Running since March 2018 Tony winner and two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington returns to Broadway in a new production of Eugene O'Neill's four-act epic play about a newly sober, charismatic traveling salesman whose renewed outlook on life threatens to upend the lives of his old friends.
From the producers: Set in the summer of 1912 at Harry Hope's saloon on New York's lower west side, this is O'Neill's classic story of a freespending, boisterous salesman who compels his fellow barflies to confront their pipe dreams.
Playwright Eugene O'Neill was at the height of his fame when "The Iceman Cometh" premiered on Broadway in 1946 at the Martin Beck (now Al Hirschfeld) Theatre. The production was a commercial success, though it received mixed reviews. The play was last revived on Broadway in 1998 in a production starring Kevin Spacey as Hickey.
Denzel Washington makes his return to Broadway in the role of Hickey. Washington’s Broadway credits include "A Raisin in the Sun," "Fences," "Julius Caesar" and "Checkmates." He won the Tony Award for his performance as Troy Maxon in August Wilson’s "Fences," a role he recently reprised for the 2016 film adaptation, which he also directed. Five time Tony winner George C. Wolfe ("The Normal Heart," "On the Town") directs the limited engagement.
"Iceman" is in good hands with this latest creative team led by director Wolfe. Yes, the play is long and the dialogue often repetitive. And yet it can be repetitive in the way music is, coming back to themes that the cast riffs on neatly under Wolfe's orchestration. The ensemble cast is stocked both with veteran performers and Broadway debuts. Washington's Hickey proves a transfixing storyteller, a salesman who knows how to close.
Wolfe's revival feels on some levels like it's still cohering, the underlying despair remaining muted for too much of the running time. But it comes together in a powerful final act driven by the searing confessional monologue of Washington's Hickey. Wolfe has assembled a talented ensemble, almost all digging deep into their characters. Washington invests the role with blazing charisma...more badgering than menacing, but he makes it work.