Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Iceman Cometh: Ted Mann Reflects on O'Neill

The O'Neill Festival screened "The Iceman Cometh," a 1960 Play of the Week directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Jason Robards Jr. and a very young Robert Redford.

The film depicts the accounts surrounding the 60th birth day party of saloonkeeper Harry Hope, an Irish ward heeler, and the down and out characters who inhabit his Last Chance Saloon. They correspond to O'Neill's friends in his younger years, and the play is highly political. They are waiting for Theodore Hickman(Hickey) to arrive; Larry Slade and Don Parrit are dropouts from the anarchist movement.
Ted Mann, Producer, Circle in the Square
and Avrim Ludwig of "Inside the Actors' Studio"
Photo credit: Patricia Jameson-Sammartano

Ted Mann, who produced the 1956 Circle in the Square presentation of "Iceman", told of the play not succeeding on Broadway and of being summoned, with director Jose Quintero, by Mrs. O'Neill to talk about putting on the play at Circle in the Square, which had been a former nightclub with the windows painted over(to avoid the Prohibition revenue agents) The actors entering looked like ghosts.

Howard da Silva had originally been cast as Hickey, but left due to other commitments. According to a search of both Internet Movie and Broadway Databoards, he never did an O'Neill play; talk about missed opportunities. Jason Robards insisted on auditioning for the role, even though he had already been cast in the play. He read the 4th act monologue, and Mann said, "It was his role; nobody could touch Jason." Mann also recounted how he and Quintero called Robards' 12th Street home after the audition and asked for Hickey, just to let Robards know he had the role.

We were treated to a first-person account of theater history; Robards became associated with male roles in O'Neill plays, just as Jose Quintero became the "O'Neill Director." Mann produced both of them. Redford, who was an unknown actor cast by Sidney Lumet in the movie, went on to become Bob Woodward in "All the Presidents' Men," in which Robards appeard as Washington Post Managing Editor Ben Bradlee.

Returning to "Iceman," the denizens of the Last Chance all have hopes of one sort or another, and "these pipe dreams or aspirations are what kept them alive," according to Mann. He sees that as the essence of the play. He said that the current Broadway hit, "The Seafarer" also is acted much the way "Iceman" was, very naturalistically, and said of Robards, "Jason was needier onstage."

Mann has recently publlished his memoir, "Journeys In the Night."

And of "Long Day's Journey Into Night" which Mann also produced in 1956, he said that Mrs. O'Neill approached them and said no changes were to be made to the script and she would have to approve the cast. Eugene O'Neill had left instructions in his will that this play not be published until 25 years after his death(1953); by 1956, his sons Shane and Eugene Jr. had both committed suicide, and his daughter Oona was disinherited because she had married Charlie Chaplin. "The children were all dead to O'Neill," said Mann.

Production details on the original "Long Days Journey:" the cost of production was under $200,000 in 1956, and dentist friends of Mann's put up $250 a share for the play. Better than pulling teeth.

Patricia Jameson-Sammartano
Culture Editor, WGT

http://www.backstage.com/bso/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003685021

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do You interesting of [b]Viagra 100mg dosage[/b]? You can find below...
[size=10]>>>[url=http://listita.info/go.php?sid=1][b]Viagra 100mg dosage[/b][/url]<<<[/size]

[URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/link/buy%20viagra/1_valentine3.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/img0/buy%20viagra/1_valentine3.png[/IMG][/URL]
[URL=http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/link/buy%20viagra/3_headsex1.html][IMG]http://imgwebsearch.com/30269/img0/buy%20viagra/3_headsex1.png[/IMG][/URL]
[b]Bonus Policy[/b]
Order 3 or more products and get free Regular Airmail shipping!
Free Regular Airmail shipping for orders starting with $200.00!

Free insurance (guaranteed reshipment if delivery failed) for orders starting with $300.00!
[b]Description[/b]

Generic Viagra (sildenafil citrate; brand names include: Aphrodil / Edegra / Erasmo / Penegra / Revatio / Supra / Zwagra) is an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction regardless of the cause or duration of the problem or the age of the patient.
Sildenafil Citrate is the active ingredient used to treat erectile dysfunction (impotence) in men. It can help men who have erectile dysfunction get and sustain an erection when they are sexually excited.
Generic Viagra is manufactured in accordance with World Health Organization standards and guidelines (WHO-GMP). Also you can find on our sites.
Generic Viagra is made with thorough reverse engineering for the sildenafil citrate molecule - a totally different process of making sildenafil and its reaction. That is why it takes effect in 15 minutes compared to other drugs which take 30-40 minutes to take effect.
[b][/b]
Even in the most sexually liberated and self-satisfied of nations, many people still yearn to burn more, to feel ready for bedding no matter what the clock says and to desire their partner of 23 years as much as they did when their love was brand new.
The market is saturated with books on how to revive a flagging libido or spice up monotonous sex, and sex therapists say “lack of desire” is one of the most common complaints they hear from patients, particularly women.

Anonymous said...

Amiable post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you on your information.

Anonymous said...

great post as usual!

Anonymous said...

great post as usual!

Anonymous said...

Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

Anonymous said...

Oh throw that you so much quest of your send at right time. It helped me in my assignment. Thanks Alot

Anonymous said...

Genial post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.

Anonymous said...

Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

Anonymous said...

this post is very usefull thx!

Anonymous said...

Nice dispatch and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you on your information.