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2011 Kennedy Center Honorees


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This year's Kennedy Center Honorees have just been anounced. They are:

 

  • Meryl Streep
  • Neil Diamond
  • Barbara Cook
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Sonny Rollins

 

The 2011 Kennedy Center Honors, announced Wednesday, salutes four architects of music — from the improvisational saxophone of Sonny Rollins to the Broadway warmth of Barbara Cook, the tender cello of Yo-Yo Ma and the pulsing anthems of Neil Diamond.

 

The center has also selected actor Meryl Streep, who has sung in a few movies but is much better known for her flawless interpretations of characters over the past 30 years.

 

When the letters from the Kennedy Center arrive, even artists who have been in the spotlight for decades are a little taken aback. “I couldn’t believe it but it actually said I was chosen as one of the Kennedy Center Honorees,” said Diamond in a phone interview. “And it told me to keep my mouth shut.” Now Diamond, 70, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., can tell his mother, who is in her 90s and attends most of his concerts.

 

The Honors are given the first weekend of December in ceremonies at the State Department and the White House with an evening of all-star salutes to the Honorees, hosted by Caroline Kennedy at the Kennedy Center.

 

“You can look at the people chosen this year, and this is the 34th year and say arguably they are the best at what they do,” said George Stevens, Jr., the co-producer of the Honors show.

 

Barbara Cook

 

Cook, 83, a native of Atlanta, Ga., made her mark in 1956 in Leonard Bernstein’s musical “Glitter and Be Gay.” She won her first Tony Award for playing Marian the Librarian in “The Music Man,” singing the classic “Till There Was You.”

 

Her longevity, she said, “is just plain old luck and, normally I have tremendous energy.” She has an album coming out later this year. “It was recorded live with songs like ‘You Make Me Feel So Young, ‘I Got Rhythm.’ And I am writing a memoir, supposed to be writing. It’s hard to do.”

 

Cook cried when told of her selection, she said. “This is a validation of my work and career. ”

 

She’s proud, she said,of adding her name to those of former honorees, such as her close friend composer Stephen Sondheim. “This is so thrilling. James Cagney and Barbara Cook. Barbara Cook and Fred Astaire. Holy Hannah!”

 

Sonny Rollins

 

Rollins, who celebrates his 81st birthday Wednesday, has contributed so much to jazz that people for years have bypassed the adjective of “giant” and simply called him “a colossus.”

 

Rollins, a native of Harlem, originally played alto sax and then switched to tenor sax. He emerged as a coveted sideman in the 1950s, playing with Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Art Farmer, Clifford Brown, Max Roach among others. In 1953, his recording “Sonny Rollins and the Modern Jazz Quartet” became a classic. Other landmark albums followed, including “A Night at the Village Vanguard” in 1957 and ”Freedom Suite” in 1958. In 2000, he won his first Grammy, for “This Is What I Do,” and his second Grammy in 2004 for “Without a Song: The 9/11 Concert.”

 

In a phone interview Rollins said the award honors more than just him. “I think that jazz has been sort of underrepresented in our culture. It is so gratifying to know that now it is beginning to be recognized as the great world force it is. I have fans in Mongolia, as well as Madison, Wisc.,’’ said Rollins. “It is not about me but the idiom, and I am just one of the last guys standing.”

 

Earlier this year, Rollins was awarded the National Medal of Arts. “I still practice everyday. I am working hard to become more perfect in my art and presentation,” he said.

 

Neil Diamond

 

With an ability to move from pop to rock to folk, Diamond has sold 128 million records. He’s written songs for others, such as the Monkees’ “I’m a Believer,” and for himself, with “Sweet Caroline” “Solitary Man” “Love on the Rocks” and “America.”

 

The writing hasn’t always been easy, he said. “For a while it became harder. I went through a period of writing deeply personal songs. It was very hard to do. I was not only trying to write a song but at the same time trying to understand myself. Every song has a little bit of my story in it. It has become easier,” Diamond said.

 

Diamond, who recently did a series of sold-out concerts in Britain, says the thrill of performing live — and he counts 2,000 concerts performed — hasn’t diminished. “We work hard to make sure it is good,” he said.

