NEW YORK -- Nathan Lane will return to Broadway to play the title character in Douglas Carter Beane's The Nance, a comedy set in the 1930s milieu of New York burlesque and the underground gay scene.
Directing the Lincoln Center Theater production is Jack O'Brien, who is currently in rehearsals on Theresa Rebeck's new play Dead Accounts, starring Katie Holmes. The Nance begins previews March 21 for an April 15 opening at the Lyceum Theatre, with additional casting to be announced.
The title for Beane's play is a term commonly used to refer to the popular burlesque stock figure of the stereotypically campy clown, generally played by a straight performer. However, Lane's character, Chauncey Miles, is gay, his secret life providing a sharp contrast to his onstage antics.
Lane won Tony Awards as lead actor in a musical for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in 1996 and The Producers in 2001. His most recent Broadway roles were in the 2010 musical The Addams Family and the acclaimed 2009 revival of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Lane currently is appearing as Clarke Hayden on season four of CBS' The Good Wife.
Beane's plays include The Little Dog Laughed and As Bees in Honey Drown. He also wrote the books for the musicals Xanadu, Lysistrata Jones and the upcoming new version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, which opens on Broadway on Feb. 21.
O'Brien is a three-time Tony winner, for the Lincoln Center productions of Henry IV (2004) and The Coast of Utopia (2007) and for the musical Hairspray (2003).