Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 18:06

‘The Nance’ funny and painful, historical and modern + Video

‘The Nance’ funny and painful, historical and modern www.screenvision.com/cinema-events/the-nance
Written by Martha K. Baker
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Related Video

About this Media...

  • Director: Jack O'Brien
  • Dates: July 16 and 20, 2014

“The Nance,” a stage play written by Douglas Carter Beane, presents a gay old time in the homosexual history of the United States. It includes references to well-known reformers such as Fiorello LaGuardia and lesser known hypocrites such as Paul Moss. At the center of the story is Chauncey Miles.
 

Miles is in the show business. He brings down the house of the Lyceum Theater every night during the Depression with his portrayal of a very nellie nance. Miles is schooled in one-liners off-stage (being an actor eating a ham sandwich makes him a cannibal, he says) and double entendres on-stage. He is a Republican who hates FDR and Commies. He supports Mayor LaGuardia, who is trying to clean up Broadway in time for the November elections. Oh, the irony. Miles wields sarcasm to cover his feelings. He has spent his life covering up, lying, pretending — and not just because he is an actor but because he is a gay actor pretending, but not very successfully, to be a straight actor in a stereotype.

Into his world comes a sweet man named Ned. They meet in Act One at Horn & Hardart, notorious for hook-ups of the boy variety. Chauncey sits reading Variety, hoping for just what Ned offers, a handsome young man looking for a night of love. But what Ned offers is a life of love, and Chauncey isn’t sure he can handle happiness.

The nance is played by award-winning actor Nathan Lane as if he’s channeling his brothers from burlesque. The nance on stage often breaks through the fourth wall to wink at the laughers in the front row, but as Chauncey Miles, Lane remains steady and sad. Lane, seen also in “Modern Family,” is ably supported by Johnny Orsini as the handsome, naive Ned, and by Lewis J. Stadlen as the impresario. The girls are played by Jenni Barber, Andrea Burns, and Cady Huffman — although their words are sometimes lost within their nasal, Brooklyn accents. The play works so well on John Lee Beatty’s revolving stage, now a basement apartment and now a proscenium stage or an automat or a courtroom.

Beane’s script nods to history with references to the Thirties but does not have to work hard to make the story modern in its references to discrimination and terrorizing by hypocrites in government. Jack O’Brien’s direction is fluid with the company moving at appropriate pacing.

Getting to see “The Nance” without going to Lincoln Cener Theater in New York City is a welcome offering of a filmed stage play. The film plays at the Tivoli Theatre in the Loop on Wed. night July 16 at 7 p.m. and on Sunday July 20 at noon. 

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

July
Friday
10

A Muscle Shoals Music Revue with Amy Black and Sarah Borges

Join powerhouse singers Amy Black and Sarah Borges for a soulful celebration of the incredible music that came out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama in the 1960s and 70s. Together, with a full band, they will perform classic songs originally...


July
Saturday
11

Brunch at the Stage: Jonathan Ramsey

KDHX is now curating a Saturday brunch series at the Stage with live music from local musicians and delicious, locally-sourced food and drinks from the Magnolia Café. Brunch at the Stage takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m....


July
Tuesday
14

KDHX Get Down to Business Series: How to Land, and Nail, an Interview

KDHX and Arcade Apartments present the Get Down to Business series at the Stage. Get Down to Business is a series of professional development presentations geared towards the St. Louis arts community. On Tuesday, July 14th, at 7...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

3 users and 11839 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook