The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts (2008) Poster

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The 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honors was a very classy awards show
tavm5 January 2009
Just finished watching this annual awards special which had the following honorees: actor Morgan Freeman, choreographer Twyla Tharp, surviving Who members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, Country music singer George Jones, and singer/actress/director Barbra Streisand. Let me first mention some disappointments: When Denzel Washington mentions a "children's show" that Morgan appeared on in the '70s (and they show a clip of), he neglected to mention the title: "The Electric Company" which entertained many children like myself when it aired on PBS from 1971-77. Also, he didn't mention the first movie that got Freeman critical acclaim as well as his first Oscar nomination: Street Smart. Maybe that's because he played a pimp on that one. Not exactly the kind of role that inspires the American Dream. Also, The Who's musical tribute seemed too short to me especially compared to that of George Jones. That said, all the tributes were wonderful. I especially loved the NY police and firemen who survived 9/11 singing the "teenage wasteland" line from "Baba O'Riley" back to Daltrey and Townshend. And how hilarious was Jack Black's speech at the beginning of their tribute! And how wonderful were Kelli O'Hara and Nathan Gunn when they sang "Somewhere" in the Streisand tribute. And while I'm not really a Country music fan, I did enjoy Laura Bush's beginning speech and the musical tribute that followed. Finally, the couple that danced the "Sinatra Suite"-which played the entire recordings of "Strangers in the Night", "That's Life", and "My Way"-in Ms. Tharp's tribute were class exemplified. The same goes, as always, to host Caroline Kennedy. On that note, I salute all the 2008 Kennedy Center honorees.
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