Nathan Lane Says He’s Finished with Musicals: “Perhaps if some tremendous thing came along, but I would really think twice about it”

nathan-lane-the-nanceIt’s hard to think of any actor who has been more associated with Broadway in the last twenty-five years than Nathan Lane.  The two-time Tony Award winner has rarely been off the New York stage during that time and he currently stars in The Nance, a play about a New York burlesque theater actor in the 1930s.  Though he is probably best known for musicals — especially The Producers, one of the biggest hits in Broadway history — Lane made a few surprising revelations to The Los Angeles Times about his future on the stage.

He admits that he sometimes feels typecast after his role in The Producers — not by casting agents, but by audiences.  He explains, “Everyone should have that kind of success in their lives, but there was a backlash.  They want you to continue doing what they just loved you in. When I did Butley after The Producers, people were shocked that I was using a British accent even though I had made my debut in an old [Noel] Coward play.”  He says that people who loved The Producers would even turn on it later, saying, “You’d hear, ‘Oh, it wasn’t that good.’ It was like they had awakened with a very expensive hooker and were ashamed that they had given away so much.”

Those who have that opinion might be happy to hear that Lane has decided that he will no longer do musicals.  He explains, “You reach a certain point in this life and say, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I think I’ve covered that.’ Perhaps if some tremendous thing came along, but I would really think twice about it.”

Lane’s last Broadway musical role was Gomez Addams in The Addams Family, which was popular with audiences but naturally hated by critics.  After his year-long run in The Addams Family, Lane immersed himself in something completely different by playing Hickey in Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh in Chicago, which he now calls “the best experience of his theatrical life.”  He explains why by pointing out, “Because of the description of Hickey and my Irish Catholic roots, I thought maybe one day I could play the role. But I also needed to shake things up and challenge myself as an actor. In many ways, I felt that I had come home.  I wanted to do it in Chicago because I love Chicago so much and because the audiences there are quite frankly better. They’re better theatergoers. They’re like Londoners — it’s part of their lives. They’re hungry for that kind of challenging experience.”

The Nance‘s limited engagement ends in August, but even though Lane expressed his preference for Chicago audiences I doubt it will be a long time until he’s on another New York stage.

1 Comment

  1. Stephen Foster via Facebook

    June 11, 2013 at 11:27 am

    HA. when she’s gotta pay that visa bill she’ll be back hooking it like b4.

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Film the Smaug Motion Capture for ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’
Though Peter Jackson‘s movie adaptations of The Hobbit haven’t received the same critical acclaim as his films based on the book’s sequel, The Lord of the Rings (turning a 300 page book into 9+ hours of film tends to do that), fans are still eagerly anticipating the release of the final part of The Hobbit […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-daniel-radcliffe-on-the-di.jpg
Watch: Daniel Radcliffe on the Differences Between American and British Theater Audiences
Though moviegoers can see Daniel Radcliffe in the fantasy film Horns, which opens today, Broadway fans will have to wait a bit longer. Radcliffe is an unapologetic fan of Broadway — he has starred in Equus, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and The Cripple of Inishmaan — but he hasn’t yet made […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-anna-gunn-jacki-weaver-and.jpg
Watch: Anna Gunn, Jacki Weaver and Virginia Kull on ‘Gracepoint’ and Strong Female Roles on TV
The actresses also speak candidly about how they feel about their characters in the series and why its important for TV to feature series with strong female leads.Check out the conversation above!
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-cristin-milioti-talks-a-to.jpg
Watch: Cristin Milioti Talks ‘A to Z’, ‘Once’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Few actresses have the kind of rise as Cristin Milioti has had in the last few years. A virtual unknown in 2011, she became a bona fide Broadway star in the 2012 hit Once, appeared in a supporting role in the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, and was featured as the titular mother […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-bryan-cranstons-acting-adv.jpg
Watch: Bryan Cranston’s Acting Advice
With Breaking Bad: The Complete Series Barrel being released on Blu-ray with all kinds of goodies today, it gives us yet another opportunity to reflect on the series’ star Bryan Cranston and all of the incredible advice he has offered actors in the wake of his success. In a video he filmed in 2013 for […]