Nathan Lane, John Slattery to Star in ‘The Front Page’ on Broadway

Nathan Lane The Front Page
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Nathan Lane and John Slattery will lead the starry cast of an upcoming Broadway revival of “The Front Page,” opening in New York in the fall with Scott Rudin producing.

John Goodman (last on Broadway in the Roundabout Theater Company’s 2009 revival of “Waiting for Godot”), Jefferson Mays (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”), Rosemary Harris and Sherie Rene Scott also will star in the 1928 newspaper comedy, to be directed by Jack O’Brien (“Hairspray,” “The Coast of Utopia,” the upcoming “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”).

Lane, whose most recent Broadway stint was in the Terrence McNally comedy “It’s Only a Play” last season, is one of Broadway’s more reliable draws, with a track record that includes not only “It’s Only a Play,” which was one of last season’s biggest nonmusical hits, but also “The Producers.” Slattery (“Mad Men”) hasn’t appeared on Broadway since his 2006 gig in “Rabbit Hole.”

“Front Page,” Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s comedy about a reporter (Slattery) and his editor (Lane) hiding an escaped prisoner to score a scoop, became well known for its rat-a-tat comic dialogue. The play was adapted into a 1931 film, and also inspired the 1940 comedy “His Girl Friday” with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell (playing a female version of the role to be played by Slattery in the new revival).

“Front Page” is the latest Broadway outing for busy Broadway producer Rudin, who this season produces “A View From the Bridge,” “The Crucible,” “The Humans,” “Blackbird” and the musical “Shuffle Along.” “Front Page” begins previews Sept. 20 ahead of an Oct. 20 opening, with the exact theater to be determined as the season shapes up in the coming months.

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  1. Mavourneen O'Brien says:

    In the ’30’s that “zero drama” was enough to interest Howard Hughes, no recluse at the time, via Jack Warner and Warner Bros. to sign Pat O’Brien from the Broadway production to star in the film with Adolph Menjou and George E. Stone. That film took O’Brien from being an unknown to almost instant stardom. He featured in over 100 films, often billed with Jimmie Cagney (9 times), Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, Ralph Bellamy, Ward Bond, Brod Crawford, Bette Davis, Irene Dunne, John Garfield, Jean Harlow, Henry Fonda, Myrna Loy, Claire Trevor, Bert Reynolds: the list is seemingly endless. He was influential enough to pull B player Ronnie Reagan from obscurity to stardom and political history via the Rockne/Gipp duo and “Win one for the Gipper” line. As Pat’s eldest, I remember all these and more.

  2. The role works better when it’s female, as Rosalind Russell and Kathleen Turner have showed, with great aplomb. Why wouldn’t Slattery play the Ralph Bellamy / Christopher Reeve character? He seems better suited for the wealthy, handsome fiance, and the triangle dynamic adds a great deal to the plot, in both maintaining interest and overall effectiveness. It works so much better than just a male editor who can’t stand for his buddy reporter to leave. That has zero drama, which should still be present in a comedy if I’m going to stay interested. Is Broadway that much of an all boys club? “Switching Channels” also involved a funny female role in the form of the lover of the wrongfully accused. Will they do away with that character as well?

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