Buckley, who is currently in rehearsals for the Williamstown Theatre Festival's star-studded production of The Threepenny Opera, will narrate the "Lights of Freedom" portion of this year's NBC July 4 celebration. The "Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular" will air on the peacock network 9-11 PM ET; check local listings. The "Lights of Freedom" segment, which lasts 30 minutes, is the fireworks portion of the show. The original score for this segment was written by composer Doug Katsaros and Macy's creative director William Schermerhorn and will be performed by Movin' Out Tony nominee Michael Cavanagh. Swing!'s Ann Hampton Callaway will also offer "Free to Dream." The annual NBC telecast will be hosted by Carson Daly and Molly Sims and will include appearances from President George W. Bush, Reese Witherspoon, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Original "American Idol" Kelly Clarkson will open the show with a live performance; other musical guests will include Sheryl Crow, John Mellencamp and Beyonce Knowles.
Betty Buckley offered performances in Sunset Boulevard, Carrie, Song & Dance, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1776 and Promises, Promises. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Grizabella in the Broadway production of Cats, and she starred on the London stage in Promises, Promises and Sunset Boulevard, earning an Olivier Award nomination for her work in the latter. Also a TV ("Eight Is Enough") and film (Tender Mercies) star, the actress-singer devotes much of her time to concert appearances around the world. Her solo CD, "Stars and the Moon: Betty Buckley Live at the Donmar Warehouse," was nominated for a Grammy Award, and her newest recording, "The Doorway," is her first for the Fynsworth Alley label. The actress was also recently seen on the final season of the acclaimed HBO series "Oz."