For the past 33 years, PBS has hosted an annual concert special – “A Capitol Fourth” – on Independence Day shot live from the west lawn of the Capitol building. The line-up of artists selected for the special spans genres and generations culminating in a show for all-ages and this year’s line-up is no exception.
This year’s show features timeless American stars like Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond, two American Idol winners including Scotty McCreery and the newly crowned Candice Glover, as well as Broadway’s Megan Hilty (of Smash), Darren Criss (Glee), and that’s just to name a few. With one of America’s favorite television hosts Tom Bergeron acting as emcee for the evening, PBS is on its way toward producing yet another memorable Fourth of July concert special on the National Mall.
On the third of July, the artists gather for one final run through before the official open dress rehearsal later that night. The day’s events also serve as an opportunity for those involved with the show to reflect on what being in DC for Independence Day means to them and what an honor it truly is to be involved with “A Capitol Fourth.”
To a seasoned performance veteran like Barry Manilow – who first played the show in 2009 – being in DC for Independence Day makes him believe in America. When asked about why DC is so special on the Fourth of July, he responded by asking a question in retort, “Do you guys live here?”