AceShowbiz - %cDenzel Washington% is returning to Broadway for Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh" next year. The 62-year-old actor is set to star in the revival of the acclaimed play that will be directed by five-time Tony winner George C. Wolfe and produced by Scott Rudin, The New York Post reports.
A limited 14-week run of the new production is set to start March 22 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, with opening night on April 26. Washington has said in a statement that he's "very excited to come back to Broadway in this great play and to be working on it with George Wolfe."
Washington reportedly has long been an O'Neill fan. As a student at Fordham University in the 1970s, he made his theatrical debut in "The Emperor Jones". O'Neill wrote "Iceman Cometh" in 1939, inspired by Maxim Gorky's "The Lower Depths". He based many of the characters on real-life drunks he remembered from his heavy-drinking days at Jimmy-the-Priest's waterfront saloon on Fulton Street.
In the new production, Washington will play Hickey, a charismatic traveling salesman with a secret who shows up at a Greenwich Village saloon to buy the drunken regulars one last round. The play originally premiered in 1946 at the Martin Beck Theatre. Among the distinguished actors who've played the character are %cJason Robards%, %cJames Earl Jones%, %cKevin Spacey% and %cNathan Lane%.
Washington has a heavy theater background. Making his Broadway debut in 1988 with "Checkmates", he returned to Broadway several times including for the revival of August Wilson's "Fences" in 2010, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play. Directed by Kenny Leon, Washington starred alongside %cViola Davis%.
Washington and Davis reprised their roles in 2016's film adaptation "Fences", which Washington directed. It was nominated for Best Picture and earned Washington a prize for Best Actor while Davis took home the award for Best Supporting Actress.
Washington's previous Broadway outing was in the 2014 revival of "A Raisin in the Sun" which shattered records at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, where it opened with advance ticket sales of $12 million.