Lane doesn't use his schtick in every play he's in. He certainly didn't use it in The Iceman Cometh and Angels in America and not much (or not at all) in The Front Page. The actor playing the clown in Garydoes not have to be gay in real life. However, when he winks at the audience and uses his gay schtick in Gary, it connected better with me because I know Lane really is gay, i.e., he's acting with inside information. It's kind of like that moment in the 2011 Company concert when Craig Bierko (as Peter) asks Neil Patrick Harris (as Bobby) if he's ever had sex with a guy and Harris looks knowingly at the audience. The moment works because the audience knows Harris' orientation.