Liza Minnelli Comforted Costar of Broadway Flop

At last night's Astaire Awards, Leslie Odom, Jr. won Outstanding Male Dancer In A Broadway Musical for his work in the short-lived evangelism tuner Leap of Faith.

In accepting the honor, Odom said about the show, "We weren't liked, in case you didn't hear.

"After we got the bad reviews, I was sitting there licking my wounds.

"The phone rang, and since it said '212', I picked it up. I thought, 'Maybe it's a job.'

"And I heard, "Leslie? It's Liza!

"I want you to know you're fabulous--and smile on your bows!

"I haven't read your reviews and I don't need to!"

A lovely gesture--and after all those horrid reviews, the show floated on the enthusiasm of the Liza types to pick up a Best Musical Tony nomination and now Odom has nabbed this award (over names like Hugh Jackman, Ricky Martin, and Matthew Broderick).

It's enough to make you believe a kid can rise out of a wheelchair and dance.

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