The 2013 PBS Arts Fall Festival returns in October with seven weekly programs that highlight Broadway classics, music from around the country, and legendary superstar Barbra Streisand.
Underscoring PBS ongoing commitment to giving audiences a front row seat and a backstage pass to the best of the arts on-air and online, the series will be hosted by award-winning television, film and stage star Anna Deavere Smith (Nurse Jackie, The West Wing) starting Friday, October 18, 2013 at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings).
New offerings in the Festival include: the television premiere of GREAT PERFORMANCES Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn, featuring the great singers return to her hometown; A RAISIN IN THE SUN REVISITED: The Raisin Cycle at Center Stage, which explores the impact of the groundbreaking play; NASHVILLE 2.0 which looks at some of the greatest Americana and folk music artists in the country music capital; and aGREAT PERFORMANCES 40th Anniversary Celebration with a star-studded lineup celebrating the iconic series at Lincoln Center. Also scheduled from GREAT PERFORMANCES are a star-studded version of Stephen Sondheims musical Company, San Francisco Operas new operatic version of Moby-Dickand a re-airing of the 1999 London stage revival of Oklahoma!
PBS commitment to arts programming has been strong for more than four decades, and our role as the broadcast industrys only true home for the arts is solidified by this falls robust lineup, said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger.
The Festival showcases all forms of art from across the country, with great star power and fantastic performances. Its a veritable arts road-trip from New York to San Francisco with exciting stops along the way, and with Anna Deavere Smith as our host and guide, we expect these shows to resonate with audiences who seek out classic performances, cutting edge music and some of the greatest artists of all time.
The full PBS Arts Fall Festival line-up follows below.
GREAT PERFORMANCES 40th Anniversary Celebration
Friday, October 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET
Throughout its 40-year history on public television, GREAT PERFORMANCES has provided viewers with an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of art, serving as Americas most prestigious center for the lively arts. Over four decades, GREAT PERFORMANCES has provided a national stage where popular artists reveal the surprising dimensions of their creative gifts and often go beyond audiences wildest expectations. The honored series has also offered artists a chance to pay homage to the influential figures in their lives and careers, and has spotlighted emerging artists in their feature-length television debuts. In celebration of this legacy, GREAT PERFORMANCES hosted an all-star celebration from Lincoln Center. A stellar roster of alumni share personal stories of what GREAT PERFORMANCES has meant to them, with reminiscences and performances by Julie Andrews, Audra McDonald, Don Henley, David Hyde Pierce, Josh Groban, Itzhak Perlman, Peter Martins, Patti Austin and Take 6, Met Opera star Elîna Garanèa and Michael Bublé.
A RAISIN IN THE SUN REVISITED: The Raisin Cycle at Center Stage
Friday, October 25, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET
Lorraine Hansberrys groundbreaking 1959 drama, A Raisin in the Sun, was the first Broadway play to depict the strength and humanity of an African-American family striving for a piece of the American dream by buying a house in a white working-class neighborhood in Chicago. More than 50 years later, playwright Bruce Norris created Clybourne Park, a sardonic Pulitzer Prize-winning prequel and sequel that takes place in the same Chicago house and revisits the questions of race, real estate and gentrification in America.
Inspired by Hansberrys original and Norris follow-up, Kwame Kwei-Armah, artistic director of Baltimores Center Stage, penned a third play, Beneathas Place, which follows two of the Raisin characters to Nigeria and its post-colonial struggles. Center Stage mounted Clybourne Park and Beneathas Place as The Raisin Cycle and as part of its 50th anniversary season. Producers James Arntz and John Paulson, in collaboration with Maryland Public Television, presentA RAISIN IN THE SUN REVISITED: The Raisin Cycle at Center Stage. The 60-minute performance documentary captures the history and legacy of Raisinand the backstage challenges of mounting two issue-driven plays simultaneously.
