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[AWARD SHOW] Excellent 2006 Kennedy Center Honors (w/o Jessica Simpson!!)

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  • madchinaman
    Surprise! Not every moment is scripted Kennedy Center special edits out tears and fears, but retains elements of spontaneity By HAL BOEDEKER
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 26, 2006
      Surprise! Not every moment is scripted
      Kennedy Center special edits out tears and fears, but retains
      elements of spontaneity
      By HAL BOEDEKER
      http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/entertainment/4421863.htm
      l
      Event Website: http://www.kennedy-
      center.org/programs/specialevents/honors/


      -

      So what if Simpson flubbed her moment in the spotlight? (Maybe she
      realized she shouldn't have been there.) Her mistake pales when the
      Kennedy Center special promises so much that is bold and beautiful.
      *
      Remember all that talk about Jessica Simpson's terrible performance
      of "9 to 5"? She flubbed it front of honoree Dolly Parton and the
      audience. Then Simpson later redid the performance in an empty hall.
      Well, CBS announced Thursday that Simpson's performance won't be
      included in the final show.

      Good. Why waste time on inferior material when you have to cram so
      much good stuff into a two-hour slot? (Editor's Note: My sentiments
      exactly and why was she even considered?!?!?!

      -


      Dolly Parton receives the best — and worst — of it at this year's
      Kennedy Center Honors.

      Reba McEntire and Reese Witherspoon pay tribute to singer-songwriter
      Parton in speeches. "Dolly always has a way of making everyone feel
      like they are the only one in the room," McEntire says. "You've just
      got that gift, girl."

      Carrie Underwood, Kenny Rogers, Alison Krauss, Shania Twain and Vince
      Gill serenade Parton. Silky-voiced Gill croons I Will Always Love
      You, Parton's most famous song.

      Oh, and Jessica Simpson tries to sing Parton's 9 to 5 and quickly
      leaves the stage, shedding tears and citing nerves.

      But the track of Simpson's tears won't be noticeable when CBS
      broadcasts the 29th annual edition of the Kennedy Center Honors. The
      program, which taped Dec. 3, will air from 8 to 10 p.m. Tuesday on
      CBS.

      Simpson later redid her performance in the empty hall after the
      ceremony. As of Friday, it had been cut from the program entirely.

      Even so, the Kennedy Center special boasts too many assets to linger
      over the missteps.

      The center salutes the career achievements of five artists each year.
      This year's honorees are Parton, singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson,
      director Steven Spielberg, conductor Zubin Mehta and composer Andrew
      Lloyd Webber.

      Official Washington turns out each year. Applauding these winners are
      President Bush and first lady Laura Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney
      and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

      But the performers are the main draw. In a welcome break from most
      awards shows, the winners make no speeches. They hear their lives
      recounted in short biographical films. They watch colleagues sing and
      offer testimonials. The honorees' surprise is no act; they don't know
      who will perform in their honor.

      Caroline Kennedy hosts the special for the fourth year in a row. The
      winners were honored in this order: Robinson, Mehta, Lloyd Webber,
      Parton and Spielberg.

      Aretha Franklin leads the Robinson tribute, describes his poetic
      Motown sound and tells him, "I adore you, William 'Smokey' Robinson."

      Then the special rolls out the Robinson songs: rapper Cee-Lo on The
      Tears of a Clown, India.Arie on I Second That Emotion and their duet
      on Going to a Go Go. Sam Moore joins Jonny Lang on The Tracks of My
      Tears. The Temptations perform Get Ready, The Way You Do the Things
      You Do and My Girl.

      Violinist Itzhak Perlman guides the Mehta celebration and describes
      the conductor as a mensch, a Yiddish term that means "a person who is
      worthy and is full of good deeds." Violinist Pinchas Zukerman
      performs and conducts the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

      Sarah Brightman starts the salute to Lloyd Webber, her ex-
      husband. "His music of the night is music for all time," she says.

