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‘The Nance’ at 1st Stage: Pansy Division (Review)
The Nance, directed by Nick Olcott.With careful discretion, Chauncey arranges an assignation for later with the younger man, Ned, a whippersnapper fresh from Buffalo played with aw-shucks joie de vivre by Patrick Joy.While an opening scene set at the Irving Place Theatre establishes Douglas Carter Beane’s well-plotted comedy-drama within the world of 1930s burlesque, the automat scene succinctly, incisively characterizes Chauncey and his compromised existence as a practicing homosexual at a time and place where that could easily get you arrested.It’s also a time when he might happen to get arrested for doing his job as a burlesque performer who specializes in a pansy act, camping it up onstage as the flamboyantly gay stock character known as “the nance.”The play — a winner of three Tonys in its original Broadway production starring Nathan Lane — finds Chauncey and his fellow artists of the burlesque revue at the Irving Place squarely in the sights of city authorities cracking down on these risqué cabaret showcases for ecdysiasts and vaudeville comedians.There’s a great montage in Singin’ in the Rain during the “Broadway Melody Ballet,” showing the rise of Gene Kelly’s Don Lockwood from burlesque hoofer to vaudeville showman to Broadway headliner. The quality of refinement in Don’s costumes, choreography, and chorus girls steadily sparkles brighter, along with Don’s million-dollar smile as he ascends to the top.The denizens of The Nance dwell near the bottom of that stairway to paradise, on the seedier side of Manhattan.
Beyoncé becomes first Black woman to land US Number One country album with ‘Cowboy Carter’
Beyoncé has become the first Black woman to score a Number One country album with ‘Cowboy Carter’ in the US charts.The music icon’s new country-inspired album has topped Billboard’s Top Country Albums, making history in the process as the first Black woman ever to do so, as revealed yesterday (April 7).The new record also debuted at Number One, her eighth album to top the Billboard 200 charts.Billboard revealed that, at 407,000 units, ‘Cowboy Carter’ claimed the biggest week of 2024 so far and the largest since Taylor Swift’s ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ reached 1.653 million units on the November 11, 2023 list back in October.‘Cowboy Carter’ also scored other achievements including Beyoncé’s biggest week by units since ‘Lemonade’ debuted at Number One with 653,000 units in 2016.The achievement follows a similar feat back in February when Beyoncé became the first Black woman to reach Number One on the US country chart with her new single ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’.She also became the second solo female act – with no accompanying featured artists – to debut at Number One, with Swift achieving this in 2021 with her re-recorded versions of ‘Love Story’ and ‘All Too Well’.Additionally, Beyoncé was announced as the first woman to top both the Hot Country Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hip Songs charts since these run-downs began in 1958.