Honoring Hamlisch’s songbook
Audra McDonald performs at PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center session at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, CA January 14, 2013.
By: Valerie Milano
Pasadena, CA (Hollywood Today
) 5/27/13 -“The acclaimed singer/actress, winner of five Tony Awards and two Grammys, Audra McDonald discussed her love of Lincoln Center and her hosting the PBS series Live From Lincoln Center
with Hollywood Today and other reporters, “I’ve performed on every single stage at Lincoln Center, every single one, and I’ve lived at Lincoln Center. I lived in the Juilliard dorms as well. So it literally — it literally is my home.” She went on to say, “My mom used to sing. She had a cassette tape of Beverly Sills so I would hear “Depuis le jour,” like, every morning. My mom would play it in her Mazda RX7 as she took us to school, and she would sing along…I was, a young kid growing up in Fresno, California, and I used to watch Live From Lincoln Center
. And I didn’t get to see a lot of classical music growing up, but I was able to reach it through Live From Lincoln Center
and watch Beverly Sills sort of introduce me to this whole world that I didn’t know, and I saw this place that I wanted to go to when I grew up.”
The award winning series, Live From Lincoln Center,
in its 37th season this year, celebrates the live performance experience across diverse art forms, hailing from the country’s leading and largest performing arts center, Lincoln
Center. Ms. McDonald hosted seven broadcasts from December 2012 through spring 2013, finishing up this season with the May 24 performance, which celebrates the music of Marvin Hamlisch.
This particular episode was lovingly dedicated to Mr. Hamlisch who conducted the NY Philharmonic on several occasions. He grew up on Manhattan’s upper west side and he loved the city, he lived the city, he dreamed of being a big part of the city. At age 6 he auditioned for Juilliard by performing “Goodnight Irene” in every key requested by the professor and at 19 he had his first hit song. Hamlisch was one of only eleven EGOTs – those who have been awarded an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. He also won a Pulitzer Prize and two Golden Globes.
Some of the many stage and screen artists who performed to honor Hamlisch’s songbook, in this live presentation were Audra McDonald herself, Megan Hilty of the popular NBC show Smash
, Michael Feinstein known for the Great American Songbook
, multi-platinum artist Josh Groban, Lilith Crawford from the revival of Annie
, Beth Bayers of CBS’s Two Broke Girls
, and Broadway performers Raul Esparza, Kelli O’Hara, Maria Freedman and Brian Darcy James. The big finale ended with a performance of the infamous A Chorus Line
smash “One”. Appropriate since A Chorus Line
ran for over 6000 performances winning every award possible and is the 6th
longest Broadway show in history.