      Corey Glover of Living Colour highlights Superstar from Jesus Christ
      Superstar. Christine Ebersole performs As If We Never Said Goodbye
      from Sunset Boulevard. Elena Roger, the current London star of Evita,
      headlines a production number of Buenos Aires. Josh Groban sings
      Music of the Night from The Phantom of the Opera. Brightman and Betty
      Buckley join for a duet on Lloyd Webber's signature song, Memory,
      from Cats.

      After the Parton segment, Liam Neeson begins the Spielberg salute by
      recalling the director's work on Schindler's List. "He pushed us hard
      with an urgency to make his vision a reality," Neeson says.

      Tom Hanks honors his director on Saving Private Ryan by introducing
      several World War II veterans, who offer their own tributes. Renee
      Firestone, a concentration-camp survivor, praises Spielberg for
      founding the Shoah Foundation and preserving survivors' testimonies.
      The United States Army Chorus performs an a cappella version of I'll
      Be Seeing You.

      For the big finale, the special pulls out Leonard Bernstein's Make
      Our Garden Grow from Candide. Conductor John Williams, Spielberg's
      collaborator for 34 years, leads that mammoth performance.

      So what if Simpson flubbed her moment in the spotlight? (Maybe she
      realized she shouldn't have been there.) Her mistake pales when the
      Kennedy Center special promises so much that is bold and beautiful.

      ============

      Remarks at the 29th Annual Kennedy Center Honors Dinner
      Secretary Condoleezza Rice
      Benjamin Franklin Room
      Washington, DC
      December 2, 2006
      http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2006/77292.htm


      Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Good evening and welcome to the
      Department of State. I am so pleased to host this esteemed and
      wonderful and fun crowd here at the Department. I'd like to recognize
      Steve Schwarzman, who is the chairman of the Kennedy Center. Steve.
      (Applause.)

      I'd like you to know that we believe very strongly in the power of
      the arts and culture to bring people together and so we have joined
      with the Kennedy Center as a partner in a global cultural initiative.
      And thank you very much, Steve, for helping to spearhead that
      partnership. Steve's support of the arts dates all the way back to
      his college years. And many of you, like me, will be impressed to
      know that Steve actually founded a Yale ballet society. Now he has
      since said that that was because he wanted to meet girls. (Laughter.)
      I think, though, it has translated into a real love of the arts. And
      with his wife, Christine, his wonderful partner, they have done so
      much for this organization, so thank you, Steve and Christine.
      (Applause.)

      For almost 30 years, the Kennedy Center Honors has recognized the
      world's best and brightest, the creative talents who have made
      lasting contributions to the performing arts in America. It's my
      great privilege tonight to welcome each of this year's honorees:
      Zubin Mehta, a magnificent maestro, born, as they say, to the baton.
      In 1954, on one of his first days outside of his native India, he
      heard the Vienna Philharmonic play Brahms. "I didn't know such a
      sound existed," he said. I feel the same way about Brahms, my
      favorite composer. Unfortunately, I'm still struggling on the piano
      to bring that sound into existence. It's all the more reason to
      appreciate and love the work of Zubin Mehta. Thank you, maestro, for
      your contributions. (Applause.)

      Dolly Parton, what a talent. This little girl from Tennessee hills,
      who became a businesswoman, a movie star, a philanthropist, and of
      course, the songstress who put country music into the popular ear and
      on the popular radio and she did it all with unique charm and
      wonderful wit. She once said, "I'm not offended by all those dumb
      blonde jokes, because I know I'm not dumb and I know I'm not blonde."
      (Laughter.) (Applause.) Well, Dolly, we know you're plenty smart. And
      as to hair color, every woman in this room will agree that that
      should be a matter of classified State secrets. (Laughter.)

      Smokey Robinson. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the poet
      laureate of soul music and one of my personal favorites. I grew up on
      R&B and I still love listening to Smokey. In fact, the first concert
      that I ever went to and by the way, my first date was to a Smokey
      Robinson and the Miracles concert. My father went along. (Laughter.)
      I suspect he just thought there was too much power in Smokey's soul.
      (Laughter.)

