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Kennedy Center Performance Highlights from the 1990s

To learn more about performances during a particular season click on that season below. Within each season, performances are arranged by genre.

1990-91 Season 1991-92 Season 1992-93 Season 1993-94 Season 1994-95 Season
  1995-96 Season 1996-97 Season 1997-98 Season  
  The 1970s The 1980s    


1990-91 Season


Lend Me A Tenor - October 30 - December 1, 1990
Barry Nelson and Ron Holgate starred in this Tony Award-winning hit comedy, a hilarious soup of assumed identities, stage-door seductions and wonderfully comic going-on.

Grand Hotel, The Musical - December 4, 1990 - January 6, 1991
Tommy Tune directed and choreographed this opulent Broadway musical about Berlin in 1928, which won five Tony Awards.

Lucifer's Child - February 19 - March 17, 1991
Julie Harris starred in this one-woman play based on the life of Isak Dinesen, author of Out of Africa.

The Heidi Chronicles - March 19 - April 28, 1991
Stephanie Dunham starred in Wendy Wasserstein's Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, the deliciously funny coming-of-age story of Heidi Holland.

The Phantom of the Opera - May 28-August 31, 1991
Andrew Lloyd Webber's dazzling musical romance, winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and directed by Harold Prince, ran for four sold-out months.
Phantom returned for another sold-out run during the summer of 1993.


National Symphony Orchestra - September 27-29; October 2, 1990
Mstislav Rostropovich conducted this program of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10, featuring pianist Justus Frantz.

Coleman Blumfield - November 3, 1990
As part of the Kennedy Center Family Concerts series, the master pianist performed a program of Prokofiev, Chopin and Liszt.

National Symphony Orchestra - December 4, 1990
Alessandro Siciliani conducted this program including Ravel's Bolero and the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony featuring William Neil.

José Feghali - December 9, 1990
The Washington Performing Arts Society presented the winner of the Gold Medal at the 1985 Van Cliburn International Competition performing works by Weber, Brahms, Scriabin, Liadov, Sauer, Villa-Lobos, Nazareth, Joplin, and Ravel.

Chamber Artists of Washington - January 16, 1991
Washington, Front & Center! presented this program of Mozart, Rorem, Dohnanyi, and Brahms, with pianist Enrique Graf.

New York Philharmonic - January 19, 1991
Washington Performing Arts Society presented Zubin Mehta, who led the orchestra in Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto and Bruckner's Symphony No. 7.

National Symphony Orchestra - January 24-25, 1991
Conductor Keith Brion brought John Philip Sousa's music to life in POPS: A Star-Spangled Sousa Celebration, a stirring tribute to America's march king.

Music of Duke Ellington - February 2, 1991
Doug Richards and the Great American Music Ensemble performed Ellington's superbly orchestrated compositions for full jazz ensemble in the Terrace Theater's highly successful new jazz series.

Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell & Vladimir Ashkenazy - February 23, 1991
Three brilliant world concert stars came together for an unforgettable performance, presented by Washington Performing Arts Society.

Santa Fe Chamber Ensemble - March 12, 1991
The ensemble presented a program of Beethoven's Eight Folk Songs of the British Isles; Crumb's Voice of the Whale; and Smetana's Piano Trio in G major.

Tokyo String Quartet - March 27, 1991
The famous ensemble's program included quartets by Mozart, Zemlinsky, and Beethoven.

National Symphony Orchestra - April 18-23, 1991 Mstislav Rostropovich conducted the symphony and Randall Craig Fleischer conducted Rostropovich on the cello in an all-Prokofiev program in honor of the composer's 100th birthday, with Prokofiev's sons in attendance.


The Washington Opera - November 3 - March 10, 1990
The Opera House season included Richard Strauss's Salome, Puccini's La Bohème, Massenet's Manon, and Verdi's Rigoletto.

The Washington Opera - December 29, 1990 - February 3, 1991
The Eisenhower Theater season included Mozart's The Magic Flute, Purcell's King Arthur and Menotti's The Saint of Bleeker Street.


San Francisco Ballet - October 9 - 14, 1990
The company's one-week engagement culminated in the Ballet's lavishly praised and sumptuously produced centennial staging of Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty.

