BARRY MANILOW LEADS AN ALL-STAR CAST INCLUDING ARETHA FRANKLIN, NATASHA BEDINGFIELD, THE CAST OF THE JERSEY BOYS AND THE MUPPETS FROM SESAME STREET!
WASHINGTON, May 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits returns to host the biggest and brightest birthday party in the country, A Capitol Fourth, featuring for the first time ever, Barry Manilow, who will both open and close the concert broadcast with a stirring medley of hits and patriotic classics along with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. He will be joined by the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, international pop sensation Natasha Bedingfield, the Tony and Grammy Award-winning cast of Jersey Boys, multi Grammy Award-nominee Michael Feinstein and acclaimed classical pianist Andrew von Oeyen. This star-studded cast will light up the stage on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol for the 29th annual A Capitol Fourth celebration featuring unrivaled musical performances with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of America's prince of pops Erich Kunzel. As a special treat for the entire family, Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch and more of the SESAME STREET gang will be on hand to celebrate America's 233rd birthday. The Muppets will perform a musical medley of patriotic favorites as well as iconic songs that we all know and love from this breakthrough children's television series that is celebrating 40 years of fun and learning. The multi-award winning A Capitol Fourth, featuring the most spectacular fireworks display anywhere in the nation, will be broadcast live in high definition and commercial free on PBS Saturday, July 4, 2009 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as on National Public Radio and around the world to our troops on the American Forces Radio and Television Network.