The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., will launch its year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of composer Leonard Bernstein’s birth with Bernstein on Broadway, a September 22 concert of songs from his musicals including West Side Story, On the Town, Candide, and Wonderful Town.
There will also be an excerpt from Bernstein’s Mass, which was originally commissioned for the opening of the Kennedy Center in 1971.
To showcase these songs, the Kennedy Center will host a constellation of Broadway stars, including Laura Osnes (Bandstand, Cinderella), Santino Fontana (Cinderella), Norm Lewis (Porgy and Bess), Beth Malone (Fun Home), Matthew Hydzik (the Kennedy Center production of Side Show), and Mikaela Bennett (The Golden Apple at Encores!), plus Max Clayton, Kim Fauré, Keven Quillon, Shina Ann Morris, Brandon Rubendall, Samantha Sturm, Erica Sweany, and Anthony Wayne.
Among other highlights of the Kennedy Center’s Bernstein Centenary celebration:
* Cellist Yo-Yo Ma will be soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra’s Bernstein-themed September 24 season opening concert, featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Tony Award–winning actor-singer Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple). The program includes the overture to Candide; “Three Meditations” from Mass with Ma as soloist; selected vocal works sung by Erivo; and the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. The performance, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Concert Hall, will be streamed live for free worldwide viewing on medici.tv and the NSO’s Facebook page, as well as at the Kennedy Center’s website. The performance will be available for free on-demand viewing for an additional 90 days following the livestream.
* A 4 PM September 23 panel discussion Bernstein, The Arts and Race, featuring a panel consisting of Tony Award–winning actor Karen Olivo, author Carol Oja, Bernstein’s daughter and director Jamie Bernstein, soprano Harolyn Blackwell, and Broadway Theatre League Trustee Colleen Jennings-Roggensack.
* An art and memorabilia exhibition, Leonard Bernstein at 100, curated by the Grammy Museum, opens September 21 and runs through November 5. This free traveling exhibit includes more than 150 photographs, personal items, papers, correspondence, costumes, furniture, and films.
Santino Fontana, Norm Lewis, and Laura Osnes have been special guest performers on Playbill’s Broadway on the High Seas cruises. Cabins are available for Broadway on the Danube River with Michael Feinstein for November 3–13, 2017, also featuring Rachel Bay Jones, Julia Murney, Christopher Fitzgerald, Marc Kudisch, Christopher Sieber, Brandon Uranowitz, and Seth Rudetsky, as well as other exciting talent to be announced.
Tickets are also now on sale for Playbill’s Broadway on the High Seas July 2018 cruise to Iceland, accompanied by Judy Kuhn, Christine Ebersole, Rob McClure, Jarrod Spector, Carmen Cusack, and Sierra Boggess. Visit PlaybillTravel.com for booking and information.