BWW Special Coverage: 4th of July Guide for the Patriotic Theatre Junkie - Videos, Event Schedules & More!
A devout theater fan knows no holiday, and thankfully, many of Broadway's most beloved shows and performers nationwide don't either. So what's a theater enthusiast to do on this Independence Day? Check out a sampling of this year's most exciting 4th of July offerings and click below to revisit some of your favorites saluting our nation in song!
A CAPITOL FORTH:
This July 4th, America's national Independence Day celebration kicks off our country's 236th birthday with A CAPITOL FOURTH on PBS hosted by, Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron.
Bergeron will lead an all-star cast in a patriotic evening of unrivaled musical performances, topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation. The multi award-winning event will feature two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick performing songs from the hit Broadway musical NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT with four-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara; acclaimed Broadway and television star Megan Hilty (SMASH); singer-songwriter Javier Colon (winner of THE VOICE); multi-platinum, two-time Grammy nominated country music star Josh Turner; R&B superstars Kool & The Gang; world renowned tenor Russell Watson; actress and singer Amber Riley (GLEE); AMERICAN IDOL winner Phillip Phillips; and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.
The event is broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, and will air live in HD on PBS Wednesday, July 4, 2012 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. EST.
BOSTON POPS FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR FEATURING Jennifer Hudson:
Academy Award and GRAMMY Award-winning superstar Jennifer Hudson will perform on the BOSTON POPS FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR, an entertainment special to be broadcast live from the Charles River Esplanade in Boston, Wednesday, July 4 (10:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. Hudson, who wowed critics and audiences alike in the Dreamgirls film adaptation, is also the newest cast member of SMASH. Hudson will portray Veronica Moore in the "road to Broadway" musical TV drama.
Though quite a few productions will be dark in honor of the fourth, many of this season's biggest stunners are planning on drawing up the curtains and welcoming in audiences. Shows perfoming on Independence Day include ANYTHING GOES, END OF THE RAINBOW, GHOST, Gore Vidal's THE BEST MAN, HARVEY, JERSEY BOYS, MARY POPPINS, ONCE, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, THE BOOK OF MORMON, PORGY AND BESS, War Horse, and WICKED.
All aboard for this saucy and splendid new production of Cole Porter’s musical romp across the Atlantic. When the S.S. American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention head out the portholes as two unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love… proving that sometimes destiny needs a little help from a crew of singing sailors, an exotic disguise and some good old-fashioned blackmail. Peppering this hilariously bumpy ride are some of musical theater’s most memorable standards, including “You're the Top,” “Blow, Gabriel, Blow,” “It’s De-Lovely,” “I Get A Kick Out of You,” and “Anything Goes.”
The production currently stars Stephanie J. Block as Reno Sweeney and Tony and Academy Award-winner Joel Grey as Moonface Martin. The cast also features John McMartin as Elisha Whitney, Julie Halston as Evangeline Harcourt, Bill English as Billy Crocker, Erin Mackey as Hope Harcourt, Robert Petkoff as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, Jessica Stone as Erma, Ed Dixon as Captain, Robert Creighton as Purser, Andrew Cao as Luke, and Raymond J. Lee as John.
END OF THE RAINBOW
2:00 PM Matinee
The setting of End of the Rainbow is December 1968, and Judy Garland is about to make her comeback . . . again. In a London hotel room preparing for a series of concerts, with both her new young fiancé and her adoring accompanist, Garland struggles to get “beyond the rainbow” with her signature cocktail of talent, tenacity and razor-sharp wit. This savagely funny drama offers unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of the most beloved figures in American popular culture. “End of the Rainbow” features some of Garland’s most memorable songs, performed with the show-stopping gusto for which she will always be remembered.
2:00 PM Matinee
GHOST is a timeless fantasy about the power of love adapted from the hit film by its Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin and directed by Tony Award®-winner Matthew Warchus. The story follows Sam and Molly, a young couple whose divine bond takes a shocking turn after Sam's untimely death. Trapped between two worlds as a ghost, Sam refuses to leave Molly when he learns she is in grave danger. Desperate to communicate with her, he turns to a storefront psychic, Oda Mae, who helps Sam protect Molly and find justice for his death. The original score is by multiple Grammy®Award winners Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard, and includes the emblematic "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers.
A play about power, ambition, political secrets, ruthlessness and the race for the presidency, Gore Vidal’s THE BEST MAN is set at the national convention where two candidates are vying for their party’s nomination during the primary season. It’s an inside look at the dirt-digging, double-dealing, triple-crossing chicanery of presidential electioneering and what could be more fun in a presidential campaign season than these theatrical fireworks.
8:00 PM Evening
Jim Parsons stars as one of modern theatre’s most lovable characters, Elwood P. Dowd. Charming and kind, Elwood has only one character flaw: an unwavering friendship with a 6-foot-tall, invisible white rabbit named Harvey. In order to save the family’s social reputation, Elwood’s sister Veta (Jessica Hecht) takes Elwood to the local sanatorium. But when the doctors mistakenly commit his anxiety-ridden sister, Elwood — and Harvey—slip out of the hospital unbothered, setting off a hilarious whirlwind of confusion and chaos as everyone in town tries to catch a man and his invisible rabbit.
JERSEY BOYS is the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi, about a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks who became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide - all before they were thirty. The show features all their hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” and “Working My Way Back To You.”
The cast of JERSEY BOYS is led by Matt Bogart (Nick Massi), Quinn VanAntwerp (Bob Gaudio), Andy Karl (Tommy DeVito) and Jarrod Spector (Frankie Valli) as The Four Seasons; with Peter Gregus and Mark Lotito. The cast also includes Miles Aubrey, Erik Bates, Jared Bradshaw, Cara Cooper, Ken Dow, John Edwards, Russell Fischer, Katie O’Toole, Joe Payne, Jessica Rush, Dominic Scaglione Jr., Nathan Scherich, Sara Schmidt and Taylor Sternberg.
ONCE is the celebrated new musical based on the Academy Award-winning film. It tells the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves into a powerful but complicated romance, heightened by the raw emotion of the songs they create together.
ONCE, the big winner of the 2011-2012 awards season, currently stars Tony-winner Steve Kazee and Tony-nominee Cristina Milioti.