Jimmy Smits Hosts All-Star Line-Up for A CAPITOL FOURTH with Performances by Steve Martin, Josh Groban, Matthew Morrison, Jordin Sparks, Little Richard with the Broadway Cast of Million Dollar Quartet, Kelli O'Hara and the National Symphony Orchestra
A CAPITOL FOURTH, the live PBS broadcast of America's favorite Independence Day tradition, will feature unrivaled performances from some of the country's best-known musical names topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation.
Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits will host the all-star line-up that includes: Grammy and Emmy Award-winning actor and musician Steve Martin performing with the Steep Canyon Rangers; multi-platinum recording superstar Josh Groban; Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe nominated star of stage and screen who has just released his debut self titled album Matthew Morrison (Glee); American Idol winner Jordin Sparks; Rock 'N Roll legend Little Richard performing with the cast of the Broadway smash hit Million Dollar Quartet; three time Tony-nominated Broadway star Kelli O'Hara; and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. Consistently one of the highest rated programs on PBS over the past decade, A CAPITOL FOURTH became the top-rated program in primetime on PBS for the 2009-2010 season. The event will air in HD from the West Lawn of the United States Capitol on Monday, July 4, 2011 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our service members around the world on the American Forces Network. A CAPITOL FOURTH can also be heard live in stereo over NPR Member stations nationwide.
"It's a tremendously uplifting feeling as hundreds of thousands of Americans join together on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, singing the National Anthem as the National Symphony Orchestra plays,'" said executive producer Jerry Colbert. "As we watch the nation's capital light up with fireworks, it helps us forget our differences and remember that we are all Americans. I can't think of a better place to celebrate our freedom and the nation's birthday."
Offering viewers extended coverage of the fireworks display, A CAPITOL FOURTH will capture the stunning pyrotechnics from every vantage point with twenty TV cameras stationed around the city – including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument and across the Potomac River. In celebration of America's 235th birthday, the show will be capped off with a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" complete with live cannon fire provided by The U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery, an audience favorite and now an A CAPITOL FOURTH tradition. Also participating in the event will be The Choral Arts Society of Washington, along with The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, the U.S. Air Force Band Ceremonial Brass, Members of the Armed Forces carrying the State and Territorial Flags and the Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.
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