This fall, PBS will keep Friday nights hopping with Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Matthew McConaughey, Jeff Bridges, Nathan Lane, Michael Feinstein, Emma Thompson, "Sweeney Todd," "Porgy and Bess" and "Cats."
The PBS Arts Fall Festival will offer 11 weekly telecasts on Fridays. Emmy- and Tony-winner Kristin Chenoweth will host the series, which returns at 9 p.m. Sept. 26.
Two other telecasts will be announced later, but here's the starry lineup for now:
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street In Concert with the New York Philharmonic," Sept. 26: This "Live From Lincoln Center" telecast lets viewers see a March staging of Stephen Sondheim's musical thriller. Bryn Terfel takes the title role, and Oscar-winner Emma Thompson plays Mrs. Lovett. (Angela Lansbury created that role.) Tony-winner Christian Borle co-stars, and Audra McDonald hosts.
"Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years," Oct. 3: Jeff Bridges, Sheryl Crow and Matthew McConaughey are the guest hosts. The broadcast highlights memorable moments from the show's run. Viewers will see Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Foo Fighters, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Gary Clark Jr., Lyle Lovett, Alabama Shakes, Buddy Guy and many more.
"The Nance," Oct. 10: This "Live From Lincoln Center" telecast lets viewers see the Broadway version of Douglas Carter Beane's play. Nathan Lane plays gay headliner Chauncey Miles in the burlesque of 1930s New York. The play received five Tony Award nominations, including a best-actor one for Lane. The cast includes Tony-winner Cady Huffman, Lewis J. Stadlen and Jonny Orsini.
"The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess From San Francisco Opera," Oct. 17: This production of "Porgy and Bess" stars Eric Owens as Porgy and Laquita Mitchell as Bess. John DeMain conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
"Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek Live!," Oct. 24: This "Great Performances" presentation offers the singers teaming for a concert from the stage of Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater at New York City's Time Warner Center.
"Michael Feinstein at the Rainbow Room," Oct. 31: Feinstein headlines a concert featuring Tony-winner Christine Ebersole; "American Idol" favorite Jessica Sanchez; the Manzari Brothers, a tap duo; and Oscar-nominated actress June Squibb ("Nebraska").
"Hitmakers," Nov. 14: The program examines the music industry's resilience in the digital age. The special features Melissa Etheridge, the Roots' Questlove, Sharon Jones, rising DJ/producer Steve Aoki, and many more.
"Cats!," Nov. 21: This "Great Performances" telecast features Elaine Paige's return to her original role as Grizabella, who sings "Memory."
"Kristin Chenoweth: Coming Home," Nov. 28: Chenoweth goes home to Broken Arrow, Okla., to perform music from her career. The songs include "Popular" and "For Good" from "Wicked," numbers she performed on "Glee" and music from "Les Miserables," "The Phantom of the Opera" and other shows.
"The PBS Arts Fall Festival is made possible by generous support from Anne Ray Charitable Trust," PBS added. And generous viewers like you.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun