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

Joan Marcus, Associated Press - Ap

Withering Glance gets off on Broadway

  • May 24, 2013 - 1:41 PM

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.

 

CP: Unforgettable. I think it’s because he’s so low-key in his impersonation of the star and author of “My Passion for Design.”

 

RN: There goes my question regarding any over-the-top “Don’t Rain on My Parade” references.

 

CP: Seriously, could New York theater get any gayer? Between the above-mentioned, and Alan Cumming in “Macbeth,” and the recently closed but Tony-nominated Colm Toibin play (“Testament of Mary”), what else is new, I suppose.

 

RN: You — along with probably every heterosexual male in America — clearly have not been watching the car crash that is “Smash,” NBC’s ode to the Broadway musical. It has replaced the phrase “gayer than a tree full of parrots” with “gayer than an episode of ‘Smash’ ” as the saying du jour. The series finale airs Sunday.

 

CP: Time to fire up both TVs at once, then. “Behind the Candelabra,” HBO’s can’t-look-away, Michael Douglas-as-Liberace biopic, also airs Sunday night.

 

RN: Total must-see TV, baby.

 

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib

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