American Ballet Theatre - January 15 - 27, 1991
As part of its engagement the company performed the world premiere of a new Coppelia, based on the original choreography by Arthur Saint-Leon and staged by Enrique Martinez.

The Royal Ballet - March 12 - 24, 1991
The company's run ended with the first American performances of Anthony Dowell's production of Swan Lake.

Erick Hawkins Dance Company - April 12 - 14, 1991
One of America's most innovative and acclaimed choreographers presented a powerful new work commissioned by the Kennedy Center, as part of the 15th Imagination Celebration.

Special Events

The Thirteenth Kennedy Center Honors Gala - December 2, 1990
Honoring Dizzy Gillespie, Katharine Hepburn, Risë Stevens, Jule Styne, and Billy Wilder.

The Texas Festival at the Kennedy Center:

    In The West - June 12 - 14, 1991
    Big State Theater Company's compilation of monologues portraying a variety of true American westerners.

    The Dallas Symphony Orchestra - June 15, 1991
    Eduardo Mata conducted Berlioz's Roman Carnival Overture,
    Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, and Bartók's
    Concerto for Orchestra.

    Eduardo Montemayor's Ballet Fantasia Española and
    Rosa Guerrero International Folkorico - June 16, 1991
    In a single program, the two companies performed traditional folk dances.

    Houston Ballet - June 20 - 22, 1991
    As part of the Texas Festival at the Kennedy Center, the company presented the world premiere of Paul Taylor's Company B, the first of six new ballets commissioned by the Kennedy Center from American choreographers and companies, in a ground- breaking consortium arrangement whereby all companies share in the new works.

    Camp Logan - June 20 - 22, 1991
    Based on a true story, this tense and moving drama from award-winning playwright Celeste Bedford-Walker tells the story of an all-black infantry regiment in 1917 Houston.

    A Night Of Texas Songs And Songwriters - June 22, 1991
    Willie Nelson, Nanci Griffith, and Little Joe Hernandez appeared in the final event of the Texas Festival at the Kennedy Center.

1991-92 Season


Tru - September 23 - October 20, 1991
Robert Morse brought to Washington his Tony Award-winning portrayal of the celebrated American author, Truman Capote.

Two Trains Running - November 6 - December 8, 1991
August Wilson continued his Pulitzer Prize-winning chronicle of 20th-century African-American life with this portrait of urban life in the 1960s.

The Shadow of a Gunman - December 17, 1991 - January 19, 1992
The year-old O'Casey Theater Company from Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland, was founded as an international touring company with professional actors from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and the United States to produce Irish plays. The great playwright Sean O'Casey's The Shadow of a Gunman, set in the 1920s in a Dublin tenement, was directed by Shivaun O'Casey.

Bye Bye Birdie - December 25, 1991 - January 26, 1992
Tommy Tune led a 30th-anniversary revival of the Tony Award-winning hit by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse.

Savage Land - January 18 - February 9, 1992
The Washington Opera's Eisenhower Theater season was highlighted by the American premiere of Jin Xiang's contemporary Chinese opera, a gripping romantic tragedy set against the brutal political landscape of 1920s China. The repertory also included a new production of The Tales of Hoffmann, and Handel's first operatic success, Agrippina.

Solitary Confinement - February 27 - April 5, 1992
Stacy Keach delivered a tour-de-force performance in this one-actor, multi-character thriller by Rupert Holmes.

Once on This Island - May 22-July 19, 1992
The Kennedy Center co-produced the national tour of the Tony Award-nominated Broadway hit set on an exotic Caribbean island.


National Symphony Orchestra - October 1, 1991
Mstislav Rostropovich conducted the NSO in the world premiere of Henri Dutilleux's Timbres, espace, movement.

I Solisti di Zagreb - October 16, 1991
Joined by Mario Brunello, cellist, this chamber orchestra of 13 players performed music of Corelli, Hindemith, Rossini, Martinu, and Borodin.

Evelyn Glennie, percussionist - November 26, 1991
Despite profound deafness since the age of 11, Evelyn Glennie has performed worldwide as a solo percussionist, both with orchestras and in recital. This performance, her Washington, D.C., recital debut, was a tremendous success.

