Not Such a Bad Day: Lane Leads Broadway's Butley to Recoup

By Ernio Hernandez
03 Jan 2007

With less than two weeks left in its limited run, the Broadway revival of Simon Gray's Butley, starring two-time Tony Award winner Nathan Lane, has recouped its initial investment of $2.25 million, producers announced Jan. 3.



Nicholas Martin who directed Lane in the 2003 Huntington Theatre Company run of the work reteamed with the star for the new run, which began previews Oct. 5, 2006, and officially opened at the Booth Theatre Oct. 25. The show is slated to conclude Jan. 14 following 21 previews and 94 performances.

Elizabeth Ireland McCann, Stephanie P. McClelland, Eric Falkenstein, Debra Black, Chase Mishkin, Barbara Manocherian/Larry Hirschhorn, Barbara Freitag and Jeffrey Sine/Frederick Zollo produce the revival.

Dana Ivey, Pamela Gray, Roderick Hill, Julian Ovenden, Darren Pettie and Jessica Stone also star in the production, which follows the title character, a professor who smokes and drinks his way through a day, after losing both his wife and his lover.

About the role, Lane previously told Playbill Magazine, "It's a workout. When Butley comes onstage, he's on for the duration. He runs down the hall at one point, but otherwise he never leaves the stage. It takes stamina because it's draining, but it's exhilarating at the same time - even though it's someone spiraling out of control."

In addition to his Tony-winning roles in The Producers and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Nathan Lane has starred on The Great White Way in The Odd Couple, Present Laughter, Merlin, The Wind in the Willows, Some Americans Abroad, On Borrowed Time, Guys and Dolls, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Love! Valour! Compassion! and The Man Who Came to Dinner. The actor has also been featured in such films as "Addams Family Values," "Mousehunt," "Love's Labour's Lost" and "The Birdcage," scoring a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the latter. He was also seen in the film adaptations of "Nicholas Nickleby" and "The Producers."

The design team includes Alexander Dodge (scenic), Ann Roth (costume), David Weiner (lighting), John Gromada (sound) and David Brian Brown (hair and wig).

The dark comedy premiered on Broadway Oct. 31, 1972 at the Morosco Theatre. British thespian Alan Bates, who originated the title role in the Harold Pinter-directed London production, reprised his portrayal to Tony-Award winning success. (Take a look back at the original 1972 program in Playbill.com's Playbill Archives feature).

Butley performs at the Booth Theatre, located at 222 West 45th Street.