Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh will return to Broadway this spring, directed by Howard Davies and starring Kevin Spacey and Robert Sean Leonard. Previews begin March 29, 1999 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre for an April 8, 1999 opening and a limited engagement through June, 1999.
Howard Davies' production of Iceman originated at London's Almeida theatre, with Spacey in the role of Hickey. After critical praise and sold out performances, the production transferred for a limited run at the Old Vic.
Although best-known for his work in films such as "The Usual Suspects," for which he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, "Seven" and "L.A. Confidential," Kevin Spacey's theatre credits are numerous. Broadway appearances have included Ibsen's Ghosts, O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night and Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers, for which he won a Tony award in 1991. Spacey is currently filming "Ordinary Decent Criminal" directed by Thaddeus O'Sullivan and "American Beauty" directed by Cabaret's Sam Mendes.
Leonard has made numerous appearances at The Roundabout including You Never Can Tell, Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Candida. Other Broadway appearance include: Arcadia, The Speed of Darkness, Breaking the Code, and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Leonard first came to national attention in the film Dead Poet's Society, starring Robin Williams.
Though the entire ensemble received rave reviews in London, it's undecided whether any other member of the London cast (other than Spacey) will be replaced by American actors due to Actors' Equity stipulations for both Britain and the U.S. The Iceman Cometh concerns the deluded pipe dreams of characters at Harry Hope's saloon who are confronted by Hickey (Spacey), a traveling salesman who has broken free of his dreams and seeks to lead the others to do the same. Things come undone, however, when the reason for Hickey's transformation becomes known.
Written in 1939, Iceman debuted on Broadway in October 9, 1946, and was widely recognized as a great American drama. Despite the acclaim, the production only ran 136 performances, and it was not until 1956, when an Off-Broadway revival at Circle in the Square, directed by Jose Quintero and starring Jason Robards, caught critical and popular imagination and ran for more than 500 performances, that the status of the play as a classic was acknowledged.
Director Davies, is an Associate Director of the Royal National Theatre, he received a Tony Award nomination for his direction of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Other Broadway credits include two other Royal Shakespeare Company productions, Piaf and Good, as well as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Kathleen Turner and My Fair Lady with Richard Chamberlain.
The setting and costumes for Iceman are designed by Bob Crowley, best known for his designs of Broadway's Carousel (Tony and Olivier Award Winner), Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Judas Kiss, and the recent Nick Hytner production of Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center. Lighting for the production is by Mark Henderson, with music by Paddy Cunneen.
The Iceman Cometh is the third star-studded Almeida production to enjoy a West End run this season. Having opened Apr. 2, it followed David Hare's The Judas Kiss, starring Liam Neeson, and Pirandello's Naked, with Juliette Binoche.