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David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 27, 2011
I am off for a few days to deal with some minor medical stuff, and I did not intend to write any reviews, believe me. But I sat down last night to watch one segment of the preview DVD for  "Kennedy Center Honors," and I got up some two hours later feeling like I had been on a wild, joyous, pop culture rollercoaster ride. And I wanted to at least give readers of this a blog a heads-up to catch this brilliant production at 9 tonight on CBS (WJZ-Channel 13). As usually happens, and as I annually forget, the segments on the honorees that I don't care so much about are the ones that blow me away -- and make me want to run out and buy their DVD or get a Netflix of one of their greatest movies.
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David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 25, 2012
"The Kennedy Center Honors" is one of the nation's great TV treasures. And while this year's show is a little uneven, the high points still make it one of my favorite TV viewing experiences of the year. Maybe you have to be a little older to appreciate this annual production on some levels. If you grew up with TV in the 1950s and '60s, the golden age of variety shows hosted by such stars as Judy Garland and Danny Kaye, you can appreciate "Kennedy Center Honors" as the last, great variety show on television.
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ENTERTAINMENT
David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 25, 2012
"The Kennedy Center Honors" is one of the nation's great TV treasures. And while this year's show is a little uneven, the high points still make it one of my favorite TV viewing experiences of the year. Maybe you have to be a little older to appreciate this annual production on some levels. If you grew up with TV in the 1950s and '60s, the golden age of variety shows hosted by such stars as Judy Garland and Danny Kaye, you can appreciate "Kennedy Center Honors" as the last, great variety show on television.
ENTERTAINMENT
David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 27, 2011
I am off for a few days to deal with some minor medical stuff, and I did not intend to write any reviews, believe me. But I sat down last night to watch one segment of the preview DVD for  "Kennedy Center Honors," and I got up some two hours later feeling like I had been on a wild, joyous, pop culture rollercoaster ride. And I wanted to at least give readers of this a blog a heads-up to catch this brilliant production at 9 tonight on CBS (WJZ-Channel 13). As usually happens, and as I annually forget, the segments on the honorees that I don't care so much about are the ones that blow me away -- and make me want to run out and buy their DVD or get a Netflix of one of their greatest movies.
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By Susan Baer and Susan Baer,Washington Bureau of The Sun | December 3, 1990
Washington In a way, Katharine Hepburn gave the producers of the Kennedy Center Honors extravaganza an honor of their own this past weekend.She showed up for the glittery gala. And she beamed.After years of declining the prestigious performing arts award (you have to show up to get it), the legendary actress -- wearing her signature slacks with a turtleneck and white scarf, long black coat and walking shoes -- shared the Kennedy Center's center box last night with this year's four other honorees: jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, mezzo-soprano Rise Stevens, composer Jule Styne, and film director and writer Billy Wilder.
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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | September 12, 2007
Leon Fleisher, the eminent Baltimore-based pianist, is one of five artists who will receive the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors in December. The typically wide-ranging list also includes comic actor and writer Steve Martin, singer Diana Ross, film director Martin Scorsese and the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. This is the 30th presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors. The recipients will be saluted in a gala attended by President Bush and the first lady, and held at the center's opera house Dec. 2. The show will be taped for nationwide broadcast Dec. 26 on CBS. "I'm very moved by this award," Fleisher said yesterday from his Roland Park home.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | December 21, 2004
For all the ideological warfare and finger-pointing that often goes on between Washington and Hollywood, there is one evening a year during which politics and popular culture come together to celebrate much of what is best about this nation. That annual event is the Kennedy Center Honors. As those who have been lucky enough to be inside the Kennedy Center for the gala know, it is a dazzling and unforgettable evening of performances by great artists. But, thanks to television, the rest of us also have been able to share this splendid experience.
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By Ellen Gamerman and Ellen Gamerman,SUN STAFF | December 6, 2004
WASHINGTON - Opera divas mingled with Cabinet officials, pop stars preened for Washington wonks and red celebrities sidled up to blue celebrities as last night's Kennedy Center Honors injected much-needed glitz to a capital still stuck in a post-election hangover. Hollywood liberals partied in the Bush administration's embrace and, though much of their ranks had campaigned hard against the president, most kept their political opinions sealed tighter than an L.A. face lift during festivities that lasted all weekend.
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By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | December 30, 1998
Alone among awards shows, the annual Kennedy Center Honors invariably salutes people who deserve it.This year's gala, taped Dec. 6 and airing tonight on WJZ, Channel 13 (9 p.m.-11 p.m.), continues the tradition of showcasing the best the American performing arts scene has to honor. And if some of the show's segments are a bit more spirited and memorable than others, at least everyone's heart is in the right place.The show opens with what proves to be its high point, a vibrant salute to the Broadway composer and lyricist team of John Kander and Fred Ebb that spans their entire career, from the star of their first show (Liza Minnelli)
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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | November 26, 2006
Dolly Parton has picked out her shoes, her dress and of course, her wig. But she isn't giving much away about the get-up she'll be sporting when she becomes a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors next Sunday. What she does reveal, is that her dress - created for this occasion by Robert Bahar, who designs her costumes - is a flowing white gown with a train. "If I can keep that president off of my train that'll be good. I don't want to have to slap that Texas guy. `Get off my dress, cowboy!
