August 21, 2017 at 8:41 am #1202190905
Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington is set to star as Theodore Hickman, AKA Hickey, in Eugene O’Neill’s acclaimed play The Iceman Cometh on Broadway next spring. Five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe, who staged last season’s Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, will direct the revival, which begins a 14-week run March 22, 2018 with opening night on April 26 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.
Kevin Spacey played Hickey in 1999, the most recent Broadway revival of the drama. It’s set in Harry Hope’s dive on the West Side of Manhattan, a saloon populated with boozy social washouts awaiting Hickey for drinks all around and tall tales of selling on the road. Harry delivers as expected, but then announces his intention of curing his friends of the “pipe dreams” that keep them going.
Stage luminaries including Jason Robards and James Earl Jones have tackled the demanding role on Broadway; Nathan Lane played him in a Goodman Theatre production that was presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2015.
Washington made his Broadway debut in 1988 with Checkmates and returned to Broadway several times including Daniel Sullivan’s 2005 revival of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in which he starred as Brutus, and the revival of August Wilson’s Fences in 2010. Directed by Kenny Leon, Washington co-starred with Viola Davis. In 2016, the duo took their performance to the film adaptation, which Washington also directed. The film was nominated for Best Picture and earned Washington a nod for Best Actor while Davis took home the trophy for Best Supporting Actress.
Wolfe recently co-wrote and directed HBO’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. On Broadway, he staged Nora Ephron’s Lucky Guy, with Tom Hanks; a revival of The Normal Heart; the two parts of Angels in America and the musicals Bring in ‘Da Noise/Bring in ‘Da Funk and Jelly’s Last Jam, among others.
The Iceman Cometh will be produced by Scott Rudin, who produced Shuffle Along as well as Fences. Further casting and production credits will be announced later.
Looks like this production will be the hot ticket next Spring. Denzel’s plays since Julius Caesar have always been box-office successes with Fences and A Raisin in The Sun being major events. I expect the same for Iceman. Will be interesting to see what he does with George C. Wolfe since he won’t be working with his go-to director Kenny Leon this time. But with the pedigree of Denzel, Rudin, and Wolfe my expectations are high for this production. With Roman Israel Esq and now this, Denzel might be in awards discussion alot in the months to come.August 21, 2017 at 9:45 am #1202190947
It shall be interesting to see who they cast in the supporting roles. I suspect it will be nothing less than a mix of Hollywood and Broadway royalty, given that this play is insanely long to sit through.August 21, 2017 at 9:46 am #1202190951
I agree that this production sounds like it’s going to be one of the biggest events of the spring.August 21, 2017 at 9:50 am #1202190955
I know Nathan Lane just starred in the Off-Broadway revival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music a few years ago, and received tremendous critical praise for his performance as Hickey. Had it actually transferred to Broadway, do you think he easily would have won his third Tony?August 21, 2017 at 9:56 am #1202190965
It shall be interesting to see who they cast in the supporting roles. I suspect it will be nothing less than a mix of Hollywood and Broadway royalty, given that this play is insanely long to sit through.
That probably sounds right. The last revival from 1999 did feature a cast consisting of Tony Danza, Katie Finneran, Paul Giamatti, Robert Sean Leonard, Tim Pigott-Smith, and Kevin Spacey.
I think with the pedigrees of the play, the producer, the director, and the star, I wouldn’t be surprised if the production itself attracted such exciting talent.August 21, 2017 at 10:01 am #1202190971
I know Nathan Lane just starred in the Off-Broadway revival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music a few years ago, and received tremendous critical praise for his performance as Hickey. Had it actually transferred to Broadway, do you think he easily would have won his third Tony?
From what I’m aware of, revivals rarely transfer from off-Broadway to Broadway (especially since new works are usually the ones that make the jump). Though there are rumors that the National Theatre’s current production of Angels in America with Lane and Andrew Garfield could be coming to Broadway.August 21, 2017 at 10:16 am #1202190974
I agree, the talent already attached to this production combined with the huge spotlight this will receive will sure to attract alot of great talent. Can’t wait for more casting news on this one.