Lincoln Center Theater (under the direction of André Bishop, Artistic Director, and Bernard Gersten, Executive Producer) has announced that two-time Tony Award-winning actor Nathan Lane will head the cast of its upcoming production of THE NANCE, a new play by Douglas Carter Beane to be directed by Jack O'Brien. The production will begin previews on Thursday, March 21 and open on Monday, April 15 at the Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45 Street).
A nance, according to Webster's Dictionary, is "an effeminate or homosexual man." In the world of 1930's 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 (to be played by Nathan Lane), 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 1930's New York, whose outrageous antics on the burlesque stage stand in marked contrast to his messy offstage life.
THE NANCE will have sets by John Lee Beatty, costumes by Ann Roth, lighting by Japhy Weideman and sound by Leon Rothenberg. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
Nathan Lane returns to Lincoln Center Theater where he appeared in Richard Nelson's Some Americans Abroad and wrote the book for and starred in the new version of the Stephen Sondheim/ Burt Shevelove musical The Frogs. A two-time Tony Award winner for his performances in The Producers and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, his many Broadway credits include starring roles in the musicals The Addams Family and Guys and Dolls and the plays 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 and Present Laughter. Winner of an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence, his off-Broadway credits include Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams, Trumbo, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Measure for Measure, She Stoops to Conquer, The Common Pursuit, The Film Society, Mizlansky/Zilinksy, The Lisbon Traviata (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Awards), Bad Habits, Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Love! Valour! Compassion! (Obie Award) and Do Re Mi at City Center Encores! His more than 30 films include The Producers (Golden Globe Award nomination), Swing Vote, Nicholas Nickleby (National Board of Review Ensemble Acting Award), Stuart Little, The Lion King, Jeffrey, Mousehunt, Frankie and Johnny, Ironweed and The Birdcage (Golden Globe Award nomination, Screen Actors Guild and American Comedy Awards). The winner of two Emmy Awards and a People's Choice Award, he can currently be seen on TV on The Good Wife.
Douglas Carter Beane's plays include The Little Dog Laughed, As Bees In Honey Drown, Mr. & Mrs. Fitch, Music From A Sparkling Planet, The Country Club, Advice From A Caterpiller and The Cartells. He was nominated for Tony Awards for his books for the musicals Xanadu (for which he won a Drama Desk Award), Sister Act and Lysistrata Jones and wrote the book for the new stage version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella which opens on Broadway this winter.
Jack O'Brien won Tony Awards for his direction of the LCT productions of The Coast of Utopia and Henry IV. His other LCT productions include The Invention of Love, Pride's Crossing, The Little Foxes, Hapgood (Lucille Lortel Award) and Two Shakespearean Actors. His many Broadway productions include Catch Me If You Can, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hairspray (Tony Award), The Full Monty and Damn Yankees. He staged the Metropolitan Opera's recent production of Il Trittico and in London directed Love Never Dies and Hairspray on the West End and His Girl Friday at The National Theatre. He was Artistic Director of San Diego's Old Globe Theatre from 1981 to 2007.
This spring, in addition to THE NANCE, Lincoln Center Theater will produce Richard Nelson's new play Nikolai and the Others, to be directed by David Cromer at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater beginning April 4. This fall, in addition to the on-going run of its production of the Tony Award winning Best Play War Horse at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, LCT is presenting Christopher Durang's new play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, directed by Nicholas Martin, beginning performances Thursday, October 25 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater and the 75th Anniversary production of Golden Boy by Clifford Odets, directed by Bartlett Sher, beginning Thursday, November 8 on Broadway at the Belasco Theatre. LCT3, Lincoln Center Theater's programming initiative devoted to producing the work of new artists and developing new audiences which recently opened its new home, the Claire Tow Theater on the roof of the Vivian Beaumont, will follow its current production of Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced, directed by Kimberly Senior, with Luck of the Irish, a new play by Kirsten Greenidge, directed by Rebecca Taichman, beginning January 28 and A Kid Like Jake by Daniel Pearle, directed by Evan Cabnet, beginning June 2.