Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Mark Ballas and Emmy-nominated choreographer Chelsie Hightower join the cast of A CAPITOL FOURTH, the live PBS broadcast of America’s favorite Independence Day tradition. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Beauty and the Beast, the duo will dance to American Idol winner Jordin Sparks’ performance of this beloved Disney song. Ballas and Hightower’s waltz, before a live concert audience of hundreds of thousands, will take place at the foot of the U.S. Capitol in the same location where the President is inaugurated.
A CAPITOL FOURTH will feature unrivaled performances from some of the country’s best-known musical names topped off by the greatest display of fireworks anywhere in the nation. Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits will host the all-star line-up that also includes: Grammy and Emmy Award-winning actor and musician Steve Martin performing with the Steep Canyon Rangers; multi-platinum recording superstar Josh Groban ; Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe nominated star of stage and screen who has just released his debut self-titled album Matthew Morrison (Glee); Rock ‘N Roll legend Little Richard performing with the cast of the Broadway smash hit Million Dollar Quartet; three time Tony-nominated Broadway star Kelli O’Hara; and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly .
Consistently one of the highest rated programs on PBS over the past decade, A CAPITOL FOURTH became the top-rated program in primetime on PBS for the 2009-2010 season. The event will air in HD from the West Lawn of the United States Capitol on Monday, July 4, 2011 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) as well as to our service members around the world on the American Forces Network. A CAPITOL FOURTH can also be heard live in stereo over NPR Member stations nationwide.