By Andrew Gans
28 Dec 2010
Kelsey Grammer, currently on Broadway in the Tony-winning revival of La Cage, emceed the tribute to composer-lyricist Herman. Others who paid tribute to the composer of Mame and Hello, Dolly! included Angela Lansbury, Carol Channing, Christine Baranski, Chita Rivera, Christine Ebersole, Sutton Foster and Laura Benanti, according to the Washington Post.
Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar for her performance in the film version of the award-winning musical Dreamgirls, was on hand for the tribute to Oprah Winfrey. Hudson, the Washington paper reports, performed The Color Purple show-stopper "I'm Here."
Claire Danes and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee were among those who spoke about choreographer Bill T. Jones.
One of the theatre's most celebrated composers, Jerry Herman has written the scores for such Broadway musicals as Milk and Honey; Hello, Dolly!; Mame; Dear World; Mack & Mabel; The Grand Tour and La Cage aux Folles. He also contributed songs to A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine, and revues of his work include Jerry's Girls and An Evening with Jerry Herman. The songwriter won Tony Awards for his scores for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles.
Bill T. Jones is the recipient of two Tony Awards: for his choreography of Fela! and his choreography of Spring Awakening.
Last year's honorees included writer, composer, actor, director and producer Mel Brooks; pianist and composer Dave Brubeck; opera singer Grace Bumbry; actor, director, and producer Robert De Niro; and singer and songwriter Bruce Springsteen.
For more information about the Kennedy Center Honorees or the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, visit www.kennedy-center.org.