The PBS Arts Fall Festival, which runs Friday nights, will return October 21 with several all-new programs, including a look at the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway phenomenon Hamilton. That critically acclaimed musical’s creator and original star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, will host this year’s festival.
“The PBS Arts Fall Festival spotlights some of the best of the arts across our great country. For this sixth annual Festival, I am thrilled to announce that Lin-Manuel Miranda will be our host,” said PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger in a statement. “I truly admire how Lin-Manuel Miranda has redefined the musical genre, inviting audiences to explore our nation’s history in groundbreaking new ways. As our host, I know that he will bring tremendous creative energy and help us attract new audiences to this year’s festival.”
“I’m such a huge fan of PBS. For my entire life it’s been our window into a world of the arts that isn’t available anywhere else on TV,” added Miranda. “This year’s PBS Arts Fall Festival lineup is incredible, and I am excited to not only host the festival, but have Hamilton’s America kick it off.”
Hamilton’s America will give TV watchers a look at Miranda and his creative team’s process during the three years leading up to the Broadway opening of the record-breaking musical.
Other new programs scheduled for the festival include the following:
On Great Performances, the award-winning West End revival of Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim’s Gypsy stars Olivier Award winner Imelda Staunton as the unstoppable Rose, the role created by Ethel Merman and later played by such Broadway greats as Tony winners Tyne Daly, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone. Also from Great Performances is Shakespeare Live! From the Royal Shakespeare Company, featuring appearances by Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch and more as theatre luminaries gather to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and death on April 23.
Live from Lincoln Center will deliver Lang Lang’s New York Rhapsody, a love letter from the renowned pianist Lang to the city he calls home with guest stars Rufus Wainwright, Suzanne Vega, Regina Spektor and Andra Day; and Joshua Bell’s Seasons of Cuba, in which violinist Bell performs with the Chamber Orchestra of Havana. Lincoln Center at the Movies will offer a special presentation of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, featuring a series of works that reflect the company’s range, diversity and artistry, culminating in a performance of its signature work, Revelations.
This year’s Festival will also feature Bill Murray: The Mark Twain Prize, featuring some of the biggest names in comedy, and Tony winner Alan Cumming’s Smith Center concert, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs.