James T. Lane is a rare bird when it comes to Broadway’s Chicago. It’s not unusual for alums to return to the long-running revival, but they tend to stick to the same roles. Lane, on the other hand, is currently back starring as maligned mechanic husband Amos just a few months after his stint as silver-tongued lawyer Billy Flynn.
“It’s a trip,” he told us just days after his surprise return to the production (a case of COVID led to Lane’s start date moving up by almost a week). “I have to almost ignore what Billy is doing because those lines are still really fresh in my head.”
It’s also historic. Lane is one of just two performers in the production’s history to play both male-presenting principal roles, placing him alongside Christopher Fitzgerald. “It’s a wonderful club to be in.”
But there’s something about Lane’s casting that stands alone and remains unmatched. He may be one of two to play both roles, but he’s the one and only Black actor to join that club. And while he stands alongside several former Billys (including Cuba Gooding, Jr., Colman Domingo, Brandon Victor Dixon, James Monroe Iglehart, Usher, Obba Babatunde, Hinton Battle, Chuck Cooper, Wayne Brady, Taye Diggs, and Norm Lewis, among others), Lane stands alone when it comes to Amos. He is the only Black actor to play the role full-time at all on Broadway, and has been since he first did the part in 2009...READ MORE