News from the TCA summer tour as Live From Lincoln Center — the pioneering, award-winning performing arts series showcasing the best of the wide-ranging programming from the 30 iconic stages of the world’s largest performing arts center — today announced its 40th anniversary season on PBS.
There will be two major theatrical events as part of the annual PBS Arts Fall Festival.
The opening broadcasts feature Stephen Sondheim’s iconic musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, starring Bryn Terfel, Emma Thompson and the New York Philharmonic on September 26, followed by The Nance starring Nathan Lane on October 10. Six-time Tony Award-winning actress and singer Audra McDonald will continue as host of Live From Lincoln Center for a third season, as well as play a featured role in Sweeney Todd.
With its premiere broadcast in 1976, Live From Lincoln Center started a new chapter in performing arts broadcasting. Suddenly, arts lovers across the United States were given a front row seat to the world-class performances seen by audiences at Lincoln Center in New York, including classical music, opera, dance, jazz and theater, by some of the cultural greats from around the world, such as Leonard Bernstein, Yo-Yo Ma, George Balanchine, Renee Fleming, Luciano Pavarotti, Itzhak Perlman, Beverly Sills and Audra McDonald. Through the high quality of these broadcasts, Lincoln Center became a national and international destination for the performing arts.
“Live From Lincoln Center has been a regular in American households for four decades,” said series executive producer Andrew C. Wilk. “We’re thrilled that the 40th anniversary season of this iconic series continues its tradition of presenting opportunities to experience the breadth and depth of performances found nowhere else in the world but at Lincoln Center.”
Live From Lincoln Center 40th Anniversary Season (partial list)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Friday, September 26, 2014
PBS Arts Fall Festival
Live From Lincoln Center presents the New York Philharmonic’s critically acclaimed staged production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. These sold out engagements, staged in March 2014 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, tell the story of the eponymous barber who seeks vengeance on what he sees as a merciless world, along with his romantically inclined landlady.
The remarkable cast features stars from various spheres of entertainment, including classical music, theater, television and film. Bass-baritone Bryn Terfel stars in the title role, with Academy Award-winning actress Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lovett. Jeff Blumenkrantz portrays The Beadle; Tony Award winner Christian Borle (Smash), Pirelli; Kyle Brenn, Tobias Ragg; Jay Armstrong Johnson, Anthony Hope; Erin Mackey, Johanna; Audra McDonald, Beggar Woman; and Olivier Award winner Philip Quast, Judge Turpin. New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert conducts the Philharmonic and actors on stage, with help from assistant conductor Grant Sturiale. Sweeney Todd was directed for the stage and screen by Lonny Price. This celebrated musical theater work’s original production received eight Tony Awards in 1979 — including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score.
Friday, October 10, 2014
PBS Arts Fall Festival
Douglas Carter Beane’s acclaimed drama The Nance, produced by Lincoln Center Theater, stars stage and screen actor Nathan Lane. The play tells the story of Chauncey Miles (Lane), a headline nance (a parody of a gay man) in the twilight of New York burlesque’s era, who is homosexual.
Integrating burlesque sketches into his drama, Beane paints the portrait of a homosexual man, living and working in the secretive and dangerous gay world of 1930s New York, whose outrageous antics on the burlesque stage stand in marked contrast to his offstage life. The New York Daily News called the play “refreshingly original” and USA Today praised Lane’s standout performance “as heartbreaking as he is hilarious.” The Nance is directed for the stage by celebrated Broadway veteran Jack O’Brien. Rounding out the cast is Jenni Barber, Andréa Burns, Cady Huffman, Mylinda Hull, Geoffrey Allen Murphy, Jonny Orsini and Lewis J. Stadlen.
The production was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Actor – Nathan Lane, and two Drama Desk Awards (Outstanding Actor in a Play – Nathan Lane and Outstanding Music in a Play – Glen Kelly). The Nance won two Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Play – Nathan Lane, and Outstanding Director of a Play – Jack O’Brien, and Nathan Lane won the 2013 Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance of the Season. The Nance is directed for the screen by Matthew Diamond.
Other highlights to come in Live From Lincoln Center’s 40th broadcast season include:
School of American Ballet in Performance
For the first time, the curtain will be drawn back on one of the world’s premier ballet academies — the School of American Ballet — with a Live From Lincoln Center presentation of the School’s 50th Annual Workshop Performance, taped in June 2014, featuring an all-Balanchine program. The annual Workshop Performances demonstrate the continuing tradition of the excellence fostered at this prestigious ballet academy and showcase the talented dancers of the future.
New York Philharmonic: Live on New Year’s Eve
Continuing a broadcasting tradition, Live From Lincoln Center will broadcast the New York Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve celebration concert. This year’s gala concert will ring in 2015 with George Gershwin favorites, led by conductor Bramwell Tovey, and featuring Dianne Reeves and Norm Lewis.
Richard Tucker Opera Gala
Live From Lincoln Center will broadcast one of the most highly anticipated events for opera lovers, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s Gala Concert from Avery Fisher Hall. Each year the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, which provides much-needed support in the form of awards and grants to young American opera singers, stages a star-studded tribute to the late Brooklyn-born tenor featuring many of the biggest names in opera. Headlining this year’s concert, among others, are Anna Netrebko, Joseph Calleja, Ildar Abdrazakov and 2014 Richard Tucker Award winner, Michael Fabiano. Broadcast date and further details will be announced at a later date.
Lincoln Center’s American Songbook
In recent years, Live From Lincoln Center has presented some electrifying programming from Lincoln Center’s annual American Songbook series, celebrating the best in American singing and songwriting. Recent broadcasts have included Kristin Chenoweth, Patina Miller, Jason Isbell and more. Details about this season’s American Songbook will be announced at a later date.