Yes, Denzel Washington is the reason audiences are drawn to the fifth Broadway production of Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh, just as the hopeless drunks who inhabit Harry Hope’s saloon are drawn to Hickey, the character Washington is portraying. Hickey is a happy-go-lucky traveling salesman who arrives every year on Harry’s birthday to buy them all drinks and lift their spirits.
Hickey disappoints the barflies this year; he’s stopped drinking, and is on a mission to turn them all sober and make them face their delusions.
But, in this production directed by George C. Wolfe…the barflies themselves do not disappoint. A strong ensemble cast of 19, mostly veteran actors with familiar faces (some with familiar names), persuasively play a dive full of colorful characters..