Nathan Lane knows how to make an entrance, and this is not just a cliché but an understatement. Bursting forth variously over the years in pinstriped suit, in Roman tunic, or in Barbara Bush jumbo faux pearls and softly curled wig, he has earned perhaps the best perk of Broadway stardom: a welcoming round of applause from Jane and John Q. Public.
So what was he doing on a recent Monday night, arriving on stage as a disembodied voice coming out of an old-timey telephone? (One you actually talk on.)
Mr. Lane plays the cynical, cantankerous editor Walter Burns in a new revival of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s voluble 1928 newspaper comedy, “The Front Page,” at the Broadhurst Theater on West 44th Street. That he doesn’t appear in the flesh until the bottom of the second act, in a production that co-stars the Johns Slattery and Goodman and runs almost three hours, frankly delights him.