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | February 18, 2011
American television is generally awful when it comes to talking about race. Afraid of possibly offending anyone and absolutely terrified of tackling complex subject matter, most networks and major cable channels have come to largely avoid the topic in recent years — even during Black History Month. That timid TV backdrop is part of what makes HBO's "Thurgood," which debuts at 9 p.m. Thursday, such a special program. The film version of the one-man play starring Laurence Fishburne as Thurgood Marshall, the Baltimore-born civil rights attorney and the first black Supreme Court justice,l is one of the most frank, informed and searing discussions of race you will ever see on TV. But that exploration of African-American identity is only of several factors that distinguishes this production written and produced by 14-time Emmy-winner George Stevens Jr., of " Kennedy Center Honors" acclaim.
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By Garrison Keillor | December 9, 2009
I was not ready to see Bruce Springsteen bemedalled at the Kennedy Center Honors last week, and I still am not ready. It was less than a year ago the Boss did that fantastic slide across the stage on his knees at the Super Bowl halftime show, thrusting his crotch at 90 million Americans on live TV, and here he was, listening to various nobodies tell him how great he is, with a medal around his neck, and his neck looked a little jowly. The Kennedy Honors is for the Extinguished: It's America's way of saying, "Sit down and take a load off, time's up, old-timer."
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By DAVID ZURAWIK | December 30, 2008
It is only fitting in a year when politics so dominated television that the networks' new fall season was largely ignored in favor of presidential coverage that the last big prime-time entertainment special of the season is steeped in politics. I am talking about the sublime Kennedy Center Honors at 9 tonight on CBS. This is the 31st, and I can't remember more than two that didn't leave me feeling inspired. Again, there is a great and diverse cast of recipients: choreographer Twyla Tharp, actor Morgan Freeman, singer George Jones, singer and film director Barbra Streisand, and rock musicians Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey.
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By Mike Giuliano and Mike Giuliano,Special to the Sun | December 3, 2007
Capping a career marked by disability, a triumphant comeback and even an Oscar nomination, Baltimore pianist Leon Fleisher proudly joined a coterie of pop-culture figures this weekend in accepting the Kennedy Center Honors. The Peabody Conservatory faculty member, who spent nearly four decades playing a left-hand-only repertoire because of a neurological disorder, was feted alongside filmmaker Martin Scorsese, singer Diana Ross, comedian Steve Martin and singer-songwriter Brian Wilson.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | September 12, 2007
Leon Fleisher, the eminent Baltimore-based pianist, is one of five artists who will receive the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors in December. The typically wide-ranging list also includes comic actor and writer Steve Martin, singer Diana Ross, film director Martin Scorsese and the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. This is the 30th presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors. The recipients will be saluted in a gala attended by President Bush and the first lady, and held at the center's opera house Dec. 2. The show will be taped for nationwide broadcast Dec. 26 on CBS. "I'm very moved by this award," Fleisher said yesterday from his Roland Park home.
NEWS
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic | November 26, 2006
Dolly Parton has picked out her shoes, her dress and of course, her wig. But she isn't giving much away about the get-up she'll be sporting when she becomes a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors next Sunday. What she does reveal, is that her dress - created for this occasion by Robert Bahar, who designs her costumes - is a flowing white gown with a train. "If I can keep that president off of my train that'll be good. I don't want to have to slap that Texas guy. `Get off my dress, cowboy!
FEATURES
By J. WYNN ROUSUCK and J. WYNN ROUSUCK,SUN THEATER CRITIC | December 6, 1998
Fred Ebb's acerbic streak is showing. "Any time whatever you're winning has 'lifetime achievement' in it, you have this feeling it should happen at the end of your lifetime. So if you have any kind of class, you'd take the award and go out and get hit by a bus," he says.Ebb is the lyricist half of Kander and Ebb, the Broadway songwriting duo that has written such hit shows as "Cabaret," "Chicago" and "Kiss of the Spider Woman" in more than 35 years of collaboration. The lifetime achievement award he is referring to is the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors, which he and composer John Kander will receive in Washington tonight.
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By Greg Dawson and Greg Dawson,Orlando Sentinel | December 26, 1991
CBS helps the television year go out on a lovely note -- several, in fact -- as it airs "The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts" at 9 tonight (Channel 11).For two glorious but all-too-fleeting hours viewers bask not only in artistic excellence, but in the needed reassurance that excellence is sometimes still rewarded in America, even if it's never featured on the cover of People magazine.Of the seven honorees tonight, it's likely that most viewers could readily identify only two -- country music legend Roy Acuff and actor Gregory Peck.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | December 21, 2004
For all the ideological warfare and finger-pointing that often goes on between Washington and Hollywood, there is one evening a year during which politics and popular culture come together to celebrate much of what is best about this nation. That annual event is the Kennedy Center Honors. As those who have been lucky enough to be inside the Kennedy Center for the gala know, it is a dazzling and unforgettable evening of performances by great artists. But, thanks to television, the rest of us also have been able to share this splendid experience.
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