Misha Dichter and Cipa Dichter - December 7, 1991
The famed pianist was joined by his wife Cipa for an enchanting evening of Mozart piano duets; part of a Mozart Festival presented in cooperation with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, which included concerts and lectures throughout the city.

Washington, D.C., Mozart Festival - December 1991
Washington, D.C. celebrated the genius of Mozart on the bicentennial of his death with a citywide festival of music, films, exhibits, and symposia presented by the Kennedy Center, National Symphony Orchestra, Library of Congress, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Among the Concert Hall highlights were the National Symphony Orchestra/Oratorio Society of Washington performances of the Requiem; the NSO/Choral Arts Society of Washington performances of Mozart's orchestration of Handel's Messiah, presented by Washington Performing Arts Society; and a program of orchestral music played by the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, led by Sir Neville Marriner.

Carmen Balthrop - January 31, 1992
Washington Performing Arts Society presented this D.C. native in the ascendance of her career.

Leontyne Price - February 9, 1992
Ms. Price's 13th Washington Performing Arts Society-sponsored appearance since 1967 included works of Handel, Marx, Strauss, and Puccini. David Garvey accompanied.

Paris Winds with Pascal Rogé, pianist - February 13, 1992
The Terrace Concerts program by this internationally acclaimed ensemble included music of Barber, Beethoven, Ligetti, and Mozart.

Mahlathini & the Mohtella Queens - February 15, 1992
Washington Performing Arts Society presented the Kennedy Center debut of South Africa's premiere mbaqanga (township jive) group. Mahlathini, known as the Lion of Soweto, founded the group that revolutionized the South African pop scene.

Dawn Upshaw, soprano - March 24, 1992
The Grammy Award-winning singer presented music of Barber, Schumann, Mussorgsky, and Ives.

National Symphony Orchestra - June 4 - 9, 1992
Kennedy Center Honoree Robert Shaw led the NSO and the Choral Arts Society of Washington in the season finale - Beethoven's mighty Missa Solemnis.


The Washington Opera - December 20, 1991 - February 9, 1992
The American premiere of The Savage Land, a milestone in the history of chinese opera.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky - November 1, 1991
Washington Performing Arts Society presented one of the great young stars of opera in his Concert Hall debut.

The Washington Opera - November 9 - 30, 1991; February 15 - March 8, 1992
The company's Opera House season was highlighted by a new production of The Flying Dutchman, its first Wagnerian opera in more than a decade. Repertory also included Don Carlo, Don Giovanni, and opera's most popular double bill: Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci.


Ballet West - October 8 - 13, 1991
The company returned to Washington with the world premiere of the second work created by the Kennedy Center Ballet Commissioning Project - John Neumeier's Age of Anxiety.

The Kirov Ballet - October 15 - 27, 1991
The mighty Russian company returned with Giselle and its first Western performances of several works by Antony Tudor and George Balanchine.

Stars Of The Bolshoi Ballet - November 11, 1991
Ekaterina Maximova and Vladimir Vasiliev led their touring company through excerpts from the great Russian ballets, presented by Washington Performing Arts Society.

David Parsons Dance Company - January 22 - 25, 1992
David Parsons opened the Dance America Series, a joint presentation of the Kennedy Center and WPAS established to present contemporary American dance companies in the nation's capital. Susan Marshall & Company and Bebe Miller & Co. were presented in May 1993.

Pacific Northwest Ballet - January 29 - February 2, 1992
The world premiere of Lar Lubovitch's American Gesture, the third work made possible by the Kennedy Center Ballet Commissioning Project, highlighted the company's visit.

American Ballet Theatre - March 31-April 5, 1992
The grande dame of American ballet, Agnes DeMille, created The Other for the company's annual Washington engagement. Its world premiere performance received glowing reviews. The company also danced Serious Pleasures, a controversial new work by Ulysses Dove that received a standing ovation from the audience.