GREAT PERFORMANCES Moby-Dick from San Francisco Opera
Friday, November 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET
One of the nations leading opera companies, San Francisco Opera has been the site for many memorable GREAT PERFORMANCES productions. In October 2012, GREAT PERFORMANCES partnered with the company once again to record composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheers acclaimed adaptation of the classic Herman Melville novel Moby-Dick. Joshua Kosman in The San Francisco Chronicle dubbed the opera a masterpiece of clarity and intensity, with a score that is at once thematically compact and richly inventive. Fresh from his headline-making appearance as a last-minute replacement in the title role of Siegfried in the Metropolitan Operas epic Ring Cycle, Jay Hunter Morris stars as the obsessive Captain Ahab. Richard Scheinin in the San Jose Mercury News raved that the tenor sang with a pressurized fury that practically shook the seats of the War Memorial Opera House.
GREAT PERFORMANCES Stephen Sondheims Company with the New York Philharmonic
Friday, November 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET
Legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheims groundbreaking musical Company which premiered in 1970 with a book by George Furth and a cast including Broadway luminaries Dean Jones, Elaine Stritch and Donna McKechnie has continually acquired generations of new fans through various regional productions and its 1995 and 2006 Broadway revivals. Centering on Bobby, a bachelor celebrating his 35th birthday with his ten closest friends (who happen to be five couples), Company culminates in Bobbys transformation from unattached swinger to tentative monogamist. This New York Philharmonic gala concert production starring Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby and directed by Sondheim veteran Lonny Price, won rave reviews. Harris co-stars include Patti LuPone, Stephen Colbert, Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Anika Noni Rose (Dreamgirls), Jon Cryer and Martha Plimpton, who perform the shows many standards including Another Hundred People, Barcelona, Side by Side, The Ladies Who Lunch, and Being Alive. Also starring Craig Bierko, Katie Finneran, Aaron Lazar, Jill Paice, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Jim Walton and Chryssie Whitehead.
GREAT PERFORMANCES Rodgers & Hammersteins Oklahoma!
Friday, November 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET
Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2013, Rodgers & Hammersteins landmark musical Oklahoma! is still doin fine in this award-winning production from Londons National Theatre. The magic of the original cast was captured in this handsome film adaptation that returns to GREAT PERFORMANCES for a special encore telecast. The acclaimed production, directed by Trevor Nunn and choreographed by Susan Stroman, set box office records during its runs in Londons West End and later on Broadway. Critics and audiences alike were captivated by its fresh take on a venerable classic. The London production features a sensational, star-making performance by Hugh Jackman as Curly — before his ascent to international movie stardom. Also featured are cast members Josefina Gabrielle as Laurey, Maureen Lipman (The Pianist) as Aunt Eller, and Shuler Hensley as the menacing Jud Fry, for which Hensley won the 2002 Tony Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Friday, November 22, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET
The performance-filled documentary NASHVILLE 2.0 captures Nashville, known around the world as music city, in its role as the historic home of music icons and institutions, as well as rising stars and young musicians who arrive with new sounds and dreams of making it big. Creating the musical landscape of tomorrow, Nashville is home to Americana music, the 21st century version of country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B, gospel and blues. This special explores the American musical melting pot, looking to the future while embracing the breadth and genius of roots music artists. From Emmylou Harris to Mumford and Sons, Rosanne Cash to the Avett Brothers, The Mavericks to Jason Isbell, NASHVILLE 2.0 tells the story, sings the songs, and celebrates the vibrancy of the Americana music scene.
Friday, November 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m. ET
Superstar Barbra Streisand makes a historic homecoming at the new Barclays Center arena with her first Brooklyn concert. Joined by special guests Il Volo and Chris Botti, Streisand performs an extensive selection of songs from throughout her five-decade career, and duets with son Jason Gould on How Deep is the Ocean. The seemingly endless collection of hits and fan favorites includes Nice N Easy, Didnt We, No More Tears (Enough is Enough), Roses Turn, My Funny Valentine, Some Other Time, Make Our Garden Grow, along Evergreen, The Way We Were, People, and Happy Days are Here Again. Reviewing her opening night, Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote, Like few singers of any age, she has the gift of conveying a primal human longing in a beautiful sound.
Funding for the launch of PBS Arts has been provided by Anne Ray Charitable Trust, public television viewers and PBS.
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