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Monday, July 19, 2010

Broadway Comes To The White House!

Our First Lady with performers from the Joy of Motion dance troup at today's White House rehearsal. Photos/CD Brown.

The White House is celebrating Broadway this evening with a little help from a few local students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the Joy of Motion Dance Center, continuing the White House Music tradition of celebrating the arts and demonstrating the importance of arts education with its Performances At The White House series.

"This is exactly what we envisioned happening when we started this music series, opening up this White House to just so many original forms of music. And we’re going to have Broadway right here in the East Wing tonight, and it is phenomenal", said an enthusiastic First Lady.

Performers at the White House.  Photo/CD Brown.

Earlier today, we got a sneak peek from what is forthcoming in tonight's salute to Broadway (to be aired on PBS October 20th at 9:00 p.m) that featured a segment from the Broadway show Hairspray, led by choreographer Jerry Mitchell.

Mitchell, who instructed the dancers during the rehearsal to straighten their arms just a bit higher during the rehearsal, was met with a bit of opposition when the First Lady questioned his recommendation.

"What's wrong with it?", asked the First Lady who was clearly enjoying the rehearsal of You Can't Stop The Beat as she could be seen dancing in her seat.

"I see nothing wrong with it", she said.

With many of the performers getting their first chance to be on TV, Mitchell wants everything to be perfect.

Especially since the entire First Family will be in attendance.

"Grandma’s coming, Malia, Sasha -- Bo, if he wouldn’t bark. But he’s not allowed to come", said the First Lady.  "The President will be sitting there. Don’t be intimidated. He’s harmless."

President Obama will make opening remarks at the event which will be held in the East Room of the White House and streamed live on
www.whitehouse.gov beginning tonight at 7:00 p.m.

Expected at tonight's performance: Elaine Stritch, Margo Lion, George Wolfe,
Brian d'Arcy James, and Idina Menzel.

Previous “Performance at the White House” events have featured Smokey Robinson, Jennifer Hudson, Joan Baez, and A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement, and Fiesta Latina. 


Related
First Lady To Through Out First Pitch

The First Lady will announce a joint initiative relating to her Let’s Move! childhood obesity campaign with members of Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. Mrs. Obama will join Sue Selig, wife of Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Tim Brosnan, MLB Executive Vice President of Business, Tony Clark, Director, Player Relations, MLB Players Association and the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Raysleadership and players for an 11:00 AM press conference at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Following the announcement, the players will conduct a baseball clinic on Camden Yards field for 50 young baseball players from local Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) leagues and Boys & Girls Clubs. Later that evening, Mrs. Obama will be escorted out to home plate by young baseball players from the RBI and the Boys & Girls Club who will throw out the first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays game.

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