PBS series Great Performances has revealed spring air dates for two notable concerts, both filmed in London. Audra McDonald at the London Palladium will air May 17 at 9 PM ET, and Rodgers & Hammerstein 80th Anniversary Celebration will follow May 31 at 9 PM ET (check local listings). In addition, The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Hamlet starring Ato Blankson-Wood will air on the network May 10 at 9 PM ET.
The new titles will stream via PBS.org and the PBS app as well.
McDonald's concert was filmed September 25, 2022, with the six-time Tony winner backed by the 46-piece London Musical Theatre Orchestra. Music director Andy Einhorn was at the podium for the concert evening.
The concert film will not be McDonald's first. The stage and screen star has led several concert broadcasts through the Live From Lincoln Center series on PBS, including Audra McDonald and Friends: Build a Bridge and Audra McDonald Sings the Movies in 2006, and Audra McDonald: Go Back Home in 2013. A 2000 concert at London's Donmar Warehouse was also filmed for PBS broadcast and later released on home video.
The Rodgers and Hammerstein concert was much more recent, having played Theatre Royal Drury Lane for two performances December 12, 2023. News of the filming was not made public prior to the concert event, though PBS' screenings will follow a movie theatre engagement of the filmed concert in U.K. movie theatres.
Celebrating the 80th anniversary of the landmark collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, which began in 1943 with Broadway's Oklahoma!, the all-star concert features performances from an all-star roster of Broadway and West End favorites, including McDonald, Marisha Wallace, Daniel Dae Kim, Patrick Wilson, Aaron Tveit, Julian Ovenden, Maria Friedman, Michael Ball, Lucy St. Louis, and Joanna Ampil. The performances also feature Anna-Jane Casey, Lily Kerhoas, and Jordan Shaw, along with a chamber choir, a dance ensemble, and some "surprise guest appearances."
Also newly dated for PBS broadcast is The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Hamlet starring Ato Blankson-Wood. Directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon, the production took the stage at Central Park's Delacorte Theater in the summer of 2023. It also starred Brandon Gill as Guildenstern, Tyrone Mitchell Henderson as Osric/Priest, Greg Hildreth as Gravedigger, Colby Lewis as First Player, Warner Miller as Horatio, Daniel Pearce as Polonius, Solea Pfeiffer as Ophelia, Nick Rehberger as Laertes, John Douglas Thompson as Claudius, Lorraine Toussaint as Gertrude, and Mitchell Winter as Rosencrantz.