Kennedy Center telecast salutes Jerry Herman, Bill T. Jones
Broadway lovers, don’t forget to watch the Kennedy Center Honors from 9 to 11 p.m. Tuesday [December 28th]. Among the honorees: Choreographer Bill T. Jones and legendary composer Jerry Herman.
Jones, who was the mastermind behind “Fela!” received a Tony Award for choreographing that show. He also received a Tony for his “Spring Awakening” choreography, and has worked with opera companies, ballet troupes and theaters all over the world. Claire Danes pays tribute to him, as well as his dance company.
Herman, of course, composed for some of Broadway’s biggest classics: “Mame,” “Hello Dolly!” and “La Cage aux Folles,” which is currently enjoying a Broadway revival.
“Mame” star Angela Lansbury leads the tributes, which includes performances from “La Cage” star Kelsey Grammer and “Hello Dolly!” leading lady Carol Channing — who performs a number titled “Hello, Jerry.”
“Glee” star Matthew Morrison sings “It’s Today” from “Mame,” and in what should be a delightful pairing, Christine Baranski and Christine Ebersole team “Bosom Buddies.”
But Herman has written so many memorable songs, that it doesn’t end there: Tony-winner Laura Benanti (“Gypsy”) sings “Time Heals Everything.” Tony-winner Sutton Foster (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”) performs “Before the Parade Passes By.” And Kelli O’Hara (“South Pacific”) sings “It Only Takes a Moment” with TV’s Matthew Bomer. Chita Rivera joins in, singing and dancing to “I Don’t Want to Know.” And the segment concludes with two of Herman’s biggest hits (both from “La Cage aux Folles”): “I Am What I Am” and “The Best of Times.”
If that’s not enough for you, Broadway even plays a part in the tribute to Oprah Winfrey, another nominee: Jennifer Hudson sings “I’m Here” from stage version of “The Color Purple.”