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Obamas find a way to do Broadway at home, hosting star-studded PBS taping [Updated]

July 14, 2010 |  2:55 pm

NathanLaneProducersTinaFinebergAP During the administration of President George W. Bush, news that Tony was to be heavily represented at a fete in the East Room of the White House would have suggested a British theme to the evening, with emissaries of then-Prime Minister Blair in attendance.

Times have changed. On Monday, the dignitaries hosted by President and Mrs. Obama will bring their regards from Broadway, not 10 Downing Street, while sharing talents that collectively have won them 11 Tony Awards.

The public is invited to watch -- eventually -- on "A Broadway Celebration," which will be taped for broadcast Oct. 20 as an installment in the PBS series, "In Performance at the White House."

The Tony-winning performers are actor-singers Nathan Lane (two Tonys), Audra McDonald (four Tonys), Idina Menzel, Tonya Pinkins and Karen Olivo (one each, for "Wicked," "Jelly's Last Jam" and "West Side Story," respectively), and pianist Marvin Hamlisch, a Tony winner for his score to "A Chorus Line." Working behind the scenes is Jerry Mitchell, Tony-winning choreographer (for the 2004 revival of "La Cage aux Folles"), who will guide 20 Washington, D.C., dance students in a segment from "Hairspray," another show he choreographed.

Also performing are Brian d'Arcy James ("Shrek: The Musical"), Chad Kimball ("Memphis") and Assata Alston, a 12-year-old from Queens, N.Y., who recently debuted at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

[Update: The White House announced Friday that Elaine Stritch and "Hairspray" veterans Danielle Arci and Constantine Rousouli have been added to the show; Stritch is a Tony winner (for her one-woman show, "Elaine Stritch at Liberty"), bringing the ensemble's collective career Tony haul to 12.]

ObamasBroadwayPresumably, critics who slammed the president and first lady last year for wasting taxpayer money when they flew to New York for dinner and a Broadway show (August Wilson's drama "Joe Turner's Come and Gone") won't complain about Broadway coming to them. Obama-watchers can catch the president's show-opening remarks live on Monday at 4 p.m. Pacific on the Internet at www.whitehouse.gov, but the public will have to wait until October for the performances.

As for those who got their hopes up when we mentioned a British theme in the East Room, PBS will oblige July 28 with the next "In Performance at the White House" broadcast, starring Paul McCartney with guests Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Jonas Brothers, Herbie Hancock, Corinne Bailey Rae, Dave Grohl, Faith Hill, Emmylou Harris, Lang Lang and Jack White. The show, celebrating Sir Paul's receiving this year's Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, was taped in the East Room on June 2.

-- Mike Boehm


ObamasKennedyCenter  Republicans grumble as Obamas jet to New York and taxpayers pick up the tab

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Photos: Nathan Lane in "The Producers"; the Obamas, dressed for a Broadway night out, walk on the White House lawn in 2009 en route to the presidential helicopter for first leg of their controversial trip to New York. Credits: Tina Fineberg / AP (Lane); Aude Guerrucci / Bloomberg News (Obamas).

Comments () | Archives (333)

Ship of State = Ship of Fools

The living definition of "New Money".


At some point in time, we have to start questioning where he came from and what he is doing to our country. Lavish spending, wasteful, socialist programs, ignoring Oklahoma, Kentucky and Tennessee when natural disasters struck, the Gulf ,the ban on oil drilling, the Czars and the list goes on and on. When will we, the people, start clamoring for his removal from office. He is clearly incompetent for the job and should be impeached.

Welcome to Obamalotte!!!!!

Let them eat cake indeed.
Or is he fiddling while Rome (U.S.) Burns to the ground.
Of course the Hollywood elites and self professed intellectual elites will just love this. PBS , of course just has to cover this.
I say STOP these idiots, they must be dragged out of power and cast into the gutter where they will be in charge of nothing but themselves.

Present Øbama is going to need another vacation so he and Michelle Antionette can recover from all these parties.

Life imitating Art. Don't Cry for me Argentina. Michelle as Eva, Hillary did her best in this part, but she couldn't pull off fashion with style. Michelle has it down pat. She gives the little people a peak at the good life. This is what the ruling class should do. Right????

The Pelicans and sea creatures will be patient untill you get through with your outings. Unless they die first!

He's gone Half N Rich.....what do you expect?

Ever watch the movie, the Flim Flam Man?
A con artist and this president are only seperated by 1 fact, votes. America is at its crossroads now thanks to NAFTA/CAFTA/TARP and a host of other policys rammed thru with little or no public debate. Those 8 million jobs didnt dissappear, they left us, with the blessing of the government. If you keep allowing the "news media" to manipulate us, define us, and fall for the lies the politicians tell us, and fail to make anyone acountable, cus,,,"they all do it" , we have no one to blame besides ourselves.
Who's country is this? Is it the politicians [who used to be public servants] or, us,,the people. [We the people..] It is time to quickly wise up America. Your time grows short. Dont let them define you, define yourself. Are we free Americans, or a bunch of pawns waiting to be told what to do next. Act up for gods sake. Take action. Make your voices heard. It is truly now, or, never. Lets roll....
God save America. Please....
P.S. Stop electing lawyers, Its part of our systemic problem's.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, now,,get goin...

The "good news" is that the less Our Dear Leader does, the better off we are. It is disheartening to see that he intends to spend his residual days in office spending as much taxpayer money as possible. Of course his Dimocrat friends are on-board with the spending orgy - Nancy P surely does her part. I wish the Repubs were a lot better at acting responsible, but they are not - they just don't hate America with the spite that the Obamacrats do. We are indeed acting out Orwell's Animal Farm. ARROGANCE!

Wait for the next lightning storm, then escort Obama to his final game please.

Very Sad!

Are there any true leaders left?

Nero fiddles while Rome burns!


And you idiots voted for this fool?

Hahahahahaha on you.

How's that Hope N Change working for ya? Had enough of him yet?

What did you expect with no experience?

Remember ... do as I say not as I do ....."How many people does Air Force One hold again and I can really use it whenever I want to ???"

The Obamas must be splendidly entertained by private live performances of current A list talent. Each night of every week is designated with a particular theme i.e. Date Night, Movie Night, Music Night, etc. to ensure that he and his are thoroughly refreshed and entertained on a daily basis. The Obamas maintain an average of one vacation per month throughout the year, lest they begin to feel a little tension in their shoulders.

You and I, however, are nasty, spoiled, greedy little capitalist brats who seek to destroy the Earth itself with our cars and hot dogs and air conditioning in the summer. We should be forced to make do with much less and accept personal responsibility for all the useful idiots out there who don't have broadband or hot tubs and understand why it is a hate crime for a commoner to be comfortable.

Presumably the author of this article is a bonehead... those who complained about Obama spending tax payer dollars to jettison up to Broadway with the FLOTUS will also complain about this because it is a PBS production. And tell me, who supports PBS? That's right...the tax payers!

can we honestly keep going the way we are at the point? pelosi spend $18,000 per month on her office, the USA just sent $500 million to Pakistan, and obama parties all the time. i am sick of it.

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