Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Quote of the Day (Nathan Lane, on Winning the Tony Award)

"This means a lot to me because, as you know, I'm an emotionally unstable, desperately needy little man."—Actor Nathan Lane, on accepting his first Tony Award, quoted in J. Wynn Rousuck, “
High 'Rent' District Theater: Funny Things Happened on the Way as a 'La Boheme' Update and 'The King and I' Took the Big Musical Prizes at the Tonys,” The Baltimore Sun, June 3, 1996

Happy birthday to Nathan Lane, born 65 years ago today in Jersey City. He has had to make room on his shelf at home for two other Tony Awards (for The Producers and Angels in America), besides the one he picked up, with such tongue in cheek, 25 years ago for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

He has appeared on film, but to nowhere near the extent or with the appropriate vehicles that his talent deserves. In fact, he has joked about that lack, notably on a 2018 appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers, when he recalled a host appearance in which he tangled with Harvey Weinstein:

“Things got heated, and unpleasantries were exchanged, and he said 'I'll get someone else to do it!' I said 'Fine, I think I saw Regis Philbin out there, see if he's available!' And he started to push me into a corner, and he's screaming at me, and it crescendo-ed with 'I'll ruin you,' he said—'I'll ruin you!' And I said, 'You can't hurt me, I don't have a film career!'”

Lane’s heart, it’s apparent, belongs onstage, judging from the number and variety of roles he has taken on over the years. I have been lucky enough to see him in a couple of shows: The Man Who Came to Dinner and Waiting for Godot. Other theater aficionados have been even luckier.

(The photo here, of Nathan Lane after appearing in Angels in America, was taken Aug. 26, 2018, by Btvway.)

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