For the second time in as many days, Broadway was taken by surprise.
Following yesterday’s announcement that smash hit Hamilton would not transfer to the rialto until summer, it was confirmed today that The Iceman Cometh, this season’s other big Off Broadway hit, would not move onto the Great White Way after its limited run ends March 15, in time for the Tonys.
Nathan Lane, currently starring in Iceman, will return to Terrence McNally’s comedy It’s Only a Play on March 31, after the Eugene O’Neill drama ends its run at BAM. Mr. Lane exited It’s Only a Play in January to prepare for Iceman, and was replaced by Martin Short, who was not nearly as much of a draw- grosses have dropped by half during Mr. Short’s run.
That lull should end with this news, especially since Mr. Lane will again be costarring with Matthew Broderick. The comedy dream team made The Producers, The Odd Couple and the early run of It’s Only a Play smash hits.
Of course, Iceman could also relocate later, and Lane and his costars have earned very strong reviews in the epic tale set an an end-of-the-road bar. But critics have not failed to flag to theater-goers the show’s nearly four-hour length and melancholy tone. (The Hollywood Reporter dubbed the production both superb and “punishing.”)
It’s Only a Play, which takes place at an opening night party as attendees await the reviews of a new show, also stars F. Murray Abraham, Stockard Channing, Katie Finneran, Maulik Pancholy and Micah Stock.