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

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Sarah-Paulson.jpg
Sarah Paulson: “I muscled a lot of what I’ve achieved by sheer force of will and relentless determination”
"If my career had turned out like the fantasy I had of what it was going to be, it would never have made me happy" - Sarah Paulson
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Boyd-Holbrook-Narcos.jpg
Boyd Holbrook on Shooting ‘Narcos’ in Colombia: “It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done”
Holbrook talks about working with the real-life Steve Murphy, what movie inspired his narration, and why shooting in Colombia was so challenging.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Joseph-Gordon-Levitt-Snowden.jpg
How Joseph Gordon-Levitt Developed his ‘Snowden’ Voice
"You're playing someone that everybody in the world has seen before. It's a little different than playing a fictitious character." - Joseph Gordon-Levitt
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/renee-zellweger-bridget-jones-baby.jpg
Renée Zellweger on Returning to Film After a Six-Year Absence: “I needed to grow as a person in ways that didn’t revolve around my work”
Zellweger talks about what prompted her six-year absence from Hollywood, what's different about playing Jones again, and ageism in Hollywood.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/dev-patel-lion.jpg
Dev Patel: “I want there to be people that look like me represented on screen”
"There aren’t many roles written for someone that looks like me. It’s slim pickings. It’s difficult, but I try and stay on the optimistic side." - Dev Patel