Did you know that while Iceman was on Broadway ….

 

HURLYBURLY is released for the video rental market.

A Bug’s Life is released on home video and Spacey fans scramble to get their own Hopper covers. (I got mine!)

Kevin films a movie during the rehearsals for Iceman. First called Hospitality Suite, it’s later changed to Convention and then to The Big Kahuna.

Kevin is NOT named one of People magazine’s “Sexiest Men” which outrages many fans. One fan is even moved to write to the magazine.

Kevin is NOT nominated for a Drama Desk Award, yet attends ceremony to present awards to other actors.

Kevin turns 40 years old. Fans give him special gifts to mark the day.

Fans who attend the earlier performances inform everyone else of Kevin’s nightly zig zag pattern leaving the theater. Starts signing autographs to his immediate left, goes down the row to the street, cuts diagonally back towards the barrier on the other side of the door, then goes down that row until he reaches his car.

Fans stake out the prime spot for autographs after the play each night. Left of the stage door. Next to the trash dumpster.

When my mother and a friend of ours went to the barricade to wait for my sister and I to leave the theater after the play, the security guard told them they should move to the other side if they wanted most of the autographs, and my mom told him that she was instructed to stand next to the trash dumpster and nowhere else, and the guard said “Oh, you’re wanting *Kevin’s* autograph.”

This was a big surprise to Kevin’s fans at Spaceyland: The writer of a magazine (I think it was New York magazine. Some of my scrapbook clippings are mixed up and unlabelled.) decides to go for a different angle when writing about Kevin’s Iceman. She decides to tell the world what Kevin’s fans thought of him during the London performance of the play and quotes people from Spaceyland who had mentioned seeing the play.

Opening  Unusual Suspects by Jennifer Senior

Sad but true: All critical praise sounds monotonously alike. Kevin Spacey’s interpretation of Hickey in last year’s London production of The Iceman Cometh resulted in the usual round of  synchronized hymning, and it’s likely to do the same when the Eugene O’Neill drama opens here, this Thursday at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. So, in the spirit of both the play – which sings the praises of unfamous men – and rhetorical diversity, we present a more eclectic sampling of kudos for Mr. Spacey, gleaned from Spaceyland (http://www.spacey.com), one of the actor’s many unofficial Websites:

“In person, he’s a medium sort of height (5′ 10″?), lovely broad shoulders, of trim physique with … BIG feet!” – Miss Kubelik

“He has no butt! Don’t tell.” – Ariane

“We know Kevin likes characters which are essential to the action, even if not omnipresent, and Hickey is exactly that.” – Sandra

“It was nearly the time for the first interval and no sign of Hickey … then a warm feeling circulated through the audience, building up to a crescendo  of “yea-yesss.” …That man’s charisma, his presence. Kevin took the stage, the theatre  … he cometh and everyone felt his magnetism.” – Spacegirl

“He actually produces real tears.” – Zee

“Kevin actually blew several lines but recovered without missing a beat.”  – Christine

“Seeing him on stage only confirms it – when it comes to acting, Kevin’s a bloody genius.” – Weezee

~

Kevin’s devoted fans who were lucky enough to see him in person have a disagreement over his height. Most fans use the following mathematical formula for determining the Spacey height:  my height + shoe heel height + where Kevin’s head is in relation to my head in pictures from 1 hour photo place = Official Spacey Height. Kevin’s fans discover they have issues concerning their own heights since Official Spacey Height estimates range from 5’4″ to nearly 6′ tall. One fan decides to go straight to the source and while he signs autographs asks him how tall he is.  He claims 5’11” and asks why she needs to know. She remains calm and innocently says “No reason.”

Fans next decide to move on to the color of his eyes. A later argument ensues after someone accuses Kevin of being shy at the stage door. Debate over shy/not shy continues hotly for several days. Some people say he wasn’t shy, he was just afraid of his fans and their gold metallic ink craft pens.

Kevin and and the cast of Iceman gave a special fundraiser performance of The Iceman Cometh for President Clinton: Capping a visit to New York on Monday, President and Hillary Rodham Clinton will see the Broadway revival of  “The Iceman Cometh” starring Clinton supporter Kevin Spacey. – The Washington Post

“I’d see in her eyes how she was trying not to know, and then telling herself even if it was true, he couldn’t help it, they tempt him, and he’s lonely, he hasn’t got me, it’s only his body, anyway, he doesn’t love them, I’m the only one he loves … She forgave me even when it had all come out in the open. You know how it is when you keep taking chances. You may be lucky for a long time, but you get nicked in the end.”   From the last-act speech of hardware salesman Theodore Hickman in “The Iceman Cometh.”

