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  1. #1
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    A Broadway Theatre Will Be Renamed for Lena Horne

    Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre, currently home to the Tony-nominated SIX: The Musical, will be renamed in honor of the late stage and screen star and activist Lena Horne. The renaming will mark the first time a Broadway theatre has been named for a Black woman.

    Ms. Horne, the singer and actor who broke down color barriers by becoming one of Hollywood's first African-American female stars, passed away in 2010 at the age of 92.



    https://playbill.com/article/broadwa...lPost_Cadillac

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    Conflicted feelings. Lena's 'A Lady And Her Music' was ground-breaking and she deserves a theater named for her. But ... not a fan of taking away someone else's honor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    Conflicted feelings. Lena's 'A Lady And Her Music' was ground-breaking and she deserves a theater named for her. But ... not a fan of taking away someone else's honor.
    I agree and was going to say that just about all Broadway theaters honored someone so someone's honor would have to be taken away, but I was wrong. Here are some theater names that are still available:

    Ambassador
    American Airlines - This name is just a giant commercial. Change this one first
    Winter Garden -
    Broadway
    Circle In The Square
    Imperial
    Lyric
    Majestic
    Music Box
    New Amsterdam
    Palace I would hate to see this name changed. Too much vaudeville history there

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    I too have mixed feelings about this. Certainly, she helped blaze trails for those who came after her, when she was relegated to "special bits" in MGM musicals where she either played herself [[like in "Panama Hattie") or just appeared in a musical interlude which might be cut for showings in the South. But she was hardly known as a Broadway star in spite of all her accomplishments musically.

    Ethel Merman and Mary Martin, who both laid claim to the title "Queen of Broadway" at different points in their careers have never been memorialized in this way, and it would seem they have a much larger claim to such an honor, IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I too have mixed feelings about this. Certainly, she helped blaze trails for those who came after her, when she was relegated to "special bits" in MGM musicals where she either played herself [[like in "Panama Hattie") or just appeared in a musical interlude which might be cut for showings in the South. But she was hardly known as a Broadway star in spite of all her accomplishments musically.

    Ethel Merman and Mary Martin, who both laid claim to the title "Queen of Broadway" at different points in their careers have never been memorialized in this way, and it would seem they have a much larger claim to such an honor, IMHO.
    While I, too, agree that this honor, while well-deserved, maybe shouldn't supplant Mr. Atkinson's, Lena definitely paid her dues on Broadway, starring in a Tony-nominated turn in Jamaica opposite Ricardo Montalban for 558 performances and, of course, her one-woman show Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for 333 performances, won her a special Tony and made her an even bigger household name.
    However, your point is well taken about Merm and Martin; one could argue that perhaps Ethel Waters is also overdue for such an honor, having paved the way for Horne and also having had a lengthier Broadway resumé.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sansradio View Post
    While I, too, agree that this honor, while well-deserved, maybe shouldn't supplant Mr. Atkinson's, Lena definitely paid her dues on Broadway, starring in a Tony-nominated turn in Jamaica opposite Ricardo Montalban for 558 performances and, of course, her one-woman show Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for 333 performances, won her a special Tony and made her an even bigger household name.
    However, your point is well taken about Merm and Martin; one could argue that perhaps Ethel Waters is also overdue for such an honor, having paved the way for Horne and also having had a lengthier Broadway resumé.
    I forgot about "Jamaica," so good point. Ricardo Montalban...? But to me her one woman show is a concert, so I don't really think of it in the same way.

    I think Martin had a couple clinkers in her resume, like maybe "Lute Song?" But I don't think Merman was ever in a flop. In fact, she was the last "Dolly" on Broadway, maybe the last of 7 or 8 ladies.

    Atkinson was a critic, I think, of the old guard, New York Times maybe?

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    I'm 'issuing' over this topic! Again, Lena probably deserves a theatre; but to take away an already-named name is, well ... And though I really hate to the the 'what about' guy, what about Patti Lupone, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury, Lillian Hellman ... all of which were/are truly creatures of The Broadway. Won't ever deny Lena Horne anything in the way of tributes. Was lucky to see the lady 3 times and love her dedication to the civil rights movement.

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    I was kind of joking about Ricardo Montalban, but come to think of it, he has a theater named after him in Los Angeles!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I too have mixed feelings about this. Certainly, she helped blaze trails for those who came after her, when she was relegated to "special bits" in MGM musicals where she either played herself [[like in "Panama Hattie") or just appeared in a musical interlude which might be cut for showings in the South. But she was hardly known as a Broadway star in spite of all her accomplishments musically.

    Ethel Merman and Mary Martin, who both laid claim to the title "Queen of Broadway" at different points in their careers have never been memorialized in this way, and it would seem they have a much larger claim to such an honor, IMHO.


    Ethel, Mary, and Carol Channing are long overdue for such an honor from the Broadway community. The three Broadway owners made an agreement to rename at least one of their theatres for a black artist, and so none of these ladies were considered for the current renaming of theatres. August Wilson, James Earl Jones and Lena Horne were given the current honors. [Actually, Carol Channing could have qualified as her father was bi-racial, half black]

    The new name is part of an agreement reached last year between the three big Broadway theater owners—the Nederlander, the Shubert Organization and Jujamcyn Theaters—and the advocacy group Black Theatre United, the Times reports. Each of the three major Broadway landlords agreed to name a theater for a Black artist.

    Jujamcyn Theaters had already renamed the Virginia Theatre the August Wilson Theatre in 2005, just weeks after the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright died of liver cancer. This spring, the Shubert Organization announced plans to rename its Cort Theatre in honor of James Earl Jones, who has appeared in 21 Broadway productions and is one of the few to achieve EGOT status [[winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).


    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...rne-180980237/

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    Quote Originally Posted by milven View Post
    Ethel, Mary, and Carol Channing are long overdue for such an honor from the Broadway community. The three Broadway owners made an agreement to rename at least one of their theatres for a black artist, and so none of these ladies were considered for the current renaming of theatres. August Wilson, James Earl Jones and Lena Horne were given the current honors. [Actually, Carol Channing could have qualified as her father was bi-racial, half black]

    The new name is part of an agreement reached last year between the three big Broadway theater owners—the Nederlander, the Shubert Organization and Jujamcyn Theaters—and the advocacy group Black Theatre United, the Times reports. Each of the three major Broadway landlords agreed to name a theater for a Black artist.

    Jujamcyn Theaters had already renamed the Virginia Theatre the August Wilson Theatre in 2005, just weeks after the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright died of liver cancer. This spring, the Shubert Organization announced plans to rename its Cort Theatre in honor of James Earl Jones, who has appeared in 21 Broadway productions and is one of the few to achieve EGOT status [[winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony).


    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...rne-180980237/
    There it is. Thanks for this clarifying bit of info. I wonder if Ethel Waters was in the running.

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