Special Events

Something New at the Kennedy Center - October 2, 1991
This innovative series opened with the unusual art of juggler/choreographer Michael Moschen; the sold-out series also presented choreographer Wim Vandekeybus (Oct. 25), screenwriter/filmmaker Amos Poe (Nov. 8 in the AFI Theater), choreographer Dianne McIntyre and Ensemble (In Living Color, Nov. 20) and choreographer Liz Lerman & Co. (Dec. 10-14, in unexpected places throughout the Center).

The Fourteenth Kennedy Center Honors Gala - December 8, 1991
Honoring Roy Acuff, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Fayard Nicholas, Harold Nicholas, Gregory Peck, and Robert Shaw.

Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration: National Dance Institute - April 7 - 10, 1992
The Kennedy Center's national arts festival for young people featured free school and public performances and demonstrations led by Jacques D'Amboise and starring Washington-area students from Arts Enterprise Zone schools.

The Kennedy Center Tribute to Germany:

    The Stuttgart Ballet - April 28 - May 10, 1992
    The dance centerpiece of the month-long Kennedy Center Tribute to Germany, the two-week engagement of the Stuttgart Ballet featured a week of the company's radically new Sleeping Beauty, contemporary repertory works by choreographers long associated with the company and its founder, John Cranko, and Artistic Director Marcia Haydee's farewell performance in the company's signature piece, Eugene Onegin.

    Berlin Cabaret - April 29 - May 9, 1992
    For the month-long tribute, Berlin's premier theater company, Theater des Westens, conceived a biting multimedia extravaganza that recreated the music, glamour, and decadence of Berlin in the late 1930s and early 1940s as seen through the propaganda invented by the government-controlled film studios.

    Dresden Staatskapelle - May 4, 1992
    The legendary orchestra was presented by Washington Performing Arts Society.

    Windsbacher Knabenchor - May 4, 1992
    A celebrated boys choir.

1992-93 Season


Marvin's Room - September 15 - October 18, 1992
A touching yet humorous drama by Scott Mcpherson about a caretaker learning how to be cared for by her quirky family.

The Secret Garden - December 26 - January 31, 1992
Based on the beloved novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, this winner of three Tony awards was proclaimed the best American musical of the Broadway season by Time.

Ballet du Rhin - March 19 - 20, 1993
The authentic restaging of Dauberval's 1789 classic La fille mal gardee graced the stage with exquisite sets and costumes by Dominique Delouche.

Guys and Dolls - April 13 - May 30, 1993
Co-produced by the Kennedy Center, Frank Loesser's immensely popular production featuring the great Broadway standards "Luck be a Lady" and "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" starred Lorna Luft and Lewis J. Stadlin.

Oleanna - April 24 - May 30, 1993
David Mamet's controversial drama about a female student who accuses her male professor of sexual harassment.

The World Goes 'Round - June 1 - 27, 1993
Kander and Ebb's sweet musical revue of their shows.

Twilight of the Golds - June 30 - August 1, 1993
Jennifer Grey and David Groh led the cast in this controversial family drama -meets-science fiction play that confronted hot button issues like genetic engineering, homosexuality, and abortion.


Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards - September 5, 1992
Established in 1977, the Kennedy Center Friedheim Awards for new works by American Composers alternate between orchestral music (even-numbered years) and chamber music (odd-numbered years). Performed in years past by conservatory orchestras including those of Peabody, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Mannes School of Music, the final works in the orchestral competition were performed this year for the first time by a professional orchestra - the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Randall Craig Fleischer, the orchestra's Affiliate Artist/National Endowment for the Arts Conductor. The final works were the Pulitzer Prize-winning Symphony by Shulamit Ran, which also took first prize in this competition, Concerto in One Movement for Piano by Emma Lou Diemer, Piano Concerto by Richard Wernick, and Perpetual Angelus by George Tsontakis.

National Symphony Orchestra - September 17 - 29, 1992
Music Director Mstislav Rostropovich led the National Symphony in eight performances featuring artists and music of North, Central, and South America. Part of the Kennedy Center's yearlong Festival of the Americas.

Cuarteto Latinoamericano - September 24, 1992
Kicking off the Kennedy Center's yearlong recognition of Artists of the Americas, the fabulous Cuarteto Latinoamericano opened the Fortas Chamber Music Series of the Terrace Concerts with a program featuring string quartets of Revueltas, Villa-Lobos, Lavista, and Ginastera. The internationally renowned pianist Santiago Rodrigues performed a program of Rachmaninoff, Ginastera, and Lecuona on September 25, and WPAS presented Roberto Diaz, NSO principal violist, in recital September 29.

