Is playing at the Lyceum Theatre located at 149 West 45th street. It runs two hours twenty minutes with one intermission. The play closes June 16, 2013.
Douglas Carter Beane is the playwright. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 2007 for “The Little Dog Laughed”.
Jack O’Brien is the director. He has won three Tony Awards and has been nominated for seven more and won five Drama Desk Awards. The Tony Awards were for “The Coast of Utopia” (2007), Henry V (2004) and “Hairspray” (2003). He won the drama Desk Awards for “The Coast of Utopia” (2007), “Henry V” (2004), “Hairspray” (2003), “Invention of Love” (2001) and “The Piano Lesson” (1990).
Nathan Lane won a Tony Award in 2001 for “The Producers” and in 1996 for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He won a Drama Desk Award for “The Producers” (2001), “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (1996), “Love! Valour! Compassion! (1995), “Guys and Dolls” (1992) and “The Lisbon Traviata” (1990).
Lewis Stadlen was nominated for a Tony Award for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” (1996) and for “Candide” (1974).
Cady Huffman won a Tony Award in 2001 for “The Producers.’ In 1991 she was nominated for a Tony Award for “The Will Rogers Follies”.
The play takes place in 1937 at the Irving Palace Theatre, automat, a courthouse and Chauncey’s apartment.
The show opens with Chauncey (Nathan Lane) watching Ned (Jonny Orsini) at the automat. Ned has picked up someone else’s cup and put hot water in it. When he sits down he adds ketchup. Chauncey offers him half of his sandwich. It seems this Horn & Hardart is a gay hang out. The police have already raided another gay hang out the night before. He gives Ned the sandwich is around about way. He tells him if you are interested in seeing me, to meet me at the news stand in a half hour.
Ned ends up living with Chauncey.
The show revolves around Chauncey acting at the Irving Palace Theatre, a burlesque theatre and his relationship with Ned. He is a Nance. In the 1930’s burlesque, a Nance was a wildly popular character, a stereo typically camp homosexual man, most time played by a straight performer
The mayor at the time was Fiorello LaGuardia. His campaign was to get rid of burlesque in the city.
Chauncey cannot deal with the fact that he can no longer do his Nance act.
He is used to one night stands. Ned wants more in the relationship. He loves him and wants him not to be with anyone else. This was a time when you were not open about being gay for fear of being arrested.
This is an amazing cast.
Nathan Lane does an outstanding job. He is funny and dramatic. Nathan does a great job at both of them.
Cady Hoffman is great as the burlesque performer.
Jonny Orsini is making his Broadway debut. He does an impressive job of the man in love struggling to come to grip with his feelings.
Some people may find the subject matter and the fact that the two men are kissing offensive. Let’s not forget the nude scene. Although sometimes campy this is a good show. It is a nostalgic look at 1937 burlesque and the people who were in them.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
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