Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, featuring two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster and Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville as guest musical artist and narrator, respectively, makes its TV debut December 17.
A 60-minute version of the 2017 concert debuts at 9 PM ET on PBS stations around the country; check local listings. BYUtv, a nationwide family entertainment network that produces the broadcast and co-presents it to millions of viewers worldwide alongside WGBH, will air the full 90-minute version December 20 at 8 PM ET.
The 60-minute program features arrangements of holiday carols such as “Joy to the World,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Christmas Time is Here” (from A Charlie Brown Christmas), “Silent Night,” and “Angels from the Realms of Glory.” Viewers of the full 90-minute version will also enjoy an emotional take on John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” a favorite of Foster’s that she sings as a tribute to her late mother, plus “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and an audience sing-along to “Jingle Bells.”
“I’ve always associated the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Christmas, so it was truly an honor to take part in this wonderful tradition, which is unlike anything else I’ve done before,” said Foster in an earlier statement. “There’s something that happens when you stand on the stage and you’re sharing this experience not only with the Choir and Orchestra, but with the 21,000 people that attend each night. It becomes about everyone, no matter what you believe, coming together to celebrate this season.”
Bonneville added, “I've never been part of something where the word ‘amateur’ has had a truer sense of the word, coming from the Latin root, ‘amo,’ or ‘the love of it.’ The love and the commitment that these people who are volunteering give to this program for the single purpose of celebration through music, word, and dance—it's a rare and extraordinary experience.”
The Christmas special was taped over three consecutive nights in front of a live combined audience of 63,000 people at the Conference Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake City in December 2017.
See Sutton Foster and Hugh Bonneville Join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for Their Annual Christmas Concert
Foster has been a special guest performer on Playbill's Broadway on the High Seas cruises. Cabins are now on sale for Playbill’s Broadway on the Rhône River 2 April 7–14, 2019, featuring Melissa Errico, Norm Lewis, Rebecca Luker, Marc Kudisch, and Seth Rudetsky, and Broadway in the Great Northwest, Playbill Travel’s first domestic cruise, will bring passengers on a journey through the Pacific Northwest from April 26–May 4, 2020. Playbill Travel is currently accepting waitlist travelers for its sold out cruises: Broadway in Bordeaux With Michael Feinstein (September 1–9, 2019) and Broadway on the High Seas: The Greek Isles (June 24–July 1, 2019). Call Playbill Travel for tickets at 866-455-6789 or visit PlaybillTravel.com.