Make sure to tune into the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors on CBS on Wednesday, December 26 to see Lenny perform in a tribute to honorees Led Zeppelin.
AN EXTRAORDINARY MIX OF RENOWNED ARTISTS GATHER IN WASHINGTON, D.C., TO SALUTE THIS YEAR'S HONOREES AT “THE 35th
ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS," TO BE BROADCAST WEDNESDAY, DEC. 26 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Natalia Makarova and Led Zeppelin (John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant) Are the Honorees For The 35th Anniversary Of This Acclaimed Annual Special
Caroline Kennedy Hosts For The 10th Consecutive Year
President and Mrs. Barack Obama Attend Gala Alongside Honorees
George Stevens, Jr. and Michael Stevens produce
THE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS
Performers and Presenters Include Alec Baldwin, Jeff Beck, Jack Black, Jason Bonham, Tracy Chapman, Gary Clark, Jr., Billy Connolly, Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Foo Fighters, Morgan Freeman, Beth Hart, Judith Jamison, Kid Rock, Jimmy Kimmel, Lenny Kravitz, Laura Osnes, Bonnie Raitt, Ray Romano, Liev Schreiber, Jimmie Vaughan, Naomi Watts, Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson
Alina Cojacaru, Angel Corella, Marcello Gomes, David Hallberg, Julie Kent, Veronica Part and Tiler Peck Perform in Tribute to Natalia Makarova.
CHEAT TWEET: Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Natalia Makarova & Led Zeppelin are 2012 #kchonors! Watch Dec. 26 on CBS http://bit.ly/YI8exI
Eminent artists, friends and peers of this year's honorees converged in Washington, D.C., to perform and present tributes at THE 35TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS, an entertainment special to be broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 26 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, with Caroline Kennedy as host for the 10th consecutive year.
The annual event recognizes recipients for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts. Short biographical films are created to trace the life and career of each honoree.
President and Mrs. Barack Obama were seated with the honorees in the Presidential Box of the Opera House at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, after hosting the traditional White House reception for the honorees.
Host Caroline Kennedy opened the festivities by quoting poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said, “Congratulate yourselves if you have done something strange and extravagant and broken the monotony of a decorous age.” Kennedy then said, “Tonight we salute Honorees who, through their artistry and daring, have banished monotony and provided extravagant pleasure and joy to audiences the world over. On the signature wall behind me are the names of those who have gone before. To this splendid company we now add our Class of 2012.”
· With primal sounds at once beautiful and dangerous, these English lads built a band that gave new dimension to rock, and earned from an admiring world a ‘Whole Lotta Love’;
· a tall drink of water from Indiana who aspired to be Johnny, and earned a late night throne for a guy named Dave;
· a Louisiana sharecropper’s son who made his way to ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ and became America’s champion of the blues;
· a lithe beauty from St. Petersburg whose passion and elegance filled movement with meaning, giving new excitement to the words ‘Prima Ballerina’;
· as a ‘Graduate,’ a ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ a ‘Little Big Man,’ a ‘Rain Man’ and even as a ‘Tootsie,’ this actor redefined the movies’ idea of a leading man. These are our 2012 Kennedy Center Honorees.”
DUSTIN HOFFMAN TRIBUTE
2009 Kennedy Center Honoree Robert De Niro began the tribute to Hoffman noting that he met him at a party in 1968. “I was his waiter. It was an instant connection when he said to me, ‘How’s the flounder.’” He concluded, “Dustin is one of the best character actors, best movie stars, best leading men to ever hit the stage or screen. Dustin, you make me proud to be an actor. And I’m proud to call you my friend.”
After the film about Dustin Hoffman, the stage was set as an acting class. Billy Connolly, who starred in Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut, “Quartet,” recalls, “In ‘Tootsie,’ Dustin Hoffman played a driven, meticulous actor. It is said that in looking for inspiration for that character, Dustin found it in… Dustin Hoffman.
Liev Schreiber, along with his wife, actress Naomi Watts, continued the tribute. Said Shreiber, “Watching Dustin, I saw what acting could be. At its best. I’d never seen anyone create characters like that before – so incredibly life-like and detailed, yet still, somehow… something more than real.” Watts continued, “About 15 years ago, I got a call. I was invited to meet Dustin Hoffman for a film he was directing. I was not allowed to read the script in advance, so I felt completely unprepared to meet the master. The man I grew up watching, the giant, the real deal. I had a 30-minute slot. What I learned in those few hours with Dustin was more valuable to me than a lifetime of acting classes.” Dustin’s iconic images are projected on screen and the tribute concluded with Laura Osnes singing a special rendition, “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face.”
NATALIA MAKAROVA TRIBUTE
1999 Kennedy Center Honoree Judith Jamison, paid tribute to the Russian-born prima ballerina Natalia Makarova. “‘I responded to destiny.’ That’s what Natalia Makarova said in London just before her 30th birthday. She was touring with Russia’s fabulous Kirov Ballet. She knew she needed new choreography to fulfill her promise as a dancer, so she made the brave decision to make a new life in the West.” Jamison concluded, “Natalia, your passion and your artistry are loved around the world. On behalf of dancers everywhere, Bravo.”
