“The Iceman Cometh is set in Harry Hope’s decidedly downmarket Greenwich Village saloon and rooming house, in 1912. The patrons, who are all men except for three women who are prostitutes, are all dead-end alcoholics who spend every possible moment seeking oblivion in each others’ company and trying to con or wheedle free drinks from Harry and the bartenders. They tend to focus much of their anticipation on the semi-regular visits of the salesman Theodore Hickman, known to them as Hickey. When Hickey finishes a tour of his business territory, which is apparently a wide expanse of the West Coast, he typically turns up at the saloon and starts the party. As the play opens, the regulars are expecting Hickey to turn up soon and plan to throw Harry a surprise birthday party. The entire first act introduces the various characters and shows them bickering amongst each other, showing just how drunk and delusional they are, all the while waiting for the arrival of Hickey. Joe Molt is the only African American member of the group and is the former owner of a black casino. He insists he will soon re-open the casino. Cecil “The Captain” Lewis is a former infantryman of the British Army who fought Piet “The General” Wetjoen, a Boer, during the Boer War. The two are now good friends and each insists they’ll soon go back to their nations of origin. Harry Hope is the proprietor of the bar and, though he is constantly saying otherwise, has a tendency to give out free drinks. He has not left the bar since his wife Bess’s death 20 years ago. He promises that he’ll take a walk around the block on his birthday, the next day. Pat McGloin is a former police lieutenant who was convicted on criminal charges and kicked out of the force. He says he is hoping to appeal, but is waiting for the right moment. Rocky Pioggi is the night bartender, but is paid little and makes his living mostly off of allowing Pearl and Margie stay at the bar in exchange for all the money they make. He despises being called a pimp. Ed Mosher is Harry’s brother-in-law, Bess’s brother. He is a former circus box-office man and con-man who prides himself on his ability to give incorrect change. He kept too much of his illegitimate profits to himself and was fired, but says he will get his job back someday.”These are just a handful of the characters you meet in the Iceman Cometh. You can read about the rest of the characters here.
No, this isn’t one of the movies that Marvel is rolling out, (though I wouldn’t be surprised if they titled one Iceman Cometh) instead it is a play. The Iceman Cometh was originally premiered on 9 October 1946, however, it was written in 1939. The American playwright, Eugene O’Neill published the work in 1940. The play was first preformed in the Martin Beck Theatre and was directed by Eddie Dowling. It had a very respectable run with 136 performances. The Iceman Cometh closed on 15 March 1947. The play is very intelligent, and a little bit of a downer. Here is a excerpt of the plot summary.