Opening Night

Bits and pieces …

A group of fans (including myself) sent Kevin and the cast of Iceman flowers for opening night. Purple/blue hydrangeas with yellow/gold orchids and orange roses for the cast. White roses with white orchids for Kevin. I hope they enjoyed the flowers since it was fun sending them.

Kevin dedicates his Iceman performance to Alan J. Pakula, the director who died in a car accident. Article in USA Today.

The next morning in USA Today, Jeanne Williams column: It was after midnight, but Kevin Spacey seemed as bubbly as the champagne and Heinekens his co-stars were washing down. They’d been going since 5 p.m., when The Iceman Cometh’s opening show began. Spacey didn’t know it but the next day he would become the rave man in the press. New York magazine’s crusty John Simon laid his wreath on Spacey’s dome. His performance as Eugene O’Neill’s anti-hero is one “to make every nonactor want to take up acting and every actor want to give up in despair.”

At Thursday’s opening party, press was banned from whatever shenanigans went on at the Tavern on the Green supper (with Drew Barrymore, Ed Norton, Kathleen Turner, and Stephen Rhea on hand). The 19-member cast worked non-stop during previews of the four-hour, 15 minute barroom drama, and “we just wanted to blast it out,” Spacey said. Spacey, Tony Danza as the bartender/procurer, Robert Sean Leonard and director Howard Davies are all savoring the rare joy of a sold-out hit.

Brian Dennehy, who made a mark as Hickey in Iceman, dropped by after his Death of a Salesman show to hug Spacey. “I’m proud of him for doing it. It’s a tough part,” Dennehy said.

Spacey was still reeling from “the sweetest” letter from Jason Robards of the famed 1956 Iceman. He read it to the audience at the curtain call. “I had to make him a part of this evening,” he said, “or it wouldn’t have been complete for me.”

“Not only the theatrical event of the season, but the most ambitious and brilliantly realized revival to be seen on Broadway in years! Kevin Spacey gives a thrilling tour de force performance.” – Pat Collins WWOR-TV

“An outstanding  production of a mighty play. Grand, poetic, profoundly human and beautifully acted. It is a sight to behold.” – Dennis Cunningham WCBS-TV

“Kevin Spacey hits the stage like a string of firecrackers going off. He was, in short, born to play Hickey, and the intelligence he brings to the role is breathtaking. Around 11PM, at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, silence descends … the resounding soundlessness of a crowd of hundreds scarcely daring to breathe, much less cough or whisper. When was the last time you heard that kind of a hush in a theater? That this occurs four hours into the performance is a testament both to the abiding potency of Eugene O’Neill’s great play and the hypnotic pull of this production.” – Ben Brantley, New York Times

“Under Howard Davies’ superb direction, a miracle occurs. This Iceman sings. This humorous, energetic, absorbing, even jaunty adaptation galvanizes the viewer, and reaffirms why Kevin Spacey is one of the most watchable men on the planet.” – Georgette Gouveia, Gannett Newspapers

“Kevin Spacey’s Hickey gives what can only be described as a shattering, enthralling, terrifying, and ultimately gut wrenching performance.”

The play we have all been waiting for since the start of the season, THE ICEMAN COMETH, is finally here and it opened last night at the Brooks Atkinson. It’s absolutely terrific and if you can get any seat in any location, go and enjoy this humorous evening with the marvelous Kevin Spacey and his gang of barroom drunks. See The ICEMAN COMETH if you can. It’s not only a wonderful show about pipe dreams but it’s a real dream of a show. – David F. Richardson, WOR Radio

“Iceman makes theater history. No admirer of the great American play should miss this “Iceman” for the ages. Four stars (out of four).” – David Patrick Steams, USA Today

“A production of the ages. So overwhelming – you will be devastated.” – Jeffrey Lyons, WNBC-TV

More Reviews:

Washington Post

USA Today

“The Iceman Cometh,” which opened last week to ecstatic reviews, is extending its run until July 17. As part of the three-week extension, producers will sell about 100 more $20 student tickets per night. (The show’s regular top ticket price is $100.) Spacey said, “We’re determined to give this show to as many people as we can.”