Stacy Keach had a heart attack during 'Chicago' play, says director

Pauline Gross
June 7, 2017

The Goodman Theatre has confirmed that actor Stacy Keach experienced a mild heart attack onstage during the May 30 opening night performance of Pamplona-Jim McGrath's world-premiere solo play about a late-in-life Earnest Hemingway. He starred as Ernest Hemingway in the one-man 80-minute show.

Doctors advised the actor to rest and take it easy, and on Friday, theatre officials made a decision to cancel the play altogether, as it had been due to run until 25 June. According to the Chicago Tribune, Keach remains in the hospital, but is expected to be released from hospital on Tuesday and make a full recovery.

"I visited Stacy in the hospital yesterday", said Robert Falls, the Goodman's artistic director and director of "Pamplona". It turns out he was having a heart attack. "He says Keach was sitting up and studying the script and asked "'when are we rescheduling?'"

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None of the West Virginia participants were called on stage as finalists, as they did not have enough points to qualify. At one point in round six, in was one of just three states with more than one speller among the 18 still on stage.

"Of course Stacy will need to rest, and we have already announced our next season", he says. However, a likely spot for the Goodman to re-stage "Pamplona" would be next year.

Plans are for Keach to stay in Chicago while he recuperates so he can be close to his doctors.

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