Saturday, July 4 at 8 p.m.
Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits returns to host the biggest and brightest birthday party in the country, featuring, for the first time ever, Barry Manilow, who will both open and close the broadcast with a stirring medley of hits and patriotic classics along with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. Joining him are the "Queen of Soul," Aretha Franklin; international pop sensation Natasha Bedingfield; the Tony and Grammy Award-winning cast of Jersey Boys; multi-Grammy Award nominee Michael Feinstein; and acclaimed classical pianist Andrew von Oeyen.
This star-studded cast will light up the stage on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol for the 29th annual A CAPITOL FOURTH celebration, featuring unrivaled musical performances with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of America’s prince of pops Erich Kunzel. As a special treat for the entire family, Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch and more of the SESAME STREET gang will be on hand to celebrate America’s 233rd birthday. The Muppets will perform a medley of patriotic favorites, as well as iconic songs that everyone knows and loves from 40 years of the breakthrough children’s television series, celebrating 40 years of fun and learning.
The multi-award winning A CAPITOL FOURTH, featuring the most spectacular fireworks display anywhere in the nation, will be broadcast live in high definition before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, on National Public Radio and around the world to American troops on the American Forces Radio and Television Network.