Who: ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery presents THE NANCE, featuring Richard Gray and Jeff Steitzer
Where: ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery
What: THE NANCE, By Douglas Carter Beane
When: Opens Thursday, October 26, 2017 | Closes Sunday, November 19, 2017
Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm | Sundays at 3:00pm
Tickets: General Admission: $40.00 | Seniors (65+): $35 | Students: $19 |
TeenTix (door only): $5
Tickets on sale now at http://www.artswest.org/theatre/buy-tickets/
ArtsWest’s second production of its 2017-18 I AM Season, Douglas Carter Beane’s THE NANCE is a musical play set in the raucous world of 1930s burlesque.
In THE NANCE, Richard Gray plays the role of Chauncey Miles, a performer specializing in a very specific kind of burlesque: a “nance” act, which features bawdy songs, double entendre, and – most prominently – broad caricatures of homosexual stereotypes. But there’s one important twist to Chauncey’s act. While most “nance” performers were straight, Chauncey is, in fact, gay. Amid the all-too-common police raids of gay meeting places in 1930s New York, that fact alone could place him in real danger.
Richard Gray has found much to admire about Chauncey Miles. “I love all of the contrasts in this beautifully complicated character,” says Gray. “He seems strong and confident, but is also quite broken. He both needs love and fears it. He is at times broadly comic and at times cutting with a still, dry wit. And I love the politics of it – this gay performer who also happens to be a Republican. He is both charming and deeply flawed.”
Despite the difficulties of such a complex role, Gray – an established theater veteran with 25 credits at The 5th Avenue Theatre, in addition to being an award-winning composer – feels ready for the challenge. “It is an exciting and a bit daunting mountain to climb,” says Gray, adding, “I can’t wait.”
Joining Richard Gray in THE NANCE is Jeff Steitzer, who has acted in Seattle since 1975 and amassed several lifetime’s worth of theater credits. With roles ranging from Broadway’s INHERIT THE WIND to NBC’s 30 ROCK and the HALO video game series, Steitzer brings a wealth of experience to the role of Efram, the “First Banana” in Chauncey’s world of burlesque.
“I love comedy and I love Rich Gray,” says Jeff Steitzer. “Doing THE NANCE allows me to indulge my enthusiasm for both!” Steitzer listed one simple reason why he’s excited to work at ArtsWest: Artistic Director Mathew Wright. “All my friends who’ve worked for him have had a great time,” says Steitzer, “and I’m all for having a great time!”
West Seattle, Washington