A Latin musical tribute to Michael Jackson, concerts by Chita Rivera and Danny Elfman, and productions of Show Boat and Billy Elliott The Musical are among this year’s line-up of the PBS Arts Fall Festival, the network announced at Saturday’s TCA.
The fifth-annual fest kicks off October 9 with Unity – The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson, hosted by Sheila E and featuring Latin artists performing Jackson’s hits. Along with a 37-piece orchestra, the various performers will cover 16 of Jackson’s song, with arrangements from Tony Succar’s Unity album.
Next up in the festival is a Live From Lincoln Center entry, Kern & Hammerstein’s Show Boat in Concert with the New York Philharmonic, a two-hour show bowing Oct. 16. This concert version of the Broadway classic will feature Vanessa Williams, Downton Abbey‘s Julian Ovenden, Norm Lewis, Jane Alexander, Fred Willard and Lauren Worsham.
Under the Great Performances banner, Billy Elliot the Musical, with a score by Elton John, airs October 23 with a performance from London’s West End.
In another Live From Lincoln Center spot just in time for Halloween, Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton is set for Oct. 30, with Elfman himself performing songs (with a symphony and choir) with musical selections from Batman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas, among others. The performance will be accompanied by film clips, storyboards and original sketches.
Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do airs November 6, featuring a retrospective of archival clips from the stage legend’s theatrical performances and TV appearances. The special also includes interviews with Dick Van Dyke, Ben Vereen and others, toasting Rivera, who returned to Broadway earlier this year in The Visit.
Rounding out the Fall Festival in November will be a Live From Lincoln Center performance of Act One, James Lapine‘s staging of the Moss Hart bio starring Tony Shalhoub, Andrea Martin and Santino Fontana (November 13); First You Dream – The Music of Kander & Ebb, a tribute concert to the songwriting duo with performances by Broadway’s Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, James Clow, Norm Lewis, Julia Murney and Matthew Scott (November 20); and Andrea Bocelli: Cinema, a Great Performances entry with the tenor offering selections from The Godfather, Scent of a Woman, Dr. Zhivago and others (November 27).
The Fall Fest line-up was announced by PBS president Paula Kerger Saturday at TCA.