Theatre Communications Group Fêtes Brian Dennehy

Actor is the man of honor at tonight's TCG benefit gala.

IcemanComethBAMWhen The New York Times reported earlier this year on rehearsals for the New York revival of a 2012 Chicago Goodman Theater production of The Iceman Cometh, they led with a reminder that working with Nathan Lane is much like the experience of watching him on stage. A blast:

Lane is making people laugh in a rehearsal room here, ribbing a fellow actor about his guttural delivery of one of Eugene O’Neill’s simpler exclamations.

“I’m not hearing ‘Ha!,’ ” he says, “so much as I’m hearing” – and here he does an exaggerated imitation of Brian Dennehy’s blurted moan. “Like an old Chevy starting,” Mr. Lane suggests, to general merriment. Mr. Dennehy shrugs and shoots back, “I’m more of a Ford man myself.”

The Brooklyn Academy of Music production of Iceman, co-presented by Scott Rudin, ran from Feb. 5 to March 15. Tonight, Lane and Dennehy will be reunited at the Edison Ballroom for Theatre Communications Group’s annual benefit gala. Lane is set to read a ‘love letter’ ode to Dennehy; the ceremony will also pay tribute to Jim O’Quinn, founding editor of TCG’s American Theatre magazine, which has been publishing since 1984.

From a report by Playbill:

In a statement Dennehy said, “Theater has always been my principal home and I feel greatly honored by TCG for what really amounts to a lifetime achievement award. I owe my reputation to New York, my theater hometown, and to Chicago, a city with an artistic soul unlike any other, to my long and wonderful relationship with [Iceman director] Robert Falls, who I met at an early point in my career, and Roche Schulfer and the Goodman Theatre – both of whom are, to me, essential parts of this award. To them and TCG I am thankful and grateful.”

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Times theater critic Christopher Isherwood reviewed Falls’ version of Iceman both in 2012 when it played Chicago and in 2015 when it hit BAM. Per the latter write-up, the production’s power remained undiminished:

Mr. Falls’s magisterial staging of O’Neill’s harrowing drama, one of his very greatest, floored me when I first saw it at the Goodman Theater almost three years ago. Once again, at the conclusion of this blistering production, currently at theBrooklyn Academy of Music, I had to scrape myself up from my seat, with my innards churning.