National Symphony Orchestra - October 4 - 12, 1992
Alaska became the first stop on the National Symphony Orchestra's American Residencies for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, a project combining the elements of orchestral and chamber performance, outreach, education, and cultural exchange.

National Orchestra of Spain - October 11, 1992
Conducted by Rafael Frúbeck de Burgos, with Alicia de Larrocha, the program commemorated the Quincentenary of Columbus's exploration of America, presented by Washington Performing Arts Society. Later in the season the Vienna Philharmonic, under the baton of Sir Georg Solti, returned on February 14, 1993.

Music of Benny Goodman - October 17, 1992
The Great American Music Ensemble, a jazz orchestra from Richmond, Virginia, founded and led by Doug Richards, opened the third Terrace Jazz Series. Founded by jazz critic and writer Martin Williams, the series presented four concerts, and continues annually.

Dorothy Donegan - November 12, 1992
The Chicago-born great lady of jazz piano was presented by WPAS.

Musicians from Marlboro - November 19, 1992, and February 26, 1993
The Terrace Concerts has welcomed touring musicians from the famed summer Marlboro Music Festival for many seasons. The festival's reputation for fresh, spontaneously joyful performances of music from the classic, romantic, and contemporary musical eras is always fulfilled in performances by these touring performers.

The Sounds of Blackness - January 17, 1993
A Tribute to Martin honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with W. Rayford Johnson as narrator; Maurio Bauza and his Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra with Graciela performed on February 28. Both concerts presented by Washington Performing Arts Society.

Evgeny Kissin - February 13, 1993
Washington Performing Arts Society presented the Washington debut of the celebrated young pianist from Moscow.

Pamela Frank, violinist - February 19, 1993
Washington Performing Arts Society's Kreeger String Series presented this young soloist, daughter of pianists Claude Frank and Lilian Kallir, whose own career is reaching stellar heights.

James Tocco, pianist - February 23, 1993
The internationally acclaimed pianist performed an all-American program of music by Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland.

Christòpheren Nomura, baritone - March 14, 1993
Concluding the 14th annual Young Concert Artists Series of debut recitals at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Nomura exemplified the caliber of musicians presented by this series founded by Susan Wadsworth to discover and promote the careers of talented young artists. The YCA Series continues to be presented annually by the Kennedy Center and YCA.

National Symphony Orchestra - June 25-27, 1993
Mozart: A Summer Music Festival begins, under the artistic directorship of Christopher Hogwood.


The Washington Opera - November 7-29, 1992; February 20 - March 14, 1993
Eva Marton made her Washington Opera debut in the title role of the company's spectacular first production of Turandot, and its Opera House season closed with an innovative first Washington staging of The Cunning Little Vixen. A new production of Otello and the rarely seen The Tsar's Bride were also presented.

The Washington Opera - December 26, 1992 - February 14, 1993
Veteran comic genius Paolo Montarsolo directed Don Pasquale, also singing the title role. A ravishing new production of The Pearl Fishers and a revival of the wickedly funny La Cenerentola completed the company's Eisenhower Theater season.


The National Ballet of Canada - September 29 - October 4, 1992
The spirited and talented company performed the witty Taming of the Shrew plus a program of mixed repertory.

Molissa Fenley - October 9, 1992
The second season of Something New at the Kennedy Center included the innovative solo dancer/choreographer in Place, Threshold, and State of Darkness. Other performances in this unusual series were a showing of filmmaker Jonathan Demme's Cousin Bobby, with a discussion of his work; Montréal Danse; storytellers Alice McGill & Diane Ferlatte; and Moses Pendelton's Momix.

Mark Morris - October 21 - 25, 1992
The cutting-edge choreographer's Washington premiere of Dido and Aeneas opened the Dance America series.

