The Husband & I channel surfed on to The Birdcage recently, a movie that I don’t actually think is very good, but whenever I chance upon it, it seemingly end up receiving my full attention.
This got me thinking about Nathan Lane & how he ended up with my career! I wanted to establish myself as the "go to" guy for comic musical roles. I wanted to make my home on the Broadway stage, but not be afraid to venture into films; some Disney voice work would be nice & maybe do a sitcom at some point. I wanted to make room for all those Tonys, Emmys, SAG Awards, Drama Desk, Olivier, & Obie Award on my mantle.
When I was firmly established as a comic leading man, I would come out of the closet & hope for the best. I wanted to play opposite Matthew Broderick in one of the biggest hit musicals of all time, & follow that with turns in a Beckett & O’Neil classic & a new Mamet play. I wanted to be Terrance McNally's muse & have him write roles just for me like: The Lisbon Traviata, Bad Habits, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, the Tony-winning Love! Valour! Compassion! & a film version of Frankie & Johnnie At The Claire De Lune. I would have fun working with Christine Baranski on the highly rated The Good Wife.
I would have even been unapologetic when I starred opposite Bette Midler in that dreadful Jacqueline Susann biopic- Isn't She Great.
I never did get to star opposite Bebe Neuwirth in The Addams Family on Broadway. Oh well, Nathan Lane is the toast of Broadway, & I am the toast of Post Apocalyptic Bohemia, with a big ol' chip on my shoulder.
When he told his mother he was gay, she replied, "I'd rather you were dead," to which he replied, "I knew you'd understand." Lane, who came out publicly after the death of Matthew Shepard, has been a long-time board member of & fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, & has been honored by the HRC, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, & The Trevor Project for his work for the LGBT community.
Lane lives in NYC with his husband, producer Devlin Elliott. He remains close with Matthew Broderick, Mel Brooks, & Ernie Sabella.
I hope the little fucker is happy as he turns 57 years old today!