Gold Derby nuggets: TCM tribute to Lena Horne | 'Fences' ropes them in | Cherry Jones back to Broadway after '24'
• Lisa Horowitz delivers the news that TCM has scheduled a tribute to the late Lena Horne for May 21. "The lineup features three films with defining Horne performances, as well as one of the groundbreaking singer-actress' personal favorites, the 1943 John Garfield drama 'The Fallen Sparrow.' At 8 p.m. ET, TCM will show 'The Duke Is Top' (1938), Horne’s film debut, featuring performances of the songs 'I Know You Remember' and 'Don't Let Our Love Song Turn Into a Blues.' That's followed at 9:30 p.m. by Horne's favorite among her films, the 1943 'Cabin in the Sky,' co-starring Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson and Ethel Waters. 'Panama Hattie' airs at 11:15 p.m. The 1942 film is an example of the type of role Horne frequently was forced to play." In a statement, our pal TCM host Robert Osborne said, "There was never anyone quite like Lena Horne as an entertainer, a presence or a trail-blazer. We’ve been shortchanged only by the limited number of worthwhile roles she was given to play in movies. But she certainly gave us 100 percent of her remarkable talent in those she did make." THE WRAP
• "Memphis" -- one of the leading contenders for the Tony Award for best musical -- has a fan in Justin Timberlake. As per this report, Timberlake took in a performance of the tuner last week and was "heard telling the show's music writer, Bon Jovi keyboard player David Bryan, that he's interested in turning the show into a movie." And it seems that while Timberlake was in town, he taped a spot for the season finale of "SNL" this weekend. PAGE SIX
• Add "La Cage aux Folles" to the growing list of current Tony Award nominees to announce a national tour. With road producers making up a sizable portion of the voting bloc for this top theater honor, it is a savvy move to let them know that they can program a Tony contender into their houses. This second rialto restaging of 1984's top tuner is nominated for 11 Tonys, including best musical revival.
• The smash-hit revival of "Fences" won't be touring, at least not with its Tony-nominated stars two-time Oscar champ Denzel Washington ("Glory," "Training Day") and Oscar nominee Viola Davis ("Doubt"). This rialto remounting of the 1987 Tony and Pulitzer prize winner by August Wilson is packing them in and just set a new house record for the Cort Theatre topping the $1-million mark. And, as Patrick Healy notes, "the previous Cort record-holder was its last tenant, the revival of Arthur Miller’s 'A View from the Bridge,' with a gross of $988,455 earned during the last week of performances before closing in early April." That play is also in the running for best play revival at the upcoming Tony Awards. ARTS BEAT
• Julie Miller presents the highlights from Conan O'Brien's 48-minute conversation with Google’s veep of engineering Vic Gundotra that is being showcased on YouTube. Among the must-see moments are "Conan’s impression of Leno (begins at 22:04), Conan’s hairy foreplay with a Google employee (begins at 23:24), and Andy Richter’s guest appearance (begins at 29:00)." MOVIELINE
• Michael Ausiello chats with "Big Bang Theory" star Jim Parsons about, among other subjects, "the real story behind Sheldon’s season-ending 'romance' with Blossom (a.k.a. Mayim Bialik)." And, says the sassy Michael, the Emmy nominee also "opened up about the joys of working with a cast that is clean, sober, and so not insane." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
• "Yank" -- the off-Broadway tuner that recently announced a transfer to the rialto in the upcoming season -- has yanked original helmer Igor Goldin from the project. Replacing him is David Cromer, a recent winner at the Lucille Lortel awards celebrating the best of off-Broadway for his direction of "When the Rain Stops Falling." The musical, about two WWII G.I.s who fall in love, was a hit for the York Theater this year. ARTS BEAT
• Roundabout Theater is reuniting two-time Tony champ Cherry Jones with Doug Hughes who directed her to the second of those wins for "Doubt" back in 2005. The actress -- who was replaced in the 2008 movie version of "Doubt" by Meryl Streep -- will headline a revival of George Bernard Shaw's "Mrs. Warren's Profession" at one of the Roundabout's Broadway houses. While this Shavian classic has played five times on Broadway, only one of those productions -- at Lincoln Center in 1976 -- was since the inception of the Tonys in 1947. Oscar champ Ruth Gordon ("Rosemary's Baby") played the title character -- a high-class madam -- while Lynn Redgrave earned the first of her three Tony noms as the daughter repulsed by her mother's chosen profession. Jones -- whose first Tony win was back in 1995 for "The Heiress" -- has just wrapped production on her second and final season on "24" in the Emmy-winning role of President Allison Taylor.
• And to celebrate the centennial of the birth of Tennessee Williams, Roundabout Theater has scheduled Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis ("Moonstruck") to appear in a revival of his ill-fated 1963 play "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" at the non-profit's off-Broadway home in 2011.
Top photo: Ethel Waters, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson and Lena Horne in "Cabin in the Sky." Credit: MGM
Middle photo: "Fences" playbill. Credit: Cort Theatre
Bottom photo: Cherry Jones at the 2005 Tony Awards. Credit: CBS