The longest-running performing arts anthology on television continues to feature the best in the performing arts.
Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem (#4002H) Duration: 1:56:46 SRND51 TVG
This program is a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the penning of the country's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." It features a star-studded line-up of musical performances representing a wide variety of musical genres, historical vignettes and an extraordinary fireworks display. The show is broadcast live from the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine and Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The special features a diverse 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 serves as a stunning backdrop. The program also includes ceremonial activities at Fort McHenry, historical highlights and a dramatic fireworks crescendo.
- KQED Life: Tue, Sep 16, 2014 -- 3:00am
Sting: The Last Ship (#3906H) Duration: 1:26:16 SRND51 TVPG
For the last several years, rock & roll Renaissance man Sting has been working on a new musical play titled "The Last Ship." Featuring new and original music and lyrics by Sting, the project is a collaboration with Tony-winning book writer John Logan ("Red," "Skyfall" screenplay) and will be directed by Tony-winner Joe Mantello of "Wicked." "The Last Ship" will open in Chicago later this spring, with a fall 2014 Broadway debut. Exploring a range of universal themes including transgression, redemption and the complexity of relationships over the passage of time, "The Last Ship" tells the story of the demise of the ship building industry in 1980s Newcastle, which for so long had shaped and overshadowed the city's development and community. Having grown up in the literal shadow of the shipyard, Sting was deeply inspired by the subject and has written more than 40 songs for the project. This program is a special concert staging of songs from the musical, performed by Sting and some of the play's cast, recorded in fall 2013 at New York's Public Theater.
Hugh Laurie: Let Them Talk - A Celebration of New Orleans Blues (#3702H) Duration: 56:21 SRND51 TVPG
An American favorite from his role in the hit TV series "House," the versatile British actor Hugh Laurie showcases his musical side in an atmospheric special filmed on location in New Orleans. Defying simple categorization, Laurie finds his greatest satisfaction and inspiration from the mixture of blues and jazz that grew out of New Orleans at the beginning of the last century. "Let Them Talk" is his very personal journey into the heart and soul of that music. Also including documentary and interview segments during Laurie's travels around the city, the program features his performances with blues legends Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas, as well as another fellow countryman similarly inspired by this uniquely American music, Sir Tom Jones. With concert sequences filmed at the historic Latrobe's building in the French Quarter, the musical selections will include New Orleans blues standards along with some forgotten and neglected gems.
Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty (#3908H) Duration: 1:56:46 SRND51 TVPG
Choreographer Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty marks the choreographer's return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete his acclaimed reinterpretations of the composer's trio of masterworks that began in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995 with the international success, Swan Lake, featuring a cast of all-male swans. This timeless fairy tale about a princess cursed to sleep for 100 years was adapted into a beloved ballet by Tchaikovsky and choreographer Marius Petipa in 1890. In a highly theatrical production that is not your grandfather's Sleeping Beauty, Bourne takes this date as his starting point, setting the story at the height of the fin de siecle epoch when fairies, vampires and a decadent opulence fed the gothic imagination. As the heroine Aurora matures into a young woman, the period shifts to the rigid confines of the Edwardian era. Decades later, awakening from her century-long slumber, Aurora finds herself in the modern day -- a world she finds more mysterious and wonderful than any fairy tale. Bourne's haunting new scenario is a romance for all ages; the traditional tale of good vs. evil and rebirth is turned upside-down, resulting in a supernatural love story across the decades, one that even the passage of time cannot erase.
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek Live! (#3910#) Duration: 56:46 SRND51 TVPG
Inspired by their sensational duet in Great Performances' "Tony Bennett Duets II" episode, the greatest living interpreter of the American songbook has recorded a yet to be released album with America's reigning pop diva of today. Teaming up for a concert from the stage of Rose Theater at New York City's Time Warner Center, the duo performs swinging selections from their latest collaboration.
Let Me Down Easy (#3611H) Duration: 1:56:46 STEREO TV14
Called "the most exciting individual in American theater" by Newsweek magazine, Anna Deavere Smith (The West Wing, Nurse Jackie) turns her theatrical exploration to matters of the human body with Let Me Down Easy. As in her acclaimed earlier plays Fires in the Mirror and Twilight: Los Angeles, Deavere Smith interviews an eclectic range of people, and then performs as the interviewee in their own words. This new gallery of indelible portraits ranges from boldface names like cyclist Lance Armstrong, supermodel Lauren Hutton and Texas Governor Ann Richards, to lesser known but equally memorable characters including a rodeo bull rider, a New Orleans hospital doctor and the director of a South African orphanage -- all sharing their searing experiences in confronting the price and politics of health, facing the end of life, and encountering the ultimate resilience of the human spirit. The performances was recorded at Washington DC's Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater.