Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Kennedy Center Honors

Last night, CBS aired the Kennedy Center Honors, and among the honorees were two Broadway greats: Bill T. Jones (who choreographed Spring Awakening and Fela) and Jerry Herman (composer of Hello Dolly, La Cage aux Folles, and other hits).

The awards ceremony was fun to watch, and also interesting, giving an in-depth look into each of the honorees lives and accomplishments. Each honoree was also treated to a star-studded performance featuring their work. I loved both Jerry Herman's and Bill T. Jones's. Jones's featured an amazing performance from the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. It was absolutely mesmerizing. Jones is able to express ideas and concepts through dance that you never thought would be possible. It's so interesting to watch his choreography - no words can describe the effect it leaves on you.

Jerry Herman's tribute was wonderful, too. It featured Matthew Morrison, who gave a great rendition of It's Today from Mame. He also showed off some amazing dancing, which surprised me, since I never knew what a good dancer he is! There was also a rendition of Hello, Dolly (changed around to be Hello, Jerry) performed by the original Dolly, Carol Channing. Many of his other great songs were worked in, and it all ended with a peppy version of The Best of Time from La Cage.

And even though he's not associated with theatre, I loved Paul McCartney's tribute. It began with an amusing introduction by Alec Baldwin, and continued with breath-taking renditions of some of the best songs that he's written, such as Hey Jude, Penny Lane, Let It Be, and The End, which was performed by Aerosmith legend, Stephen Tyler.

I'm glad to see these people who have done such great work in the theatre and the arts in general honored. Here's hoping next year's honorees and ceremony will be just as great!


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