President Clinton attended a special Broadway benefit performance of the Eugene O’Neill classic, but Hillary and Chelsea were too busy with New York house-hunting. -The Washington Post

Gridlock at the Crossroads  Derek Jeter, Spike Lee, a food festival, and oh yes, Bill Clinton, combined to create starlock in Times Square yesterday. Police officers escorted the President to a special performance of  ”The Iceman Cometh.” – The New York Times

A Hungry Young Actor Kevin Spacey knows the kind of advice struggling young actors can really use. Like how to scam free food. The “Iceman Cometh” star shared some tips from his own days at Juilliard when he spoke to the graduates of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts’ ceremony on Monday. “I used to borrow a tuxedo from the costume department at school, telling them I needed it for a Noel Coward scene in class,” Spacey recalled. “Then I would go to whatever convention they were having at the Sheraton Hotel —’Dentists of the Midwest,’ ‘Industrial Lubricants Spring Gala’ — because they always had a free buffet. So I would be stuffing my pockets with bread, saying, ‘Yeah, that new molar bit is really good!’ ”

NICEMAN COMETH TO LUNCH New York Post, Tuesday, April 20, 1999 PAGE SIX Column

Eager theatergoers are thrilled that the Broadway revival of “The Iceman Cometh” has been extended into July. It’s one of the hottest tickets in town, and its star, Kevin Spacey, is playing the role of his life. Despite having just done the Eugene O’Neill classic in London, Spacey keeps working on it. Before he opened here, he asked O’Neill biographers Arthur and Barbara Gelb if he could talk with them about the playwright. He came to lunch and stayed four hours. The Gelbs, who are now updating their massive work, are sure to give a mention to Spacey’s star turn in “Iceman.”

In Theatre  May 24, 1999 issue has an article about the 1999 Drama Desk Awards ceremony. Kevin was not nominated for this award and the article says this about Kevin appearing to hand out the award for lead actor to Brian Dennehy (Death of a Salesman):

And though he wasn’t nominated for his turn in Iceman, Kevin Spacey proved himself a winner, leaping on stage from the audience to present the lead actor award to Dennehy – Spacey’s main competitor for the Tony Award. (Inquiring minds want to know: Was it merely a gracious gesture from the Oscar winner, or was it a crafty move designed to woo Tony voters, who received their ballots over the weekend.)

The Iceman Cometh tied with Death of a Salesman for Revival of a Play.~

Variety ad

The William Morris Agency placed a full page ad in Variety congratulating all of their clients who were 1999 Tony nominees. The name of Kevin’s production company was misspelled. Triger Street Productions was congratulated instead of Trigger Street. A smaller version of the same ad appeared in the Tony Awards PLAYBILL.

 

Tuesday June 08 09:04 PM EDT – The Tonys Flop (and Flap)

The Tonys are over, but the melody lingers–like day-old fish. The post-ceremony news is all bad for Broadway’s showcase awards, what with dismal TV ratings, angry producers and a scapegoated Kevin Spacey. First disasters first: The backers of the Tony-nominated musical It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues are fuming because producers of the CBS telecast cut their scheduled production number with 30 minutes to go in Sunday’s show. The four minutes of air time traditionally allotted each nominated new musical is considered the ultimate promotional tool–a virtual commercial to a nation of potential ticket buyers. But with the already low-profile It Ain’t Nothin’ getting nothin’, the show has been “substantially damaged,” producer Eric Krebs said in a statement Monday. “Cutting this because of a disorganized Tony event could actually close us,” another producer, Anita Waxman, said in The New York Times.

Producers have hired entertainment-industry lawyer Bert Fields, currently repping movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg in his lawsuit battle with Disney. Krebs said Fields will provide advice on their next move. As for the Tony camp, it argues the ax was regrettable, but necessary–the show was running long and had to end at 11 p.m., sharp. “We share in the disappointment of our community that the fine performance of It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues and the other elements of the broadcast fell prey to one of the inherent perils of live television,” producers of the Tony Awards said, in a statement. The last time a nominated musical lost air time to an over-long show was 1996. The production was the still-running Smokey Joe’s Cafe. But unlike It Ain’t Nothin’, Smoky Joe’s had its number cut after peformers from the show had opened the telecast.