 

Many of his songs have been adopted by sports teams. “I love when anybody uses a song. There are hundreds of sports teams — professional, amateur, scholastic —that use them as good luck omens. “Sweet Caroline” has been one of my good-luck omens for years.”

 

Meryl Streep

 

Although every film buff knows this, it bears repeating. Streep, 62, has been nominated for more awards than any other actor in the history of the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes. Out of 16 Oscar nominations, she won for “Sophie’s Choice” and “Kramer vs. Kramer.” Out of 25 Golden Globes nominations, she has won seven. Her work also includes two Emmys, most recently for “Angels in America.”

 

A native of Summit, N.J., Streep started her dramatic climb at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama. On stage, she has done Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and Brecht/Weill. Naturally, Streep was making a movie this week and was unavailable for comment on the Honors.

 

But she sent a message: “I am deeply honored by this news, and wish my mother and father were alive to hear it. All that education, allowance, tuition, voice lessons, summer jobs, scholarship application deadlines and loving care and discipline — all that they gave me, bore fruit in a way they never dreamed. I am so grateful!”

 

Yo-Yo Ma

 

Ma, 55, born in Paris and raised in New York, is one of the most lauded musicians of his generation. He has won 16 Grammy Awards, including a Latin Grammy, and this year received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. All 75 of his albums have been on the Billboard best-seller lists.

 

Although he was “overwhelmed” at being named for the Honors, Ma said the gathering of people at those occasions is much more rewarding. “I really appreciate these gatherings. The people getting these awards are in­cred­ibly giving people. That impresses me. In spite of incredible accomplishments, they are aware they are not the center of the universe,’’ he said.

 

Ma is noted for his varied collaborations and founded the Silk Road Project in 1998 to showcase the music that has enriched the old trade route from the Mediterranean to the Pacific.

 

His newest project is “The Goat Rodeo Sessions,” with bluegrass greats Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer and Stuart Duncan. These experiences add to his lifelong learning, said Ma. “I’m very very lucky. At every stage in life I came across unbelievable people,” he said.

 

CBS will broadcast the full program of salutes to the Honorees in late December.

 

SOURCE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/arts-post/post/meryl-streep-yo-yo-ma-neil-diamond-among-2011-kennedy-center-honorees/2011/09/06/gIQAIjnS9J_blog.html?wprss=arts-post

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This year's Kennedy Center Honorees have just been anounced. They are:

 

  • Meryl Streep
  • Neil Diamond
  • Barbara Cook
  • Yo-Yo Ma
  • Sonny Rollins

 

 

 

SOURCE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/arts-post/post/meryl-streep-yo-yo-ma-neil-diamond-among-2011-kennedy-center-honorees/2011/09/06/gIQAIjnS9J_blog.html?wprss=arts-post

OMG i am so sorry Brockie, i went and posted a thread on Meryl finally getting this much deserved honor, the one time i don't DO the board in order, can you cancel out or rather DELETE my thread?

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I am absolutely THRILLED that they finally acknowledged the greatest living actress of all time, she should have gotten this years ago. Meryl Streep can do it all, drama, comedy even musicals. There isn't an accent she hasn't attempted and her various portrayals over the decades encompass the greatest body of work in terms of acting talent ever seen in film.

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her various portrayals over the decades encompass the greatest body of work in terms of acting talent ever seen in film.

 

Oddly enough though compared to the adulation she gets regularly and the esteem in which she is held by her peers it seems she has appeared in relatively few films which could be considered "classic" unlike, say, Katharine Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman. But time has been on their side, I suppose.

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Oddly enough though compared to the adulation she gets regularly and the esteem in which she is held by her peers it seems she has appeared in relatively few films which could be considered "classic" unlike, say, Katharine Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman. But time has been on their side, I suppose.

 

I think her "oevre" contains more "hits" and potential classics than "misses", to wit: Sophie's Choice, Kramer vs. Kramer, Out of Africa, Heartburn, Silkwood and Doubt just to name a few I would think fall into or will with time, "classic" status.

