Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Kennedy Center Honors Ten Years Later

This blog is now 10 years old.  I began it with a post about the Kennedy Center Honors, and it is therefore suitable that I mark the anniversary with a new one.

The taping ran on CBS last night, and the honorees in order were:   singer Al Green, ballerina Patricia McBride, actor Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, and Sting.  Jessye Norman was in the audience.  I expected her to do something, but she didn't.

  • Al Green.  Whoopie Goldberg did his intro, and Jennifer Hudson sang.  The audience sang along, including the president.  There was even a clip of Obama singing an Al Green song in a press conference.  This segment was fun and actually made Al seem significant.  I'll have to think this one over.

  • Patricia McBride danced with the New York City Ballet under Balanchine.  She was Edward Villella's partner and danced 60 roles, 30 of which were created for her.  Young people did bits from her repertoire.  How do you sandwich a ballerina between a pop artist and marching bands?

  • Tom Hanks had military choirs and bands.  Not sure why.  What really does one say about Tom Hanks's career which began with a sitcom where he appeared in drag in every episode?  I felt this segment pretty much fizzled.

  • Lily Tomlin had Jane Fonda and Reba McIntyre talk about her.  Lily Tomlin is an institution and could have been shown off better.

  • Sting was introduced by Meryl Streep and had the Boss, Esperanza Spalding and Bruno Mars sing his stuff.  Have I ever seen Bruno Mars before?  Esperanza Spalding was my favorite thing on the program, but her kind of cool jazz doesn't have the wow of other people.  The only Sting in my iTunes is by Dowland.  He's known for his range and versatility.

Jessye was as close to classical music as we got.  I felt that the show started high and went downhill.  Nevertheless the honorees were all deserving.  There was a controversy in the live performance that was edited out of the broadcast.

Happy anniversary to me.

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