the Izzo family have reportedly been rehearsing the 2+ hour show for at least a week, so even if it does suck we can’t say they didn’t try.
The show is being put on as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, a group to which Izzo is obliged to donate $135,000 a year. Sending the proceeds there is a nice statement, but it begs another question: Shouldn’t Izzo be sending his contribution there anyway? The man makes more than enough money, particularly considering the fact that he lives in economically crippled Michigan, where $25 can
practically buy you a car. Is this show actually an elaborate scheme to help Izzo save less than $150G?
Somehow we doubt that’s the motivating factor behind it all, though you never know with Izzo. After all, this is a guy who hosted a basketball practice for reporters, plans to shave his head in the coming weeks (after his team won the Big Ten title) and has been known to dress like a hippie and roll out of a VW van for Midnight Madness.
(Taken from “Singing in the Rain”, perhaps?)
In fact, that’s probably what this is all about. Secretly, Izzo always wanted to star in musicals. It all makes sense: He was a working class boy from a tough neighborhood who just dreamed of the bright lights of Hollywood and Broadway, both of which seemed so far away.
Oh, wait a minute, that’s the plot of “42nd Street“, and it stars a girl named Peggy Sawyer. Well, close enough. Add in some basketball, and we’re sure you’ll end up with “Izzo Goes to Broadway.”