 

Even her lighter fare is well-acclaimed, even if she's solely singled-out (and often rightfully so!) but should no less be ignored or discounted as they contain some of her finest comedic performances: Devil Wears Prada, It's Complicated, Death Becomes Her, She-Devil, Prime and Julie & Julia chief among them. Hell, she even elevated Mamma Mia to above dreck level, and shone in her singing and dancing scenes, despite being a good 20 years older than what the part originally called for!

 

Come on! :D:marionstrong:

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Oddly enough though compared to the adulation she gets regularly and the esteem in which she is held by her peers it seems she has appeared in relatively few films which could be considered "classic" unlike, say, Katharine Hepburn and Ingrid Bergman. But time has been on their side, I suppose.

Eggzatically! Decades from now, HER work will have surpassed the works of Hepburn and Davis in the minds of the average filmgoer. Just off the top of my head, The Deer hunter, classic war picture. Kramer vs Kramer, clasic drama about real life events. Sophie's Choice, historical drama and one of the finest performances ever captured on film. If she had done just those three films, she would be like James Dean and given a place at the top of the Hollywood pantheon just for that work. But to that you add action like River Wild, musicals like Mama Mia or her song at the end of Postcards from the edge where she rivals A N Y top singer in the business. Whether she's Australian worrying about the dingo eating her baby or British portraying the Iron Lady at a stage of her career where the old dames used to get into television, she just goes on and on, better role after better role, from Julia Child where you forget you are seeing an actress and rather accept her totally as a chef, or a Prime Minister. Period pictures like The French Lieutenant's Woman, or epics like Out of Paprika where the chef ran out of spice, no wait, it was Out of Africa where i ran out of patience with the boredom of the script but was still enthralled by her exquisite performance, as usual. Playing young like in Postcards, the classics in the Park to add THEATER to her many accomplishments or even ridiculous sci fi comedy as in Death Becomes her, she elevates any project she is associated with. Whether sharing the screen with Eastwood or even Roseanne Barr, she makes a comedy funnier, a drama more compelling, an action picture more interesting or a musical more entertaining. And all this without having a swelled head or an attitude or a myriad of complexes and hang ups, the perfect actress, the perfect human being. She's raised children who are normal, has an enduring marriage, and doesn't care about her hair or gown at an event, she is just simply the most capable, enduring, sexy, charming, intelligent actress who has ever graced the movie screen. God how i'd love her to do a Lucy movie and show the world how it should be done.

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Eggzatically! Decades from now, HER work will have surpassed the works of Hepburn and Davis in the minds of the average filmgoer. Just off the top of my head, The Deer hunter, classic war picture. Kramer vs Kramer, clasic drama about real life events. Sophie's Choice, historical drama and one of the finest performances ever captured on film. If she had done just those three films, she would be like James Dean and given a place at the top of the Hollywood pantheon just for that work. But to that you add action like River Wild, musicals like Mama Mia or her song at the end of Postcards from the edge where she rivals A N Y top singer in the business. Whether she's Australian worrying about the dingo eating her baby or British portraying the Iron Lady at a stage of her career where the old dames used to get into television, she just goes on and on, better role after better role, from Julia Child where you forget you are seeing an actress and rather accept her totally as a chef, or a Prime Minister. Period pictures like The French Lieutenant's Woman, or epics like Out of Paprika where the chef ran out of spice, no wait, it was Out of Africa where i ran out of patience with the boredom of the script but was still enthralled by her exquisite performance, as usual. Playing young like in Postcards, the classics in the Park to add THEATER to her many accomplishments or even ridiculous sci fi comedy as in Death Becomes her, she elevates any project she is associated with. Whether sharing the screen with Eastwood or even Roseanne Barr, she makes a comedy funnier, a drama more compelling, an action picture more interesting or a musical more entertaining. And all this without having a swelled head or an attitude or a myriad of complexes and hang ups, the perfect actress, the perfect human being. She's raised children who are normal, has an enduring marriage, and doesn't care about her hair or gown at an event, she is just simply the most capable, enduring, sexy, charming, intelligent actress who has ever graced the movie screen. God how i'd love her to do a Lucy movie and show the world how it should be done.