The Joffrey Ballet - December 9 - 20, 1992
The Joffrey's Nutcracker, a holiday favorite, graced the Opera House in a beautiful Victorian-era production featuring a total of 150 local children. The company has returned with its Nutcracker in each succeeding year.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Company - January 18, 1993
This innovative dance company opened the Kennedy Center/WPAS Dance America Series.

France Danse:

    Plaisir d'Offrir/Michele Kelemenis ¾ March 16 - 17, 1993
    Copagnie de Hexe/Mathilde Monnier ¾ March 19 - 20, 1993
    Part of the Center's salute to French dance, these two contemporary choreographers lit up the Terrace with their innovative programs and supple dancers.

    Paris Opera Ballet - March 17 - 28, 1993
    The highlight of this two-week celebration of French choreography and dance companies, the beautiful, buoyant, internationally acclaimed Paris Opera Ballet performed an elegant La Bayadere and a repertory program by the legendary French choreographers Roland Petit and Serge Lifar.

    Compagnie Preljocaj - March 23 - 24, 1993
    New perspectives on Romeo and Juliet and Stravinsky's Les noces, as well as Preljocaj's La peau du monde, were executed by this exciting new company.

    Compagnie Bagouet - March 26 - 27, 1993
    Called the most French of the leading choreographers, the dynamic company performed an all-Bagouet program in tribute to the late choreographer.

Dance Theatre of Harlem - March 30 - April 11, 1993
This engagement featured two premieres, Michael Smuin's powerful Song for Dead Warriors and Alvin Ailey's evocative The River, along with the romantic tale of Giselle.

The Joffrey Ballet - June 1 - 6, 1993
The East Coast premiere of the rock ballet Billboards was set to music by the artist formerly known as Prince and created by four hot young choreographers: Laura Dean, Margo Sappington, Peter Pucci and Charles Moulton.

Special Events

The Fifteenth Kennedy Center Honors Gala - December 6, 1992
Honoring Lionel Hampton, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Ginger Rogers, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Paul Taylor.

1993-94 Season


The Kentucky Cycle - August 24 - October 23, 1993
Co-produced by the Kennedy Center and winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize, playwright Robert Schenkkan's mighty six hour epic, performed in two parts, imagined two hundred years of events in the lives of members of a single extended Kentucky family. The play starred Stacy Keach.

The Lolly Foster Daredevil Airshow - October 6 - 17, 1993
This theater piece starring the deaf, Tony Award-winning actress Phyllis Freilich and produced by the Kennedy Center was the first play to be created in American sign language.

Three Hotels - November 9 - December 5, 1993
A soul-searching trio of monologues by Jon Robin Baitz performed rivetingly by Ron Rifken and Deborah Monk addressed the tragedy that lurks behind corporate greed in American enterprise abroad.

The Will Rogers Follies - December 21 - January 30, 1994
Mac Davis starred as Will Rogers in this six Tony Award-winning show. Directed by Tommy Tune with music by Cy Coleman, the show's girls, glitter, and glamour would have made Ziegfeld proud.

Jackie Mason: Politically Incorrect - March 2 - 5, 1994
This irreverent funnyman's pre-Broadway run of his new show.

The Sisters Rosensweig - March 8 - April 10, 1994
Comedy wizard Wendy Wasserstein's Tony Award-winning play about the lives, loves, and bonds of three sisters played by Mariette Hartley, Caroline Aaron, and Joan McMurtrey.

The Winter's Tale - April 27 - May 22, 1994
The Royal Shakespeare Company's stunning production of the bard's penultimate work featured a gorgeous set, balloons, and more balloons.

Miss Saigon - June 11 - October 2, 1994
From the creator and producers of Les Miserables came this international hit musical telling a classic story of love and self-sacrifice involving a young Vietnamese woman and an American soldier at the time of the fall of Saigon in 1975.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company - June 14 - 30, and July 1 - 10, 1994
This three-man troupe of clowns and comedians delighted audiences with two different, equally side-splitting summarizations: In June, the company performed its The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), and they roared back in July for another set of sold-out performances of The Complete History of America (Abridged). Invited to return the next season, RSC repeated its success with a June 1 - July 3, 1995, reprise of The Complete History of America (Abridged),and added another goofy compendium, The Complete Word of God (Abridged), July 5 - August 20.