Ironically, on Sunday’s show, actors from the multi-nominated Parade got their prime-time time, even though the show had closed months ago. A Tony spokesman said he didn’t know why Parade was scheduled to appear on the telecast before It Ain’t Nothin’, adding that producers thought they’d have time for everything. According to Daily Variety, some are pointing the finger of blame for the time-challenged broadcast at actor Kevin Spacey.

A few days before the telecast, Spacey, currently starring on stage in The Iceman Cometh, dreamed up a set piece wherein actors from the nominated plays traded disconnected lines from their respective shows. (“It was a mess,” an unnamed producer told the New York Post. “It made absolutely no sense.”) Spacey’s brainchild ran about three minutes. Originally, Tony producers slotted its play segment for two minutes. As a result, “Broadway insiders” are blaming Spacey for the bloated telecast, Variety said. “That upsets me,” Spacey told the trade paper Monday, “because it’s absolutely inaccurate. I’m not going to get in the middle of some dispute, but we took exactly the time that they expected.”

All in all, Sunday was a wash-out for both It Ain’t Nothin’ and Spacey–the show lost out to Fosse for the best musical Tony; the Oscar-winner lost out to Death of Salesman’s Brian Dennehy for the best play actor Tony. In the ratings department, the news gets no rosier for the Tonys (or CBS), chiefly because Rosie O’Donnell wasn’t around. The Rosie-free show plunged to a 7.9 rating in the overnight markets–a free fall of nearly 25 percent from 1998. In January, O’Donnell declined a chance to emcee her third straight Tonys, citing scheduling conflicts. She also was a last-minute no-show as a presenter Sunday, citing family business.

Kevin made a surprise appearance on the Letterman show to introduce the musical number from It Ain’t Nothin’ But The Blues after the Tony time problem.

neil simon at the neil simon the playwright’s the thing II

On June 26, 2000 there was a special tribute to Neil Simon at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York City. The event was to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Actors performed selected scenes from his plays. Kevin was not there but he was one of the actors who contributed to the Playbill for that night’s show, a message or story about working with Neil Simon. Most actors had a small paragraph, a few short sentences. But not our Kevin… Here’s what he had to say:

Original thoughts:

“Louie” Lost In Yonkers

I first met Neil Simon in 1990 in the back rehearsal room of New York’s Dramatist Play Services. I was there as one of many actors auditioning for Neil and director Gene Saks for the Broadway production of Lost in Yonkers. Nervous and fretful to audition for such a revered playwright, I cracked open the rehearsal room door so I could watch the actor auditioning before me. I saw that Neil was sitting there at a table. He wasn’t smiling. I auditioned next and looked up after what I of course thought was a triumphant reading. Neil still wasn’t smiling.

Somehow, I was miraculously cast as Uncle Louie and soon began the process of developing the character with Neil, which to this day remains one of my most challenging and joyful professional experiences. We opened in Washington, D.C., on the night that George Bush attacked Kuwait. I will never forget the sight of Neil wringing his hands backstage, muttering to himself that he could already see the headline of the review in tomorrow’s paper: “BAGHDAD WASN’T THE ONLY PLACE BOMBS WERE FALLING LAST NIGHT.”

To say opening nights for Neil are nerve-wracking would be a gross understatement, and anyone who has experienced one with him knows this all too well. When Neil left D.C. to gain some distance from the play, I began a ritual of calling him every other day to ask him if it would be okay to make slight adjustments to a scene here, a line there. I did this in such a calculatedly slow and gradual manner that not until the first preview in New York did Neil realize that I had successfully cut 15 lines of his dialogue from ACT I. I cannot begin to describe the torrent of expletives Neil leveled in my direction backstage. I calmly told him I would be happy to discuss the changes, but for the moment I had to go perform ACT II.

We later had a great discussion about the credibility of the character and that my intention was to make him less jokey but not damage his basic persona as a fast-talking, vaudevillian-like gangster. Neil, God bless him, ultimately embraced those changes. On opening night, I received two things from Neil that I will forever cherish: a stunningly beautiful letter from this stunningly gifted playwright and the original, handwritten page of a scene between Uncle Louie and his Ma. It had Moxie written all over it. Oh, I also got one other thing from Neil that night which I will never forget. He was smiling! – Kevin Spacey