A Nathan Lane Update
Nathan Lane is expected to be in the Wednesday, November 28 matinee of The Producers, but his long-term performance schedule remains indefinite.
Though it was hoped that Nathan Lane would be able to return to an eight-performance-a-week schedule in The Producers as of November 20, following a two-week hiatus from matinees, this was not the case. Lane, who has reportedly been eschewing performances due to a polyp on one of his vocal cords, still hadn't resumed matinees as of this past weekend. "At this point, he is expected to go on for tomorrow's matinee," says publicist Bill Coyle of the probability of a Lane performance on Wednesday afternoon, November 28. "This would be the first time he'll be doing two shows in one day [since the beginning of this month]. But I'm not saying that he's resuming an eight-a-week schedule. At this point, he's doing the matinee tomorrow and we'll see how it works out."
Though it has been rumored that Lane would officially begin to limit his schedule to six shows a week, no such announcement has yet been made, nor would Bill Coyle offer any comment whatsoever on the star's long term schedule of performances. Meanwhile, The Producers' leading role of Max Bialystock continues to be played at matinees by Brad Oscar, who normally appears in the show as the nutzy Nazi Franz Liebkind.
Thus far, Lane's absences have not hurt the musical's box-office receipts: "We're at capacity, no matter what happens," says Bill Coyle. But industry people are speculating on how this scenario will play out in the long run. If Brad Oscar were to continue to go on as Max and play to full houses, could Lane conceivably be asked to leave the show, thereby saving the producers at least some of what is presumably a huge star salary?