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Robert Falls directs Eugene O’Neill’s Towering Masterpiece, April 22 – June 10, 2012


(Chicago, IL) –  Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls announced today that he will direct The Iceman Cometh,Eugene O’Neill’s epic portrait of hope and disillusionment, running April 22 – June 10, 2012 in the Albert Theatre. Falls’ major revival features Tony Award-winning stage and screen stars Nathan Lane as hardware salesman and pipe dream buster Theodore “Hickey” Hickman, and Brian Dennehy as one-time syndicalist-anarchist Larry Slade. Hailed by The New

York Times as a “ferocious American classic that has lost none of its power,” The Iceman Cometh marked Falls’ and Dennehy’s first O’Neill collaboration at the Goodman in 1990—a production which featured Dennehy in the role of Hickey. Tickets to The Iceman Cometh are available now by subscription only; five-play Albert Theatre subscriptions start at $105; eight-play Albert and Owen Theatre subscriptions start at $168. Call 312.443.3800 or visit ExploreTheGoodman.org. One Owen Theatre selection in the upcoming 2011/2012 season is still to be announced.

“I am thrilled to create a new production of O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh—the greatest play by my favorite American playwright, Shakespearean in size, scope and challenge for its ensemble—led by two brilliant actors,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “Nathan Lane has long expressed his passion for the work of Eugene O’Neill, and more specifically, the challenging leading role of Hickey. My longtime collaborator Brian Dennehy, who triumphed in the same role in 1990 at the

old Goodman Theatre, will now assume the role of Larry Slade. It has been a dream of mine to return to this epic drama, and it is a thrill to collaborate with Nathan and Brian.”

In The Iceman Cometh, Harry Hope’s saloon is home to a ragtag band of drunks and dreamers who celebrate the arrival of Hickey, the charismatic traveling salesman whose raucous presence always ensures a grand good time. But when a newly sober Hickey blows in with a renewed outlook on life, his zealous attempts to fix the lives of his old friends leads to a series of events that are at once devastatingly comic and heartbreaking—and a revelation that threatens to shatter the tenuous illusions that fuel their lives. O’Neill’s monumental drama is “as corrosive as rotgut whiskey, as morbidly funny as a funeral gone amok, and as hallucinatory as an alcohol-fueled excursion into purgatory” (Chicago Sun-Times).

 Tony Award-winning stage and screen star Nathan Lane recently starred in the Broadway’s musical The Addams Family at New York’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. He will next be seen in the Tarsem Singh-directed The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, alongside Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer (set for release in 2012). His numerous stage credits include the critically acclaimed production of Waiting for Godot at Studio 54; the Broadway production of David Mamet’s hit comedy November; the blockbuster Broadway production of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple; and his wildly acclaimed portrayal of Max Bialystock in The Producers on Broadway, which earned Lane the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Tony awards for Best Actor in a Musical. Films include Mike Nichols’ The Birdcage, The Producers and the voice of Timon in The Lion King.

Brian Dennehy returns to the Goodman, where his credits include Hughie/Krapp’s Last Tape (2010); Desire Under the Elms (2009, also on Broadway), Hughie (2004), Long Day’s Journey into Night (2002), Death of a Salesman (1998), A Touch of the Poet (1996), The Iceman Cometh (1990, also at Abbey Theatre, Dublin) and Galileo (1986). Broadway credits include Inherit the Wind (2007), Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Tony Award for Best Actor, 2003), Death of a Salesman (Tony Award for Best Actor) and Translations (1995). Film credits include The Next Three Days; Alleged, Ratatouille; The Warden; Virtuoso; Tommy Boy; Presumed Innocent; F/X 2; Gladiator; The Belly of an Architect; F/X and Cocoon, among many others.

Eugene O’Neill (1888 – 1953) is considered one of the 20th century’s greatest American playwrights, winner of four Pulitzer Prizes in Drama and the Nobel Prize in Literature. Works produced by the Goodman include Hughie (2010 and 2004); A 2009 International Exploration of O’Neill in the 21st Century, including: Desire Under the Elms, The Emperor Jones (The Wooster Group, New York), The Hairy Ape (The Hypocrites, Chicago) and Rouw Siert Electra (Mourning Becomes Electra, performed in Dutch by Toneelgoep Amsterdam) and Strange Interlude (The Neo-Futurists, Chicago); Long Day’s Journey into Night (2002); A Moon for the Misbegotten (2000); A Touch of the Poet (1996); and The Iceman Cometh (1990).

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