Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Kennedy Center Goes Pop and Hip with Sting, Tom Hanks, Soul Singer Al Green–Who May or May Not Show Up

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The Kennedy Center has definitely decided to hip up its rep. This year’s honourees are the hippest group in a long time, a real nod to Baby Boomer tastes. Tom Hanks leads the list– a two time Oscar winner and much younger than many actors and actresses in their 60s and 70s who’ve been waiting to be tapped. But he deserves it, and Hanks is exactly the audience the Kennedy Center wants now. A very good choice.

Music stars Sting and Al Green are honoured. By the time of the Kennedy Center show, Sting will have opened his lovely and hit bound Broadway musical “The Last Ship.” Ironically, I’m told Sting got the news of the Kennedy Center honour while visiting his hometown of Newcastle, England. “The Last Ship” is loosely based on his childhood there.

Al Green is one of the great R&B stars of all time. His songs like “Let’s Stay Together” and “Tired of Being Alone” are classics. I don’t think he’s ever shown up to accept an award anywhere. It’s kind of an inside joke in the industry. Al likes to be paid for appearances. I hope someone can explain this to him. He really needs to be there.

Also nominated are two women of real genius: Lily Tomlin and ballerina Patricia McBride. I’ll leave ballet scholars to describe McBride’s achievements. But Lily Tomlin– wow. One of our greatest comic performers, actors, writers, thinkers. It’s about time she was bestowed with a great honour. Bravo!

Great choices from George Stevens and co. And as a bonus, don’t be surprised if Bruce Springsteen makes an appearance. Sting and Tom Hanks are two of his best friends.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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