Thesp rescues ‘Frogs’

Bart steps into role at last minute

NEW YORK — “He saved my life,” said Nathan Lane. Or at least his show.

Ten days before Thursday’s preem, Roger Bart took over for Chris Kattan in “The Frogs.” Lane starred and wrote the book for the Stephen Sondheim tuner at Lincoln Center, but it was up to director Susan Stroman to place the phone call to Bart, who was vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard.

“Susan was very cryptic,” Bart remembered. “She was like, ‘What are you doing tonight?’ ”

The next day he was back in New York, taking in a Sunday matinee of the show. Afterwards, he was offered Kattan’s role of Xanthias, the slave.

“When would you like me to start?” said Bart.

The response? “Monday.”

At the Tavern on the Green preem party, Bart said he had been suffering the usual actor’s nightmare: “I have problems putting on my costume, and I can’t quite get to the stage.”

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