PHOTO CALL: A First Look at Douglas Carter Beane's The Nance on Broadway, Starring Nathan Lane

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01 Apr 2013

Tony Award winner Nathan Lane stars in The Nance, Douglas Carter Beane's new 1930s-set play about a gay burlesque performer facing a changing world, which began Broadway previews March 21 at the Lyceum Theatre.

Tony Award-winning director Jack O'Brien (The Coast of Utopia, Hairspray) stages the Lincoln Center Theater production that will officially open April 15. Lane, a Tony Award winner for The Producers and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, stars in the central role of Chauncey Miles, a homosexual burlesque headliner.



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Nathan Lane
Photo by Joan Marcus



The cast also boasts original Tony Award-winning Producers cast member Cady Huffman, Tony nominee Lewis J. Stadlen (Forum, The Producers, The Man Who Came to Dinner), Jenni Barber (The Performers, As You Like It), Andrèa Burns (In the Heights, Songs for a New World), Geoffrey Allen Murphy (War Horse) and Jonny Orsini (An Early History of Fire, Banished Children of Eve) in his Broadway debut as Ned, the younger lover of Lane's character.

Understudies include Stephen DeRosa, Matthew GoodrichMichael KostroffMylinda Hull and Megan Sikora.



The world of New York City's bygone burlesque era is conjured with new musical material by Glen Kelly (The Producers, Spamalot, The Scottsboro Boys, The Book of Mormon); and a revolving set by John Lee Beatty that takes audiences on and off-stage as the action plays out.

The production also has costumes by Ann Roth, lighting by Japhy Weideman, sound by Leon Rothenberg, choreography by Joey Pizzi and orchestrations by Larry BlankDavid Gursky conducts the band.

The Nance takes its title from a staple vaudeville character, an effeminate homosexual male, who was featured in burlesque sketches and films of the era. The Nance is set during New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia's campaign to ban burlesque in the '30s.

According to LCT, "A nance, according to Webster's Dictionary, is 'an effeminate or homosexual man.' In the world of 1930s burlesque, a nance was a wildly popular character, a stereotypically camp homosexual man, most times played by a straight performer. In The Nance, playwright Douglas Carter Beane tells the story of Chauncey Miles, a headline nance performer in New York burlesque, who also happens to be a homosexual. Integrating burlesque sketches into his drama, Beane paints, with humor and pathos, the portrait of a homosexual man, living and working in the secretive and dangerous gay world of 1930s New York, whose outrageous antics on the burlesque stage stand in marked contrast to his messy offstage life."

Beane's new treatment for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Cinderella is now debuting on Broadway. His works also include the Tony-nominated comedy The Little Dog LaughedAs Bees In Honey Drown, Mr. & Mrs. Fitch, Music From A Sparkling Planet, The Country Club, Advice From A Caterpiller and The Cartells. He received Tony Award nominations for the books to the musicals Xanadu, Sister Act and Lysistrata Jones. He also penned the screenplay "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar."

Lane's numerous stage credits include The Addams Family, The Lisbon Traviata, Guys and Dolls, Waiting for Godot, November, Butley, The Odd Couple, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Love! Valor! Compassion!, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, On Borrowed Time, Present Laughter and The Frogs. He is a two-time Emmy Award winner and currently appears on "The Good Wife."

For tickets visit LCT.org or Telecharge.com. The Lyceum Theatre is located at 149 West 45th Street.