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/2017/08/Sterling-k-brown-this-is-us.jpg
Sterling K. Brown on Becoming an Actor: “You get bit, and you just keep chasing that”
"I was used to being 'that dude from that show, who got shot in that episode'" - Sterling K. Brown
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/richard-dreyfuss.jpg
Richard Dreyfuss on Winning an Oscar: “You’re riskier when you’re on the hunt”
"I had no doubt of my eventual success." - Richard Dreyfuss
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Shannon-Purser-Stranger-Things.jpg
‘Stranger Things’ Star Shannon Purser on Getting Cast as Barb
"I had never booked anything, gotten close calls, and then one day I got an email about this new show called Stranger Things, asking for a tape." - Shannon Purser
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/watch-sag-conversations-on-broad.jpg
Watch: SAG Conversations on Broadway with Andy Karl
Karl recalls his highs and lows on stages and reveals the charming side that has made him a huge star.
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/watch-sag-conversations-with-ale.jpg
Watch: SAG Conversations with Alexander Skarsgard of ‘Big Little Lies’
Skarsgard talks about his career and work on HBO's 'Big Little Lies'