THE STARS HERALD INDEPENDENCE DAY IN "BANK OF AMERICA PRESENTS: AN AMERICAN CELEBRATION AT FORD'S THEATRE -- SALUTE TO THE TROOPS," MONDAY, JULY 4, ON ABC
Comedian Jeff Foxworthy ("Blue Collar TV") hosts a dazzling array of stars who entertain the nation's leaders and celebrate the armed forces in "Bank of America Presents: An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre -- Salute to the Troops," airing MONDAY, JULY 4 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. The television special, which is sponsored by Bank of America, will be taped in Washington, DC, on June 12, before a live audience that will include many Washington dignitaries. President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush have been invited to attend.
"Bank of America is proud to offer our support to historic Ford's Theater and share in the celebration of our armed forces," said Cathy Bessant, global marketing officer for Bank of America. "Bank of America has a long and deep history of commitment to supporting entertainment and culture, and to honoring the men and women of the U.S. military. The celebration at Ford's Theater is the embodiment of all three."
This year the annual gala benefiting historic Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, features a lineup that includes: Actress Geena Davis, star of ABC's new show "Commander-in-Chief"; Hilary Duff, who vaulted to fame on TV and film with "Lizzie McGuire" and whose debut album, "Metamorphosis," climbed the charts; Josh Gracin, the Marine finalist from "American Idol 2" who thrilled country fans with his album; world-renowned mezzo soprano and vocal artist Denyce Graves; actor/singer/songwriter Jesse McCartney ("All My Children," "Summerland"), whose first album, "Beautiful Soul," was recently released; CMA Horizon Award nominee Julie Roberts, whose first album has received glowing reviews; select young members of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy showcasing their extraordinary technique in a piece choreographed by Ms. Allen; and the Official Chorus of the United States Air Force, the Singing Sergeants, performing as well. Bill Conti conducts the American Celebration Orchestra, and the entire assembly will join in a rousing July 4th finale to salute the men and women serving in our armed services.
Mrs. Laura Bush serves as the honorary chair of the gala celebration, Catherine B. Reynolds serves as gala chair, and general chairs are Karyn Frist, Landra Reid, Abigail Blunt and Debbie Dingell. Senator Bill Frist, Senator Harry Reid, Congressman Roy Blount and Congressman John Dingell join a distinguished audience of political and corporate leaders to share this special evening of entertainment in America's most historic theatre.
This year marks the 25th televised gala at Ford's Theatre since its reopening in 1968. For 104 years following President Lincoln's assassination, this national treasure remained dark as a symbol of national mourning. On January 30, 1968, a restored Ford's Theatre opened, dedicated as a memorial to Lincoln's love of the performing arts. In 1975 President Ford became the first president to attend a gala at the Theatre since its closure in 1865.
Gil Cates is the executive producer of "An American Celebration at Ford's Theatre." Dennis Doty is producer and Paul Miller directs. Michael Seligman is associate producer. Ford's Theatre's producing director is Paul R. Tetreault. The special is produced by Cates/Doty Productions in association with ABC. (CLOSED-CAPTIONED) (Broadcast in stereo where available)
A TV parental guideline will be assigned closer to airdate.