EXCLUSIVE: Lane will star as Roy Cohn in the 2017 revival.

By Marc Snetiker
June 10, 2016 at 04:53 PM EDT
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Following a string of recent challenging turns on Broadway, Nathan Lane has added one of the modern stage’s most dramatic to his resume.

The two-time Tony winner and Olivier Award-winning actor will head over to England to headline the National Theatre’s upcoming revival of the landmark gay drama, Angels in America, set to begin performances in April 2017 in London.

Lane will lead an already-stacked ensemble, which includes Andrew Garfield, Domnhall Gleason, Denise Gough, and Russell Tovey, with additional casting to be announced. They’ll all be in the hands of director Marianne Elliott (also a two-time Tony winner, best known for War Horse and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and, of course, playwright Tony Kushner’s seminal text.

In Angels of America, Lane inherits the role of Roy Cohn — a closeted, power-hungry right-wing attorney who succumbs to the peril of AIDS — made famous onscreen by Al Pacino and on Broadway by Ron Leibman. Over the course of the play’s two parts, Cohn (as written by Kushner) is revealed as a man of villainy and viciousness, but also of deep loneliness and haunted self-hate.

The actor will begin work on Angels immediately following his scheduled turn opposite John Slattery in the Scott Rudin-produced Broadway revival of The Front Page, which opens its run in October this year. Lane will head to London following the end of the limited engagement, which costars Slattery, John Goodman, Jefferson Mays, and Rosemary Harris, and will be directed by Jack O’Brien (who memorably directed Lane in 2013’s The Nance and 2014’s It’s Only a Play).

On stage in the States, Lane’s Broadway resume dates back to the early 1980s, with starring roles in Guys and Dolls, Love! Valour! Compassion!, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Producers, The Odd Couple, and The Addams Family, The Nance, and It’s Only a Play, among others. It was with The Producers that Lane made his West End debut, reprising his role as Max Bialystock, and earned an Olivier Award in 2005.

Lane also has an extensive list of screen credits, perhaps most recently demonstrated on TV with The Good Wife, Modern Family, and Ryan Murphy’s acclaimed The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.