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New play on Al McGuire coming to Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee

Posted at 10:35 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 23:35:56-04

MILWAUKEE — The name Al McGuire is still revered in Marquette circles. The latest version of a play featuring Anthony Crivello and the Enberg family, called McGuire by Enberg, will relive those fond MU memories.

"He was this icon in basketball, Naismith Hall of Fame, Broadcasting Hall of Fame," Anthony Crivello says. "You know, like massive exposure. But at the same time, loved being with the common man. That's what's so endearing about him."

Crivello will once again play Al McGuire in a local production, and emphasizes Al's ability to explore on his terms.

"When it was in the offseason, jumping on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle that Harley-Davidson gave to him, riding out into the country," Crivello says. "And what he would do is go and meet, as he would say, the two-dollar better. The guy with the beer. You know, the mother who's in the kitchen, the guy with the two teeth missing."

Crivello nails every side of the complex Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer.

"The right turn, you know what that is?" Crivello says. "I leave my house in Brookfield to go to work and I hit a stop sign. Left turn, downtown Milwaukee and Marquette. Concrete, mahogany tables. Sports coats with elbow patches. Filet mignon, plastic. Right turn out into the country. Pewaukee and Oconomowoc. Alfalfa. Sawdust. Plaid shirt. Can of beer. Ham sandwich. So each day, I make a decision on which way to go. And as God as my judge, once a month I hang a right. The only real mystery in life is why kamikaze pilots wore helmets. I mean you gotta love Al. You gotta love Al, and those philosophies. And the way he looked at life. And to go, you know it's what the play does. It makes you go, I gotta start thinking about making more right turns in my life. And God bless Barbara Enberg for getting behind the cause of wanting people to not only hear Al's wisdom and words, but also to show that Dick Enberg was so much more, than a broadcaster."

And that is what makes McGuire still so endearing more than 20 years after his passing and 45 years after winning the NCAA title.

"He had insecurities," Crivello says. "We see that image of him as the icon, but then we get to know this other man who was a human being."

The play begins Friday, July 15 at the Next Act Theatre.

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