      Steven Spielberg. From hits like Jaws and E.T. to Schindler's List
      and Saving Private Ryan, he has pioneered the big picture
      blockbuster. But more than that, he's taken us into parts of the
      world and into characters that, without him, we would never know. He
      has focused his moral lens as well to show the world the universal
      virtues of compassion and courage and he's highlighted American
      patriotism. Thank you, Steven Spielberg, for your wonderful
      contributions. (Applause.)

      Andrew Lloyd Webber. From Cats to Jesus Christ Superstar to The
      Phantom of the Opera, his musicals have captured the imaginations of
      millions, including yours truly. And he's made the most popular
      theater composer of all time our dear friend. His work, whether it's
      haunting or upbeat, it's music that a listener can leave, having
      listened to and always remembering. He's also the only Kennedy Center
      honoree to ever have a hit reality show. (Laughter.) Thank you,
      Andrew Lloyd Webber, for your contributions. (Applause.)

      Like many of you, I'm just a lover of the arts, a fan, if you will. I
      can thank my parents for that, particularly my mother who gave me an
      early love of the arts with recordings of Mozart when I could barely
      stand up, with a recording of Aida that I remember at age five with
      my little eyes as big as saucers as the triumphal march was played,
      piano lessons at age three and on and on and on. They encouraged me
      to love the arts and they encouraged whatever talents I had.

      Now sometimes, they also encouraged talents that I clearly didn't
      have. When I was about seven, my father wanted me to perform in my
      elementary talent show -- elementary school talent show, so he hired
      the drama teacher at the local high school to give me tap dancing
      lessons. (Laughter.) And then he bought me a little costume and I
      danced to "Sweet Sue." Needless to say, this was not one of the high
      points of my life. (Laughter.) But on the day of the show, there was
      my dad, all six-foot-two, 250 pounds of him standing at the side of
      the stage to make sure that nobody laughed. (Laughter.) Nobody
      laughed. In fact, everyone applauded. And I'm happy to say that now,
      since I'm Secretary of State, I have diplomatic security to make sure
      that you all applaud, too. (Laughter.) (Applause.)

      Seriously though, the Kennedy Center Honors is one of my favorite
      events of the year because it's a time to celebrate the many ways in
      which art and music bind us together not just as Americans, but in
      the broader human community. This is especially fitting in a year
      when two of our five honorees are foreign citizens. Though we human
      beings speak different languages, come from different cultures, and
      hail from different lands, we share the same fundamental aspirations
      for freedom and equality, for truth and justice and beauty. These are
      not American ideals or Western ideals. They are universal. And what
      makes America great is not the idea of power, but the power of
      ideals.

      Our nation's greatest source of strength has always been the force of
      our principles, our abiding belief that American society is enriched
      by our diversity and that we welcome the contributions of all people
      from any nation. America's artistic life reflects the diversity of
      the American experience and it reflects our debt to almost every
      culture and nationality on earth. It is, therefore, totally fitting
      that our honorees span that great diversity of American culture and
      of our debt to other nations.

      It is also the case that the arts flourish most when they are
      practiced in a democracy. Indeed, throughout history, there have been
      many, many attempts by totalitarians and tyrants to control the arts.
      And one wonders why they cared so much what artists did, why the
      period of socialist realism in art in the Soviet Union, the place
      that I studied, for so much of my life. Well, because you see, they
      understand the power of the arts. They understand the power of the
      arts to give expression to the human spirit, they understand the
      power of the arts to give expression to human freedom. And to them,
      that is a threat. But in a democracy where creativity and innovation
      come only from the human spirit, not from some plan, the arts
      flourish.

      And so it is perfectly fitting that in this room, named after one of
      America's great Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, we honor these
      great artists who have honored us with their talent and their
      creativity and their ability to make the human spirit soar.

