Photo Flash: Megan Hilty, Norm Lewis, and More Celebrate Alan Menken and THE REACH

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On Wednesday, September 11, Oscar, Tony, and Grammy Award-winning composer Alan Menken joined the Kennedy Center's festivities as a part of the 16­-day Opening Festival for The REACH.

At 8 p.m., the legendary composer's music was celebrated in a free concert on the festival's mainstage by Tony Award nominee Megan Hilty (Smash, the Kennedy Center's Little Shop of Horrors), Adam Jacobs (Aladdin, The Lion King), Tony Award nominee Norm Lewis (The Little Mermaid, the Kennedy Center's The Music Man), Tony Award winner Patina Miller (Sister Act, Pippin), the National Symphony Orchestra, and Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke. The concert, which began with an introduction from Congressman Joseph Patrick Kennedy III, included a special performance by the composer himself and featured Menken's indelible music from his films and Broadway shows including Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Sister Act, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and more.

The concert was executive produced by Jeffrey Finn, Vice President of Theater Producing and Programming, in collaboration with the National Symphony Orchestra (Gary Ginstling, Executive Director; Justin Ellis, Artistic Administrator).

Earlier in the day, Alan Menken presented a master class in front of a packed crowd in Studio K at The REACH.

With more than 1,000 artists and more than 500 free events in three new sunlit pavilions and more than 130,000 square feet of new landscaped green space at the nation's cultural capital, the REACH opened its doors on September 7, 2019 with 16 full days of creativity in action, providing artists and audiences with the opportunity to experience art as never before. Marking the first expansion at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in its 48-year history, the REACH welcomes the public with an inclusive, multi-genre, multidisciplinary Opening Festival now through September 22.

The REACH represents the future of the arts, celebrating their essential role in American life and their unique ability to break down barriers, bringing people and communities together. Designed by preeminent architect Steven Holl as a home for non-traditional programming with an emphasis on active participation and access, the open, informal spaces of the new expansion draw visitors directly into the creative process and inspire new connections and collaborations between creators of multiple genres and disciplines.

All REACH Opening Festival events are free; timed-entry passes are required for entry. Patrons can obtain free passes here, by phone at (202) 467-4600, or in person at the Box Office. The following paragraphs offer a general overview of the Opening Festival, with details of selected highlights. To access the full interactive schedule, click here and use the filters provided to see complete programming. A fully customizable scheduling app can be also downloaded at the App Store andGoogle Play.

Photo Credit: Scott Suchman

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