This Independence Day, A Capitol Fourth kicks off the country’s 236th birthday with new host Tom Bergeron (pictured above) and an all-star cast in a patriotic evening of unrivaled musical performances, topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation.
The multi-award winning event will feature: American Idol winner Phillip Phillips; two-time Tony Award winner Matthew Broderick performing songs from the hit Broadway musical NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT with four-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara; acclaimed Broadway and television star Megan Hilty (SMASH); singer-songwriter Javier Colon (winner of THE VOICE); country music star Josh Turner; R&B superstars Kool & The Gang; world renowned tenor Russell Watson and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.[ Also Read: PBS NewsHour Plans Coverage of Political Conventions ]
“What an honor to be in the nation’s capital for America’s biggest birthday party,” said Tom Bergeron. “Hosting A Capitol Fourth enables me to celebrate two things I’m a big fan of – America and PBS!”
The 2012 broadcast of A Capitol Fourth will include two segments:
- Eight-time Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno and legendary composer John Williams will lead a rousing and patriotic send off to Team USA as they head to the London 2012 Olympic Games featuring current and past U.S. Olympians as well as members of the U.S. Paralympic team; and
- A musical tribute to beloved American legend Gene Kelly, in celebration of his 100th birthday, featuring the National Symphony Orchestra performing a medley of Hollywood classics including SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN and AN AMERICAN IN PARIS.
Offering viewers extended coverage of the fireworks display, A Capitol Fourth will capture the stunning pyrotechnics from every vantage point with twenty TV cameras stationed around the city – including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument and across the Potomac River.
Broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, A Capitol Fourth will air live in HD on PBS Wednesday, July 4, 2012 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET (check local listings), as well as to the troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network. The program can also be heard live in stereo over NPR member stations nationwide.