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SPOTLIGHT ON THE 2011 TONY AWARDS: DAY 28 - Lena Horne Steals The Show

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As a super-special Spring extension of BroadwayWorld's SOUND OFF column, every day until the Tony Awards on June 12 we will be presenting a spectacular new entry in the SPOTLIGHT ON THE 2011 TONY AWARDS series featuring a particularly entertaining, interesting, relevant and exciting Tony Awards-related clip from the last sixty-three years of the ceremonies (and subsequent seasons on Broadway) with a rundown and commentary on the sights, sounds and showmanship on display in each carefully chosen selection - all, of course, coming in anticipation of Broadway's biggest night, which will be broadcast on CBS this year, as always. Once again this year, BroadwayWorld is the official home of the 2011 Tony Awards and we will also be featuring exclusive interviews, articles, photos, video content, interactive features and more in the coming days and weeks leading up to the event so be sure to check back daily for your theatre fix!

"I can tell you that sometimes you have to wait fifty years and sometimes it comes in a year, but whenever it comes," then, the most dramatic pause imaginable - and the smile. That's a quote from Lena Horne on the occasion of the legendary actress and singer winning her Special Tony Award for her one-woman-show Lena Horne: THE LADY & HER MUSIC at the 1981 Tony Awards. Lady, indeed - and a tune or two, too (maybe even a song from THE WIZ!), is on the Tony Awards menu today!

Lady Lena

There are a certain class of stars that Broadway caters to and can showcase better than any other place in the entire world. Thus, to quote a song title from THE WIZ, Lena Horne eventually found her home on Broadway. From the moment she took to the stage in THE LADY & HER MUSIC more than thirty years ago, audiences and critics alike were transfixed by her grace, style, musicianship and power in putting across a number. Witness a little bit of what made Ms. Horne so very special in today's Tony Awards countdown clip with the lady giving a short speech and then performing a song from THE WIZ, the Sidney Lumet-directed film version she had recently starred in alongside Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. You will more than just believe in the power of Broadway after this!

As a super-special bonus, check out this spectacular medley of clips featuring Ms. Horne and Judy Garland from the fourth episode of the 1960s CBS series THE Judy Garland SHOW.

So, who is your personal favorite of the endless array of Broadway leading ladies featured so far in our countdown- are you more Marlene Dietrich or a little more Lena Horne?

That's all for today. Be sure to stay tuned to BroadwayWorld for all things Tony Awards and subscribe to this column to be the very first to check out the clips, commentary and take part in the conversation in our deluxe toast to the one and only Antoinette Perry every day until June 12 - and, especially, on that day! Until then…

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Pat Cerasaro Pat Cerasaro is BroadwayWorld's Chief Interviewer and Senior Editor, contributing exclusive columns including InDepth InterViews, Sound Off, Flash Fridays as well as additional special features and extensive news coverage. His work for the site has appeared in The New York Times, US Weekly, The Biography Channel, NBC and more.