Friday, March 16, 2012

March 20: Inside "Iceman" with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy

"The Iceman Cometh" is coming to Chicago's Goodman Theatre, in a much-anticipated production starring Nathan Lane as Hickey, the salesman everyone is waiting for, Brian Dennehy as former anarchist Larry, and Stephen Ouimette (of "Slings and Arrows" fame) as Harry Hopes, the owner of the saloon where these barflies congregate. Goodman artistic director Robert Falls directs this "Iceman."

So we know about that, and we're on notice to try to acquire tickets now. But today's big news is that Dennehy and Lane will be appearing in a special "Artist Encounter" next Tuesday, March 20, in the Albert Theatre at the Goodman, to talk about the play with the Tribune's Rick Kogan and Chris Jones. Tickets are $25 for the general public or $20 for Goodman subscribers or donors or "Trib Nation" members. If you have questions about the Artist Encounter with Lane and Dennehy, you are invited to call the box office at 312-443-3800.

Dennehy had made something of a career of interpreting Eugene O'Neill, and he was the receipient of the Eugene O'Neill Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. Dennehy won a Tony for "Long Day's Journey Into Night," also directed by Robert Falls, and he did "Desire Under the Elms" at the Goodman and on Broadway, "Hughie" at the Stratford Festival in Canada, "A Touch of the Poet" at the Goodman with Falls, and he played Hickey in an earlier "Iceman Cometh," again directed by Falls, at the Goodman in 1990 and at the Abbey in Dublin in 1992. 

Nathan Lane is better known for his musical comedy stylings than as an interpreter of O'Neill, but he indicated in an interview with the Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones that he was in the mood to take on the formidable challenge of a major O'Neill role, especially since he'd be in Chicago, working with Falls and long-time friend Dennehy. Jones quotes Lane as saying, "I thought... that if I was going to climb this mountain, I should do it in a city where I feel comfortable and with people with whom I feel comfortable."

The Goodman's production of "The Iceman Cometh" opens April 21 and runs through June 10, 2012.

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