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Ultimate New Yorkers: Broadway Producing Couple Stewart Lane And Bonnie Comley

Originally Posted: November 27, 2012

Lee Fryd

Tom Bodkin, Stewart Lane, Bonnie Comley, Leah Lane, and Bruce Arakelian hit the red carpet for the opening night of "Annie" on Broadway. (Photo: Rob Rich/SocietyAllure.com)

Bonnie Comley and Stewart Lane, who spend their summers in the Hamptons, greeted friends at the opening of "Annie" last week at their Palace Theater, but turned sheepish at our salutary, "See you at intermission." They were slipping out of the theater to run to another event, honoring their partner in the Palace and Stewart's longtime mentor, James Nederlander, Sr. and his son, Jimmy Nederlander Jr., as "Living Landmarks," on the Nederlander Organization's 100th anniversary.

The Lanes would be back for the "Annie" after-party at the Hard Rock. Ultimate New Yorkers, they've figured out how to be in two places at once. One notable night: their plays "War Horse," "Merchant of Venice" and "Priscilla" were up for a Tony, and nephew was getting married. They managed to make the red carpet for one and the nuptials of the other.

The Lanes produce several plays a year on Broadway. Last year, their names were associated with "War Horse," "The Best Man," "Streetcar Named Desire," and "Top Hat" on the West End.

This spring, they'll help bring the revival of "Jekyll and Hyde," with American Idol star Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox, to the Great White Way.

"We go to rehearsals, deal with the marketing, the establishment of it, booking the cities we're going to play," Lane told us. "I try to be active in most of the projects. Sometimes, I don't get to be as active. Sometimes, I'm overly active."

In the 'overly active' active column, are "Stormy Weather," the musical biography of Lena Horne, starring Leslie Uggams, they are co producing with writer Sharleen Cooper Cohen, and "Moment in Time," an emotional musical Lane wrote with John Denver songs, which was well received at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center.

"Stormy Weather" finished a run in the Pasadena Playhouse, and there's an industry reading in Manhattan with Uggams and Nikki James, Tony Award winner for "Book of Mormon." And Lane is talking to several major country stars about "Moment."

Uggams and James Earl Jones, who starred in "The Best Man," will be among the stars interviewed in Lane's upcoming book, "The African American on Broadway," the corollary to his last, "Jews on Broadway."

Working side by side, with 5-year-old twins Frankie and Lenny, 14-year-old Leah, and her new Sheltie puppy, "Liz Lemon" at home, and the two older girls on their own, Bonnie and Stew seem to be together all the time...and loving every minute. "I freak out when he's gone for more than a day," Bonnie once confided. Stewart often brags she likes to keep an eye on him. Whatever: it's working.


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