      Thank you, Steven Spielberg, Smokey Robinson, Dolly Parton, Zubin
      Mehta and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Thank you for the extraordinary joy
      and inspiration that you have given to millions and thank you for
      helping the human spirit to soar.

      ========

      CBS' classy Kennedy Center Honors; no Jessica
      http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2006/12/cbs_c
      lassy_kenn.html


      CBS delivers its finest holiday present a day late: The classy
      Kennedy Center Honors airs Tuesday.

      Remember all that talk about Jessica Simpson's terrible performance
      of "9 to 5"? She flubbed it front of honoree Dolly Parton and the
      audience. Then Simpson later redid the performance in an empty hall.
      Well, CBS announced Thursday that Simpson's performance won't be
      included in the final show.

      Good. Why waste time on inferior material when you have to cram so
      much good stuff into a two-hour slot? The Kennedy Center Honors will
      air from 9 to 11 p.m. Tuesday on WKMG-Channel 6.


      Here's the CBS statement: "After reviewing tape of the "re-do"
      performance that was filmed after the live event, Jessica felt it was
      not what she had hoped to achieve. As a result, she and the producers
      agreed that it would not be included in the CBS broadcast. We
      appreciate the time and energy Ms. Simpson put into this event and
      respect the high standards she has for herself and that of the
      Kennedy Center Honors."


      That's putting a positive spin on a debacle. But at least everyone
      wised up.



      Tuesday's show is especially wonderful for shots of the honorees'
      reactions. Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon salutes Parton and recounts
      the singer's self-appraisal: "It takes a lot of money to look this
      cheap." Parton turns to fellow honoree Zubin Mehta and says, "That's
      true."




      The Parton tribute is the night's finest, and country fans will not
      want to miss it. Reba McEntire pays heartfelt tribute to Parton's
      personable style. Then there's the wonderful music: Alison Krauss
      on "Jolene," Shania Twain on "Coat of Many Colors" (with backup from
      Krauss) and Vince Gill on "I Will Always Love You."




      The segment devoted to Andrew Lloyd Webber contains a sizzling
      performance from the current London production of "Evita." Elena
      Roger -- remember that name -- leads a rousing production number
      of "Buenos Aires." Broadway fans will not want to miss Christine
      Ebersole, currently of "Grey Gardens," performing "As If We Never
      Said Goodbye" from "Sunset Boulevard" and Betty Buckley
      singing "Memory" from "Cats." Josh Groban throws himself into "Music
      of the Night" from "The Phantom of the Opera."



      The spoken tributes are far more eloquent than you see on other
      awards shows. It helps that they're written out. Aretha Franklin
      honors Smokey Robinson, whom she calls "my oldest and dearest
      friend." (Franklin also mimics Diana Ross.) Tom Hanks recounts
      honoree Steven Spielberg's disastrous meeting with Alfred Hitchcock.
      Itzhak Perlman praises Mehta as a "mensch."




      You do not want to miss this show.


      ==========


      Kennedy Center Honors
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennedy_Center_Honors


      The Kennedy Center Honors are held to be the highlight event in the
      cultural life of the United States. The idea was the brainchild of
      George Stevens, Jr., still involved, and he and his partner, the late
      Nick Vanoff, put together the first event, launching it in 1978.
      Since then, the Awards have been presented annually in Washington DC
      at the Kennedy Center, where it follows an established pattern.

      Early in the year a select number of well-known performers and past
      recipients of the awards suggest names of those who have not been
      honored before to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center
      for the Performing Arts. The names, five in all, must belong to
      people who, in the opinion of the Board, should be recognized for
      their contributions to the culture of the American people over a
      lifetime of excellence in music, dance, theater, opera, motion
      pictures or television.

      A selection is made, each one representative of a branch of the arts,
      and is announced by the committee around the middle of the year, and
      soon hundreds of much sought-after invitations will be mailed out.
      And, because this is a fund-raising occasion, tickets are available
      to be bought.

