Kristin Chenoweth, John Lithgow & More Set for PBS's STAR-SPANGLED SPECTACULAR
Acclaimed actor, musician and author John Lithgow will host Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of our National Anthem live from Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore, Maryland on THIRTEEN'S Great Performances at 8 pm ET on September 13, 2014, immediately followed by an encore broadcast at 10 pm. (Check local listings.)
The two-hour television event is a highlight of Star-Spangled Spectacular, a weeklong celebration of the 200th anniversary of our national anthem.
Also featured are performances by Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and accomplished singer Kristin Chenoweth; Grammy Award-winning country group Little Big Town; vocal sensations Pentatonix; the Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director Marin Alsop; and more to be announced soon. The patriotic special will feature a diverse star-studded line up of entertainers paying tribute to our nation's ideals in a thrilling and inspiring concert at the Pier Six Pavilion. The Baltimore harbor, replete with tall ships and naval vessels will serve as a stunning backdrop. The program will also include ceremonial activities at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, historical highlights and an extraordinary fireworks crescendo.
Two hundred years ago, Francis Scott Key, a Maryland-born attorney, was inspired to write the words to what would become the United States' national anthem. In 2012, Star-Spangled 200 and the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission began a multi-year commemoration of this legacy which will culminate with Star-Spangled Spectacular, a weeklong festival taking place on September 10-16, 2014. Within this festival, Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of our National Anthem will take place. The festival will include tall ships, Navy gray hulls, a performance by the Blue Angels, landside festivities, and this special television program to honor the national anthem.
About the Performers
John Lithgow is an American actor, musician, and author. In 1973, he won a Tony Award three weeks after his Broadway debut, in David Storey's "The Changing Room." Since then he has appeared on Broadway twenty more times, earning five more Tony nominations, another Tony, four Drama Desk Awards, and induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame. In the early 1980's Lithgow began to make a major mark in films. At that time, he was nominated for Oscars in back-to-back years, for "The World According to Garp" and "Terms of Endearment." In the years before and after, he has appeared in over forty films. Upcoming releases include Tommy Lee Jones' "The Homesman," Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" and Ira Sachs' "Love is Strange" alongside Alfred Molina. For his work on television, Lithgow has been nominated for eleven Emmy Awards. He has won five of them, one for an episode of "Amazing Stories," and three for his portrayal of the alien High Commander, Dick Solomon on the NBC comedy series "3rd Rock from the Sun." He has also been honored with two Golden Globe Awards, two SAG Awards, The American Comedy Award and has received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Lithgow is also celebrated for his work for children which includes acclaimed books, concerts, and albums. Since 1998 he has written nine New York Times best-selling children's picture books, including the recently published "Never Play Music Right Next To The Zoo."
Emmy and Tony Award winner and Oklahoma and Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame inductee, Kristin Chenoweth effortlessly transitions between stage, television, film and an accomplished singing career. She received an Emmy Award for her role in "Pushing Daises," a Tony Award for her role in "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" and was also nominated for originating the role of Glinda The Good Witch in "Wicked." Chenoweth most recently co-starred in the animated film "Rio 2" and performed to sold-out audiences at the famed Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall. She's also completed production on the Universal film "The Boy Next Door," "Opposite Sex," "Hard Sell" and the Disney Channel's live-action original movie "Descendents." Chenoweth continues to tour and will return to Broadway in the Roundabout Theatre Company's "On the Twentieth Century" in early 2015. Additional TV credits include: "The West Wing," "Glee," "G.C.B" and "The Good Wife."
Grammy Award-winning Country group, Little Big Town - consisting of members Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook - first entered the music scene more than 15 years ago with hits such as "Boondocks," "Bring It On Home," "Good As Gone" and Grammy-nominated single "Little White Church." The quartet's fifth studio album Tornado was released on September 11, 2012 and debuted at the top of the Billboard Country Chart where it stayed for five consecutive weeks. The album has been certified Platinum with sales of more than 1 million copies and features #1 hits "Pontoon" and "Tornado." Little Big Town recently completed their sixth studio album working again with producer Jay Joyce. The first single off of the new album entitled "Day Drinking" is quickly climbing the Country radio charts. The album, entitled Pain Killer, is set for release on October 21.
Vocal sensations Pentatonix are taking instrument-free music far beyond anyone's wildest expectations. Named after the world's most widely recognized five-note music scale, this quintet has transformed one of pop music's purest and most soulful expressions into an exciting future, filled with limitless sonic possibility. From their original tracks to their intricate reimagining of pop hits and epically complex arrangements and medleys, Pentatonix have quickly developed a sound and style that is entirely unique and undeniably infectious. Pentatonix have ignited one of the biggest online and global followings. The PTXofficial Youtube channel boasts over 500 million views, buoyed by more than 5.9 Million subscribers, and is one of the Top 100 most subscribed-to music channels.
The Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world's most important orchestras. Acclaimed for its enduring pursuit of artistic excellence, the BSO has attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep bonds throughout Maryland with innovative education and community outreach initiatives. The BSO made musical history in September 2007, when Maestra Marin Alsop led her inaugural concerts as the orchestra's 12th music director, making her the first woman to head a major American orchestra. With her highly praised artistic vision, her dynamic musicianship and her commitment to accessibility in classical music, Maestra Alsop's leadership has ushered in a new era for the BSO and its audiences.
About the Production
Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial Of Our National Anthem is a production of Maryland Public Television, dick clark productions and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET with assistance from the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission and Star-Spangled 200, Inc. Executive Producer David Horn, Great Performances; Producer/Director Paul Miller; Assaf Blecher, Vice President of Programming and Development for dick clark productions; and Steven J. Schupak, Maryland Public Television.
For Great Performances, Bill O'Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.
Major corporate support for Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of our National Anthem is provided by AT&T, Papa John's Pizza, and Constellation Energy.
Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Agnes Varis Trust, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Starr Foundation, Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Harold and Elise Danino Hirshberg, and PBS.
As New York's flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS Newshour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mike Schneider and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.
About Star-Spangled 200
Star-Spangled 200 is a multi-year commemoration that celebrates the 200th anniversary of our national anthem. Star-Spangled Sailabration in Baltimore's Inner Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay launched the events in June 2012. Sailabration included a maritime festival with 45 vessels from a dozen nations and an airshow featuring the Blue Angels, and drew more than 1.5 million visitors. Star-Spangled 200 continued Spring 2013 through Summer 2014 with the Chesapeake Campaign, a series of more than a dozen festivals in waterfront communities around the Bay. Two conferences were held at the U.S. Naval Academy in 2013 - Cross Tech, June 10-11 and From Enemies to Allies, June 12-15 - bringing together leaders in cyber security and scholars from the U.K, Canada and the U.S. Events will culminate with Star-Spangled Spectacular, September 10-16, 2014, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the National Anthem. Star-Spangled 200 is supported by its Presenting Sponsor AT&T with Founding Partner support from Constellation and Papa John's. For more information, please visit www.StarSpangled200.com or www.StarSpangled200.org.