Burnett Immortalized

Following last week’s Tony Awards, an interesting discussion took place on social media.   Someone asked why and how Audra McDonald would play Mama Rose in Gypsy – after all, Rose Hovick was a real person, and was white.  Of course, I defended color-blind casting, and then brought up Hamilton.  But it did get me thinking – what if the situation were reversed?  Imagine the uproar if Kathleen Turner played the title role in The Rosa Parks Story?  Still, I’d pay good money to see her get on the bus saying, “Lordy, Lordy, I sho’ is tired!”

Carol Burnett cemented her place in history by placing her handprints and footprints in cement.  Obviously the ceremony took place at the legendary Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (OK, now it’s the TLC Chinese Theatre…soon to become the TCL Asian-American Theatre, I’m sure).  It was a fitting site since Burnett grew up a few blocks away.  The honor happened after Palm Royale executive producers Laura Dern and Jayme Lemons learned Burnett had never been given this honor.  They made a couple of calls and the theatre said, “Name the day.”  Congrats.

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