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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)

Well, you gotta give props to the moderator for letting people vent. After all, this is how they feel. Actually, Barry can do a lot less damage hosting parties than he would if he's hunkered down with Nancy and Harry. Let him party non-stop 'til 2012!!

Does Obama have a Platinum LINK card ? His frivolous spending of our tax dollars on parties and vacations is a slap in the face to every homeless person and every child that does not have anything to eat tonight or is not getting a proper education. How can any voter with ethics or human compassion vote for him or his party ?

Alas, the Obama's continue to show the same lack of sensitivity and good taste again. America is suffering, yes really sufferng, and the First Family (?) is throwing away precious resorces as though they have just won the lottery!! Indeed they should look up previous lottery winners....most of them are broke. NO, the Obama's are set for life, at the expense of the people whom they conned. Shame. "Let the "little people" enjoy" Oh Please!!

Barry fiddles while the US burns.

What the heck is going on with this President? He is so far out of touch with the average American it makes me ill! Can someone? Anyone?, write an article on how much each one of these little parties cost the American taxpayer?! Obama says he will not "rest" until he finds solutions to the Gulf Oil Crisis, the deficit, the economy, the wars, etc. Yet he is jet setting all over the country for brief political speeches, vacactions, party hosting at the White House, etc. He is the Attention Deficit Disorder President! GET TO WORK OBAMA!!!

Once again, we have proof that Obama is more interested in the perks and galas of the Presidency instead of actually doing his job---on the other hand, he's shown that his skills aren't even enough for a good Community Organizer. So, we're left to ponder: Why did we elect this personage to so high an office? Temporary insanity? Foolishness and naivete? The folks of Bonkersville have to grow up and vote intelligently in the future. There is no more time or tolerance for unqualified people in our high elected offices. Cast them out!

Huh, didn't President B.O. just get back from Maine? Now more entertainment on the back of the taxpayer.

Unreal...my Monday evening includes care for my 6 month old, dishes, keeping company with the in-laws, seeking care for an ill family member. You know the normal everyday concerns of the MASSES!!!!!


Funny how Obama and PBS can find yet another way for Obama to get TV face time right before the election. Am I the only one tired of seeing him everytime I turn on the TV? Football, basketball and baseball have all been graced with his mug multiple times. Next thing you know he'll be doing appearances at kid's parties. He has devalued and debased the Office

The Obamas are disgusting! No character at all. They are the most blatant leeches ever in the White House.

You just keep partying, Barack. Don't pay any attention to the little people. You'll see what we were busy doing while YOU were living the high life. Now, I must get back to my work; the countdown continues . . . . . .

So Obama goes on vacation again only to rush home for anther party? How about doing some work. Like finding our why, despite his Executive Order banning federally funded abortions, federal money is being given the Maryland and Pennsylvania for just that purpose. Does his word mean anything?

Let them eat cake!

BHO is very happy, ladies and gentlemen. EVERYTHING is going according to plan. His job is to destroy America from within and he's doing that and more. The economy, the environment, our freedom....going going GONE! So all of this partying is just the Obamas celebrating the destruction of our country. I wonder if it's too late to save the USA. Soon, the internet will be taken away and freedom to worship will be stripped from us. Jesus can't come back soon enough. Until that time, may God help us all.

The Big Zero is only trying to emulate his Marxist heros. Let the "masses" be grateful for the scraps that are handed out to them thanks to their "benevolent" leader and government.

Is Che Guevara one of Big O's heros? Che Guevara was the one who was Castro's sidekick and was the one who ordered the Cuban people's bank accounts confiscated. In return, they got a new currency worth far far less than what they had. Oh, and Che Guevara? He drove around in a Mercedes-Benz and lived in a mansion (confiscated from its owner).

Obama is no different. Living like a King, spending money like it was water and telling the rest of us that we have to be happy with what we have (or don't have). Obama is nothing but a disgusting 3rd rate Marxist. How could the American people be so stupid as to have elected this worthless "Maximum Leader"?

Let them eat cake!

Hope the party doesn't interfere with his fund raising wfforts.

Don't forget, even BO the dog was flown back from vacation in his own jet. Talk about this country going to the dogs. But hey, he's cool, he's black, and if you have a problem with all thes golf outings, parties, vacations, concerts, vacations to unwind from vacations, then you must be a racist.

Obama cannot fix the economy, cannot fix unemployment, cannot fix the deficiet, cannot fix the boarder, cannot fix the oil spill so he might as well party.

Seems like it must have been while Nero fiddled and Rome burned. Finish the 7 vacation and still make time and spend the money for the weekly party, while the rest of us suffer. At least Obama has had more rounds of golf to.

Just another minority couple that learned how to scam the system.
No work, all parties: and the government, (we the people) pays for it all

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