Lane boards ‘Butley’

Thesp to play lit professor; Martin to helm prod'n

SOUTHBURY, Conn. — Nathan Lane will play the title role in a production of “Butley” at Boston’s Huntington Theater Co. Jan. 1-Feb. 1.

The role was created in 1971 by Alan Bates, who also starred in the film version of Simon Gray’s play.

Directed by Huntington a.d. Nicholas Martin, “Butley” completes the previously announced six-play 2003-04 season that also will include “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” the premiere of Robin Baitz’s play “The Paris Letter,” “As You Like It,” Joe Orton’s “What the Butler Saw” and Tennessee Williams’ “The Rose Tattoo.”

Negotiations are under way for Andrea Martin to play the central role of Serafina in “Tattoo.”

In “Butley,” Lane will essay a slovenly university literary professor who is abandoned by his estranged wife and his male lover on the same day. The Huntington describes the character as “one of contemporary theater’s greatest tragicomic roles.”

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