The tribute to Makarova begins with young dancer Grace Ann Pierce, from the American Ballet Theatre’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School, dancing to the Chopin Prelude in A Major, Op. 28 No. 7. This was followed by seven of today’s most acclaimed dancers performing Makaroava’s signature roles. New York City Ballet principal dancer Tiler Peck, performing Jerome Robbins’ “Other Dances,” Royal Ballet of London principal dancer Alina Cojocaru and Angel Corella, the Artistic Director and principal dancer of the Barcelona Ballet, presented a pas de deux from the “Giselle;” American Ballet Theatre principal dancers David Hallberg and Julie Kent performed a moving rendition of the balcony pas de deux from “Romeo and Juliet.” Finally, an awe-inspiring rendition of “Black Swan,” was performed by American Ballet Theatre principal dancers Marcelo Gomes and Veronica Part.
BUDDY GUY TRIBUITE
2008 Kennedy Center Honoree Morgan Freeman paid tribute to multiple Grammy Award-winning American blues guitarist and jazz singer Buddy Guy, stating, “I first heard the blues sitting on my grandmother’s porch in Mississippi – we called it “gut bucket music. Buddy Guy, your blues brought us together...Congratulations to you, my friend and you know what I think. I think that’s something to sing about.”
Tracy Chapman opens the blues tribute with “Hound Dog” from Buddy’s mentor, Big Mama Thornton. Buddy and Junior Wells also covered “Hound Dog” on their seminal album Hoodoo Man Blues. Gary Clark, Jr., the heir to the Chicago Blues tradition, makes his primetime network debut covering Guitar Slim’s “The Things that I Used to Do” with Jimmie Vaughan. Beth Hart makes her network work debut (Like Joss Stone for James Brown in 2003) and Bettye LaVette for Townshend and Daltrey in 2008) covering “I’d Rather Go Blind” with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Jeff Beck. Bonnie Raitt then brings the audience to its feet with the song Buddy made most famous, “Sweet Home Chicago
DAVID LETTERMAN TRIBUTE
Tina notes that “David Letterman began his career as a choreographer and black opera star in the early 1950s, just so one day he could qualify for this award.” Fey says Letterman is “Professor Emeritis at the Here’s Some More Rope Institute,” and concludes, “Tonight, we declare it officially: my mom was right, David Letterman is an American treasure, like the Grand Canyon, or the Chicago skyline, or the top two Kardashians.”
Alec Baldwin, a frequent guest on the Late Show, explores the idea of “cooking something up that would get him out of his comfort zone . . .so tonight we’re giving him the Kennedy Center Award.” Jimmy Kimmel and Ray Romano joined the tribute. Kimmel spoke of Letterman as one of his idols. “When I turned 16, I blew out the candles on a “Late Night with David Letterman” cake; my first car had a L8NITE vanity plate; I drew pictures of Dave on the cover of all of my textbooks; to me, it wasn’t just a TV show. It was the reason I would fail to make love to a live woman for many many years to come.” He concluded, “You are my hero – and you are a hero to most everyone in this room – with the possible exception of the people who came to see the ballerina.”
Romano, who got his start as a comedian and actor through the help of David Letterman, said, “I don’t want to get schmaltzy. I’m not good at that, but you know what, the hell with it. My father passed away, I never told him I loved him, Dave. I know you’re only 65, you look good, the heart’s working, but I ain’t taking any chances. . . I love you Dave Letterman!” Faye, Baldwin, Romano and Kimmel conclude the tribute together joking about being on the air with Dave.
LED ZEPPELIN TRIBUTE
Actor Jack Black introduced the tribute to the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin, saying, “Led Zeppelin… the greatest rock and roll band of all time… yeah, I said it. Better than the Beatles. Better than the Stones… even better than Tenacious D. If you don’t agree with me, it’s because you never did the Zeppelin marathon.” Black continued, “They say that Led Zeppelin sold their souls to Satan… come on guys, you know you did. There is no other way to explain your ungodly talent. I just want to say thank you… because while you suffer in the burning pit of Hell, the human race will cherish your heavenly jams till the end of time. A small price to pay. Best band ever.”
The tribute to Led Zeppelin commenced with an rousing performance of “Rock and Roll” by the Foo Fighters, “Ramble On” by Kid Rock and “Whole Lotta Love” by Lenny Kravitz. Finally, Jason Bonham, the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, along with Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson from the rock band Heart, rocked the house with an amazing performance of “Stairway to Heaven” that brought the evening to its rousing conclusion.
THE 35TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS is a production of the Stevens Company in association with the Kennedy Center. George Stevens, Jr. produced and co-wrote the Honors for the 35th year. Stevens and his Honors producing partner Michael Stevens were awarded their fourth consecutive Emm
yfor Outstanding Variety, Musical or Comedy Special in September.
The KENNEDY CENTER HONORS telecast has also been recognized with the Peabody Award for Outstanding Meritorious Service to Broadcasting and seven awards from the Writers Guild of America.
Eminent artists, friends and peers of this year's seven Honorees (Pictured here left to right standing: John Paul Johns, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, David Letterman; Left to right seated: Buddy Guy, Natalia Makarova, Dustin Hoffman) converged in Washington, D.C. last night (Sunday, Dec. 2) to present entertaining and heartfelt tributes at THE 35TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS, an entertainment special to be broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 26 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, with Caroline Kennedy as host for the 10th consecutive year.
RATING: To Be Announced
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