Goodman cancels full run of ‘Pamplona’ as Stacy Keach recuperates

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Stacy Keach as Ernest Hemingway during the 2017 run of Jim McGrath’s one-man show, “Pamplona,” at the Goodman Theatre. Keach returns July 10, 2018, with the production, which was canceled last year due to a health scare affecting the actor.| Liz Lauren

The Goodman Theatre has canceled the entire run of “Pamplona,” the highly anticipated world premiere of the one-man show about Ernest Hemingway starring Stacy Keach that was to run through June 25 in the 350-seat Owen Theatre space.

Performances were canceled on a day-to-day basis since this past Tuesday when the 76-year-old actor fell ill midway through the opening night performance of the show, written by Jim McGrath and directed by Robert Falls.

According to a statement issued by the Goodman Theatre: “The decision comes after Keach underwent medical testing following his opening night performance, which was halted by Falls midway through, when it became clear that Keach was struggling.

“According to Keach’s family, the doctors treating the stage and screen star have advised a period of rest and recuperation. As such, the Goodman has made the decision to cancel the remainder of the run. Out of respect for Keach and his family’s wishes we ask for privacy. There are no additional comments at this time.”

Ticket holders will be offered a full refund, or one of the following options: A Goodman gift certificate equal to the value of the tickets; tickets to the upcoming Eugene O’Neill classic “Ah, Wilderness!” directed by Steve Scott; or a tax-deductible donation to benefit the theater’s education and engagement programs. A Goodman Theatre representative will be in touch with patrons to make arrangements. For the box office, call (312) 443-3800.

Falls, the Goodman’s artistic director, observed: “’Pamplona’ has been the rare, joyous process working with a friend and colleague to realize a passion project. Stacy Keach is one of America’s finest actors, and he and playwright Jim McGrath have rendered a beautiful and complex new piece of theater about an American icon that audiences in 11 preview performances had the opportunity to witness and reward with tremendous enthusiasm and standing ovations.

“I am in awe of the work Stacy has done, and especially of the courage he’s displayed in the face of adversity, and I look forward to our future collaborations. We also wish to thank our Chicago audiences for their gracious support during this unusual circumstance.”

Keach had no understudy for the 80-minute “Pamplona” because of “the unique nature of the play and his extensive involvement in the project’s development.”

Stacy Keach as Ernest Hemingway in “Pamplona,” the one-man show by Jim McGrath that was canceled after the actor suffered a “mild” heart attack while performing on opening night at the Goodman Theatre on May 30. | Liz Lauren photo

Stacy Keach plays Ernest Hemingway in “Pamplona,” the one-man show by Jim McGrath now in its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre. (Photo: Liz Lauren)

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