Last night, The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts honored its 2011 recipients of their prestigious prize. The 2011 honorees include Barbara Cook, Neil Diamond, Yo-Yo Ma, Sonny Rollins & Meryl Streep. The gala will be broadcast on CBS on December 27, 2011 at 9:00-11:00 p.m., ET/PT. Below, BroadwayWorld brings you Red Carpet coverage of the distinguished guests, including Broadway favorites Audra McDonald, Will Swenson, Laura Osnes, Patti LuPone and more! Click here for coverage of the 2011 nominees.
The annual Honors Gala has become the highlight of the Washington cultural year, and its broadcast on CBS is a high point of the television season. In the star-studded celebration on the Kennedy Center Opera House stage, produced by George Stevens Jr. and Michael Stevens, the 2011 Honorees were saluted by great performers from New York, Hollywood, and the arts capitals of the world. Seated with the President of the United States and Mrs. Obama, the Honorees accepted the thanks of their peers and fans through performances and heartfelt tributes.
The President and Mrs. Obama received the Honorees and members of the Artists Committee who nominated them, along with the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees at the White House prior to the gala performance. The 2011 Kennedy Center Honors Gala concluded with a supper dance in the Grand Foyer.
The Kennedy Center Honors medallions were presented on Saturday, December 3, the night before the gala, at a State Department dinner hosted by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
The Honors recipients recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts-whether in dance, music, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television-are selected by the Center's Board of Trustees. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence. The Honors are not designated by art form or category of artistic achievement; the selection process, over the years, has produced balance among the various arts and artistic disciplines.
Past Honors recipients, as well as members of the Kennedy Center's national artists committee, made recommendations of possible 2011 Honorees. Artists making recommendations included: Christine Baranski, Harolyn Blackwell, Glenn Close, Denyce Graves, Paloma Herrera, Bill Irwin, Evgeny Kissin, Patti LuPone, Sarah Jessica Parker, and James Taylor. Previous Kennedy Center Honorees, including Julie Andrews, Dave Brubeck, Carol Burnett, Plácido Domingo, Steve Martin, Jack Nicholson, Jessye Norman, Stephen Sondheim, Steven Spielberg, and Stevie Wonder also made nominations.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.
34th Kennedy Center Honors
Julie Chen & Les Moonves
Alan Greenspan & Andrea Mitchell
Patti LuPone & son Joshua
Laura Osnes & Nathan Johnson
Will Swenson & Audra McDonald
John Krasinski & Emily Blunt
Nancy & Paul Pelosi
Glenn Close & David Shaw
Robert Deniro & Grace Hightower
Matthew Broderick & Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker
Grace Gummer, Mamie Gummer, Louisa Gummer
Lynda Carter & Robert A. Altman
Nancy Pelosi & Paul Pelosi
Robert De Niro
Kevin Cash & Elmo