The Nathan Lane Show

October 10, 2014 2:12 AM

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The Nathan Lane Show

You will not likely find anything funnier onstage, just now, than Nathan Lane in the opening scene of Terrence McNally's It's Only a Play. Lane, as a humble off-Broadway actor turned top-tier sitcom star, is given a barrage of robustly funny jokes to launch at us, mostly of the lacerating variety. What's more, he is given a straight man--a tall, young, Midwestern deer-in-the-headlights type played by a skilled newcomer named Micah Stock--who genially listens while clearly not understanding any of Lane's jokes. Not one. Lane tries harder and harder to get through, his brow furrows deeper and deeper, and things turn funnier, funnier, and desperately funnier.

Fifteen minutes in, when you think the cascading laughter will never stop, the action begins and it does. Stop. Stockard Channing gamely hobbles on as a washed-up, drug-addicted ex-movie star. (The hobble is real; Channing is just back from three weeks of missed previews due to a knee injury, and ge...

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