Yeah, what he said! ;)

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Yeah, what he said! ;)

LOL! Yeah, i know i ramble a lot, but i'm old, i'm supposed to ramble. AND if i had researched her before writing all that, it would have been better too as i'm sure i left out many films that should have been included but maybe even kept quiet about certain others. :lucythrill: Ok, after a quick GOOGLE, i see i forgot most of her fifty films, with many like Silkwood are just perfection, her roles, not the films themselves. Then there was her TV triumph, ANGELS IN AMERICA, where she played FOUR roles including a Mormon mother and a rabbi for cornsakes! Hepburn or Davis ever pull THAT off?

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  • 3 months later...

Reminder that the Honours will be broadcast TONIGHT at 9 p.m. on CBS.

It was a GREAT show, as these always are, BUT, wonder why they eliminated the part where the President receives them at the White House? They ran short on time? I hate JAZZ so i found that part the most boring, even the classical music honoree Yo Yo Ma was better. Neil Diamond's was the best even as Lionel Ritchie and Smokey Robinson ruined two of his songs. The Barbara Cook section was great, Broadway is always the best part of this show and imagine the nerve of having both Glenn Close AND Patty Lupone on the same stage after that Sunset Boulevard debacle. I thought the one i wanted to see the most, the Meryl Streep one, was the weakest, her intro was great but her tribute, just like Lucy's years before certainly was not the highlight of the night.

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It was a GREAT show, as these always are, BUT, wonder why they eliminated the part where the President receives them at the White House? They ran short on time? I hate JAZZ so i found that part the most boring, even the classical music honoree Yo Yo Ma was better. Neil Diamond's was the best even as Lionel Ritchie and Smokey Robinson ruined two of his songs. The Barbara Cook section was great, Broadway is always the best part of this show and imagine the nerve of having both Glenn Close AND Patty Lupone on the same stage after that Sunset Boulevard debacle. I thought the one i wanted to see the most, the Meryl Streep one, was the weakest, her intro was great but her tribute, just like Lucy's years before certainly was not the highlight of the night.

 

The tributes to non-musical, serious actors are always problematic. When Katharine Hepburn was honored, they just had Angela Lansbury(!), Lauren Bacall, and Glenn Close stand and read Hepburn reviews and quotes off a music stand.

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The tributes to non-musical, serious actors are always problematic. When Katharine Hepburn was honored, they just had Angela Lansbury(!), Lauren Bacall, and Glenn Close stand and read Hepburn reviews and quotes off a music stand.

That's true and you're right of course, but you'd think with all the material they had at their disposal, that they could have done something better. Was it just me or was Sonny Rollins not enthused about being there? And has Glenn Close gained a ton or was it just the dress?

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The tributes to non-musical, serious actors are always problematic. When Katharine Hepburn was honored, they just had Angela Lansbury(!), Lauren Bacall, and Glenn Close stand and read Hepburn reviews and quotes off a music stand.

I see your point when i recall the Night of 100 stars and when THEY honored serious actors like Olivier or even Lana Turner, they just came out for a bow after some film clips of theirs played.

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That's true and you're right of course, but you'd think with all the material they had at their disposal, that they could have done something better. Was it just me or was Sonny Rollins not enthused about being there? And has Glenn Close gained a ton or was it just the dress?

 

See I thought they were all wonderful in their own right but of course selfishly, I would have liked the Meryl one to have been twice as long as it was -- hell, they could have just played clips from all her movies and that would have been fine by me! :D As for not wanting to be there, it seemed Miss Cook wasn't thrilled to be there or was perhaps not feeling well/in pain for some reason but she sure did not seem to be very happy! mellow.gif

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See I thought they were all wonderful in their own right but of course selfishly, I would have liked the Meryl one to have been twice as long as it was -- hell, they could have just played clips from all her movies and that would have been fine by me! :D As for not wanting to be there, it seemed Miss Cook wasn't thrilled to be there or was perhaps not feeling well/in pain for some reason but she sure did not seem to be very happy! mellow.gif

I was talking about Sonny Rollins, not Miss Cook.

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