So I’ve just come from dinner with my old friend John Douglas Thompson – a man who will need no introduction to many of you. John has become one of America’s finest stage actors, as evidenced by not only a steady stream of glowing national press and an always lengthening list of lead roles at the most prestigious theatres in the US, but this very performance of The Iceman Cometh. I saw the second preview of this already-extended run here in Chicago, and I can HIGHLY recommend it to anyone in the area to check it out. John shines as does Nathan Lane (as the iceman), and Brian Dennehy. Actually I can’t really speak for Dennehy as I saw his understudy, but John tells me he’s in top form. As a huge Tommy Boy fan, I was a little disappointed to miss this two-time Tony winner, but his understudy did an absolutely bang-up job, and the rest of the cast (including a remarkable Stephen Ouimette), was lights-out fabulous.
It was a big day driving down from Milwaukee, settling in for a 5 hour+ O’Neill masterpiece about America’s special brand of existential depression, then getting to sit down with John for a long dinner and of course the drive back, but I had to read a little Shakespeare here in Chicago, being as it is a theatre town. So here you are, IV,1 – a bit rushed as I forgot to recharge the battery on the way down, a bit windy and a bit noisy (the ‘L’ rumbles overhead) but mission accomplished – Yorick and I have taken our show to within the Loop.