National Symphony Orchestra - 1993-94 Season
This season, Mstislav Rostropovich's last as music director, included a number of appearances by his friends: Sir Georg Solti, Zubin Mehta, Andre Previn, and Seiji Ozawa. The Orchestra's second American Residency took place in Louisiana in February.

Desperados Steel Orchestra - October 6, 1993
Pulse-pounding performances of arrangements from works by Smetena and Tchaikovsky, selections from Fiddler on the Roof, waltzes, overtures, jazz, and pop tunes, conducted by Major Edward Wad; presented by Washington Performing Arts Society.

The Guarneri Quartet and the Orion Quartet - November 3, 1993
The veteran Guarneri Quartet was joined by the Orion Quartet to present a special program of string music capped by Mendelssohn's masterly Octet in E-flat major.

The Martin Williams Jazz Series - November 13, 1993
Doug Richards, bandleader of the Richmond-based Great American Music Ensemble, brought the music of jazz and swing legends, performing authentic arrangements of music by Richard Rodgers (November 13), Duke Ellington (December 11), and Dizzy Gillespie (March 10). On February 19, 1994, GAME and Richards premiered his own new full-length work - From Rags to Riches: A Celebration of the Jazz Orchestra. Later that spring Richards and GAME, as guests of the National Symphony Orchestra on the NSO Pops series, performed the work to a capacity audience in the Concert Hall.

Maria Tipo - November 19, 1993
The spectacular and profound Italian pianist returned to perform in Washington, D.C., after an absence of more than 30 years. Other performances in the Terrace Concerts this season included pianists Paul Badura-Skoda, John O'Conor, and Awadagin Pratt in his Terrace Theater debut, as well as England's Guildhall String Ensemble, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Naumburg Award-winning Eroica Trio, and violinist Chee-Yun , among others. The family series presented families in music: The three brothers and sister of the Ying Quartet; cellist Allison Eldredge and her mother, pianist Yoshie Akimoto; and the stunning combination of violin virtuoso Corey Cerovsek and his sister, pianist Katja Cerovsek.

Barbara Cook - December 14, 1993 - January 2, 1994
The great theatrical singer returned with a holiday program of favorites.

Paul Badura-Skoda, piano & fortepiano - February 17, 1994
The distinguished Austrian pianist and scholar performed music of Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, and Beethoven, using a fortepiano for earlier works and a modern piano for later music.

The Academy of Ancient Music - March 9, 1994
Performing under the direction of Academy founder Christopher Hogwood, with Simon Standage, violinist, and Frank de Bruine, oboist, the ensemble performed Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel; presented by Washington Performing Arts Society.

Cecelia Bartoli - March 25, 1994, and Thomas Hampson - April 28, 1994
Two celebrated singers in their Washington debut recitals; presented by Washington Performing Arts Society.

Billy Taylor's Jazz at the Kennedy Center - May 23, 1994
Designed to acquaint listeners with the rich history and diversity of American jazz through performance, musical examples, and discussion, this 26-session series is a joint project of the Kennedy Center and National Public Radio, which will begin to release programs recorded live at the Kennedy Center beginning in the fall of 1995. Guests of Billy Taylor and his Trio are Frank Wess, Jon Hendricks, Arturo Sandoval, Kenny Burrell, Clark Terry, Jane Ira Bloom, Ray Barretto, Gary Burton, Marian McPartland, Jon Faddis, Wallace Roney, Milt Jackson, Turtle Island String Quartet, James Moody, Ernie Andrews, Benny Golson, Ernestine Anderson, Joe Kennedy, Jr., Dianne Reeves, Lee Konitz, Harry Sweets Edison, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Larry Coryell, Antonio Hart, and Stanley Turrentine.

National Symphony Orchestra - June 17, 1994
Mstislav Rostropovich was paid tribute with Salute to Slava, featuring Isaac Stern, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Sir Neville Marriner, Awadagin Pratt, Chee-Yun, and others. The program was telecast nationally as part of Kennedy Center Presents, a co-production with WETA-TV.


The Washington Opera - November 13 - 28, 1993; February 26 - March 20, 1994
Nelly Miriciolu triumphed as Anna Bolena; revivals of critically acclaimed productions of Un Ballo in Maschera and Madama Butterfly also won plaudits.

