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.