      Then what happens at the beginning of December each year makes for a
      memorable weekend, and some of it gets to be seen by the public in
      the televised recording, aired just before or after Christmas.

      The annual feel-good event is completely non partisan and non
      political, and hopes are always that the current situation will allow
      the President to attend. People arrive from all over the world, and
      the activities begin on the first day, a Saturday, with lunch at the
      Kennedy Center, a chance for old friends to meet, and a welcoming
      speech by the President of the Board of Trustees. The afternoon is
      time to rest and prepare for the evening reception and dinner at the
      State Department, presided over by the Secretary of State, again
      hopefully around, where the year's Honorees are introduced, with
      commentary by notable friends.

      Next day is Sunday, perhaps a few leisurely cocktail parties around
      town, rest, and a sprucing up for the early evening White House
      reception where the honorees will be introduced in the East Room by
      the President of the United States, who will then hang a specially
      designed ribboned award around their necks. Notable is the fact that
      at no time is the recipient permitted to speak, difficult for their
      usually expressive personalities. Everyone is then bussed to the
      nearby Kennedy Center, ready for the show to begin.

      The Honorees sit in a row at the front of the Grand Circle, a few
      seats away from the President and the First Family. The show consists
      of carefully selected events from the recipients' lives, presented
      documentary style in film and live onstage, and the idea is to
      surprise them with what they are about to see.

      Afterwards, a late supper dance in the theatre's Grand Foyer, ending
      finally around dawn, and farewells until next year.


      List of recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors
      2006 - Zubin Mehta, Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Steven Spielberg,
      and Andrew Lloyd Webber
      2005 - Tony Bennett, Suzanne Farrell, Julie Harris, Robert Redford,
      and Tina Turner
      2004 - Warren Beatty, Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee, Elton John, Joan
      Sutherland, and John Williams
      2003 - James Brown, Carol Burnett, Loretta Lynn, Mike Nichols, and
      Itzhak Perlman
      2002 - James Earl Jones, James Levine, Chita Rivera, Paul Simon, and
      Elizabeth Taylor
      2001 - Julie Andrews, Van Cliburn, Quincy Jones, Jack Nicholson, and
      Luciano Pavarotti
      2000 - Mikhail Baryshnikov, Chuck Berry, Plácido Domingo, Clint
      Eastwood, and Angela Lansbury
      1999 - Victor Borge, Sean Connery, Judith Jamison, Jason Robards, and
      Stevie Wonder
      1998 - Bill Cosby, Fred Ebb & John Kander, Willie Nelson, André
      Previn, and Shirley Temple Black
      1997 - Lauren Bacall, Bob Dylan, Charlton Heston, Jessye Norman, and
      Edward Villella
      1996 - Edward Albee, Benny Carter, Johnny Cash, Jack Lemmon, and
      Maria Tallchief
      1995 - Jacques d'Amboise, Marilyn Horne, B.B. King, Sidney Poitier,
      and Neil Simon
      1994 - Kirk Douglas, Aretha Franklin, Morton Gould, Harold Prince,
      and Pete Seeger
      1993 - Johnny Carson, Arthur Mitchell, Sir Georg Solti, Stephen
      Sondheim, and Marion Williams
      1992 - Lionel Hampton, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Ginger Rogers,
      Mstislav Rostropovich, and Paul Taylor
      1991 - Roy Acuff, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Fayard Nicholas, Harold
      Nicholas, Gregory Peck, and Robert Shaw
      1990 - Dizzy Gillespie, Katharine Hepburn, Risë Stevens, Jule Styne,
      and Billy Wilder
      1989 - Harry Belafonte, Claudette Colbert, Alexandra Danilova, Mary
      Martin and William Schuman
      1988 - Alvin Ailey, George Burns, Myrna Loy, Alexander Schneider,
      Roger L. Stevens
      1987 - Perry Como, Bette Davis, Sammy Davis Jr, Nathan Milstein and
      Alwin Nikolais
      1986 - Lucille Ball, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Yehudi Menuhin,
      Antony Tudor and Ray Charles
      1985 - Merce Cunningham, Irene Dunne, Bob Hope, Alan Jay Lerner &
      Frederick Loewe and Beverly Sills
      1984 - Lena Horne, Danny Kaye, Gian Carlo Menotti, Arthur Miller and
      Isaac Stern
      1983 - Katherine Dunham, Elia Kazan, Frank Sinatra, James Stewart and
      Virgil Thomson
      1982 - George Abbott, Lillian Gish, Benny Goodman, Gene Kelly and
      Eugene Ormandy
      1981 - Count Basie, Cary Grant, Helen Hayes, Jerome Robbins and
      Rudolf Serkin
      1980 - Leonard Bernstein, James Cagney, Agnes de Mille, Lynn Fontanne
      and Leontyne Price
      1979 - Aaron Copland, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Fonda, Martha Graham and
      Tennessee Williams
      1978 - Marian Anderson, Fred Astaire, George Balanchine, Richard
      Rodgers and Arthur Rubinstein


