Nathan Lane Signs on for “The Iceman Cometh”: “It’s a good time in my life to do this — I mean, if not now, when?”

When The Iceman Cometh, so will Nathan Lane. The theater star has signed on to play salesman Theodore “Hickey” Hickman in a 2012 revival of Eugene O’Neill’s classic Iceman Cometh. The play will begin its run at Chicago’s Goodman Theater next April 22-June 10.

“It’s a good time in my life to do this — I mean, if not now, when?” Lane said, according to the New York Times. “Sometimes you have to dive into the deep end. And if the show is good, I get to defy expectations for those people who seem to think I’ve been working for Ringling Brothers all these years. It’s just, for someone who has long been overly concerned with what people think, it feels very good to take on something with complex, emotional twists and turns into a play with this much darkness.”

The play, which was written in 1939 and debuted on Broadway seven years later, focuses on a group of regulars at a run-down Greenwich Village bar and the effect that hardware hawker Hickman has on their lives.

“He’s a haunting character, and there are things there that I can relate to,” Lane noted of Hickman. “And I was looking for a play that was bleaker than Waiting for Godot, and this is the only one I could find.”

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