Withering Glance gets off on Broadway

  • Updated: May 24, 2013 - 1:41 PM

This theater publicity image released by Lincoln Center Theater shows Nathan Lane in "The Nance," performing at the Lyceum Theatre in New York.

Photo: Joan Marcus, Associated Press - Ap

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Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.


CP: Of course, Glance had to see “The Nance.” The new play on Broadway, that is, starring Nathan Lane as effeminate 1930s burlesque-house comic Chauncey Miles. I liked it better than you, but then you are sooo critical.


RN: Liked, didn’t love. But I adored Mr. Lane, throwing himself into a role that fit him like a bespoke suit. The memory of his character’s nelly catchphrase, “Hi, simply hi!” — accompanied by a tinkling bell — is my favorite souvenir of the trip.


CP: Lane was terrific at merging Chauncey’s self-confidence and self-loathing. Think he’ll snag his third Tony?


RN: Doubtful. The critics of the New York Times left him out of their “should win/will win” Tony prognostications.


CP: I dunno. Lane’s still considered a favorite. But fellow nominee Tracy Letts, who won the Drama Desk prize, did make a memorable Georgie-pie in “Virginia Woolf.” His browbeaten college professor had enough boiling rage that he almost could have stood up to Liz Taylor.


RN: That’s saying something. I love the lavish production values that are New York theater standards. “The Nance” had that amazing rotating set, and a live orchestra. Meanwhile, at the Chekhov-Lite “Nikolai and the Others,” estimating the big-bucks costume budget for the 18-member cast was the only thing keeping me awake.


CP: True, but I also saw “Buyer & Cellar,” starring Michael Urie, at tiny Rattlestick in the Village. The set consisted of the onetime “Ugly Betty” star — and a chair. Let’s hope this hilarious, strangely wonderful one-man show shows up here before long.


RN: I wish I’d seen that and not “Nikolai,” partly because I hear Urie does a great Streisand.


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