Tune to PBS this evening for A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House (9 p.m. on WCET locally) , featuring some of the biggest stars from the New York stage. Nathan Lane emcees the quickly paced hour, Idina Menzel — recently in Cincinnati with the Pops — sings "Defying Gravity" from Wicked and "What I Did for Love" (with composer Marvin Hamlisch as her accompanist), and veteran Elaine Stritch belts out two numbers from Stephen Sondheim's Follies, "Broadway Baby" and "I'm Still Here" (the latter earns the event's only standing ovation).
Modest production numbers from West Side Story and Hairspray add energy, and current Memphis star Chad Kimball gives a taste of what's big on Broadway right now from the 2010 Tony Award winner. Other performers include Audra McDonald, Tonya Pinkins and Brian d'Arcy James plus Assata Alston, age 12. The program is introduced by President Obama, and his family has a front-row seat with politicians (including Rocco Landesman, the NEA chair who recently visited Cincinnati).
Isn't it great to see the arts being appreciated at the White House? Thanks to PBS, we can all be there. Click here for a quick video preview.