      =

      Jessica Simpson in tears after flubbing song at Kennedy Center Honors
      http://www.columbusdispatch.com/features-story.php?story=230928


      WASHINGTON — Singer-actress Jessica Simpson was in tears last night
      after flubbing a song she was performing during the Kennedy Center
      Honors.

      Simpson was on stage to sing Nine to Five as part of the tribute to
      Dolly Parton, one of the evening's five honorees. Simpson ended her
      performance abrupty with the words "so nervous" and quickly exited
      the stage. The stunned audience remained silent, giving her no
      applause.

      Simpson appeared to be crying when she and other singers in the
      tribute returned to the stage.

      CBS will broadcast the show Dec. 26 at 9 p.m.

      In addition to Parton, the evening's other honorees were movie
      director Steven Spielberg, singer Smokey Robinson, composer Andrew
      Lloyd Webber and conductor Zubin Mehta.

      ====

      Jessica Simpson Pulls Out of Kennedy Center Honors
      http://www.accesshollywood.com/news/ah3216.shtml


      NEW YORK (December 21, 2006) -- Unhappy with her second try at paying
      tribute to Dolly Parton for the "Kennedy Center Honors," Jessica
      Simpson has pulled out of the show.

      Simpson drew unwanted attention earlier this month when she flubbed
      the words to Parton's "9 to 5" during a taping of the annual show,
      grew flustered and fled the stage. Producers gave her a second chance
      at the song.

      But after Simpson saw a tape, she requested the second attempt be
      pulled from the show, which airs Dec. 26 on CBS.

      "She really wasn't happy with her performance and she did want it to
      be perfect for Dolly, who she idolizes," said Cindi Berger, a
      spokeswoman for Simpson.

      Besides Parton, the Washington, D.C., tribute honors Andrew Lloyd
      Webber, Zubin Mehta, Smokey Robinson and Steven Spielberg. Caroline
      Kennedy is the host.

      "We appreciate the time and energy Ms. Simpson put into this event
      and respect the high standards she has for herself and that of the
      Kennedy Center Honors," said George Stevens Jr., show producer.

      ==

      Jessica Gets A Kennedy Center Re-Do
      http://www.accesshollywood.com/news/ah2977.shtml


      WASHINGTON (December 5, 2006) -- You won't see Jessica Simpson
      apologize to Dolly Parton after she thought she butchered the song "9
      to 5" at the Kennedy Center Honors.

      Jessica had come out to perform the song as a tribute to Parton, but
      she abruptly finished the song, uttering the words "Dolly, that made
      me so nervous" at the end. She quickly exited to the stage to no
      applause.

      Later as all the singers in the Parton tribute returned to the stage,
      Jessica could be seen in tears.

      But Jessica was so upset she asked if she could sing the song again.

      She did after the gala was over -- and that's the version that'll be
      included in the TV version of the ceremony airing on CBS December
      26th.
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