The Washington Opera - December 18, 1993 - February 13, 1994
The world premiere of Dominick Argento's The Dream of Valentino was the highlight of the company's Eisenhower Theater season. Also performed were The Daughter of the Regiment starring Tracy Dahl, and Ariadne auf Naxos.


Paul Taylor Dance Company - February 22 - 27, 1994
Seven spectacular works were performed, including old favorites -- Arden Court, Esplanade -- and two Washington, D.C. premieres: A Field of Grass and Spendthrift.

Boston Ballet - March 22 - 27, 1994
Breakers, by modern dance genius Merce Cunningham, was the fifth premiere ballet in the Kennedy Center Ballet Commissioning Project. This world-renowned company also performed a full-length Don Quixote and Twyla Tharp's energetic In the Upper Room.

Lewitzky Dance Company - March 23 - 23, 1994
Founded by its award-winning director/choreographer Bella Lewitzky, this company was presented as part of Dance America by the Kennedy Center and WPAS.

The Royal Ballet - April 6 - 17, 1994
The highlight of the three-program engagement was Anthony Dowell's world premiere of Sleeping Beauty with stunning sets and costumes by Phantom of the Opera designer Maria Bjornson. Also showing off this celebrated company was the full-length tragedy Mayerling and Kenneth MacMillan's delightful Tales of Beatrix Potter and The Dream.

Dance Theatre of Harlem - April 19 - May 1, 1994
In the company's 25th anniversary season, Artistic Director Arthur Mitchell's signature style was demonstrated fully with stunning productions of Michael Smuin's A Song for Dead Warriors, Alvin Ailey's The River, and Balanchine's Allegro Brilliante. Forty young local dancers from the Kennedy Center-DTH Washington, D.C. Residency joined principals in Bach Passacaglia. Ron Cunningham's wild Etosha was featured. In April 1995 DTH returned, continuing its annual visits and ongoing residency.

San Francisco Ballet - May 17 - 22, 1994
The company returned to Washington with the world premiere of the sixth work created by the Kennedy Center Ballet Commissioning Project: Donald McKayle's colorful Gumbo Ya-Ya, plus Mark Morris's Maelstrom.

Special Events

A Talk With Laurie Anderson - September 30, 1993
The quirky performance artist returned to open Something New at the Kennedy Center. The season included clown Bob Berkey, a showing of the classic Charlie Chaplin film The Gold Rush with the musical score restored and conducted by Gilian Anderson, the stunning neon light show presented by Theatre Fantastique Matrix, and the Liz Lerman dance company.

The Sixteenth Kennedy Center Honors Gala - December 5, 1993
Honoring Johnny Carson, Arthur Mitchell, Georg Solti, Stephen Sondheim, and Marion Williams.

Light From Within, The Arts of Japan - March 28 - 30, 1994
Concurrently with the opening of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Kennedy Center presented, for the first time in the United States, a display of Neputa, the unique harvest festival parade floats from the northern Japanese city of Hirosaki, in the Atrium. A program by Saeko Ichinoe and Company, blending traditional Japanese costumes and movement with contemporary dance, followed in the Terrace Theater.

1994-95 Season


Flyin' West - September 10 - October 9, 1994
Ruby Dee starred in this play by Pearl Cleage portraying the lives of black women in turn-of-the-century Nicodemus, Kansas.

Black Nativity - December 20, 1994 - January 1, 1995
Langston Hughes's dazzling gospel play retells the Christmas story in music and dance.

Tommy - December 20 - January 21, 1995
Tommy, the first rock opera, brought rave reviews and a younger crowd to the Kennedy Center; directed by Des McAnuff with music and lyrics by Peter Townshend.

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying - January 29 - February 26, 1995
Matthew Broderick starred in this Frank Loesser/Abe Burrows show - and he won the 1995 Tony Award for his performance.

Crazy for You - May 16 - June 18, 1995
Winner of three 1992 Tony Awards, this toe-tapping musical includes many of the great George Gershwin's most beloved tunes with choreography by Susan Stroman.

Laughter on the 23rd Floor - March 28 - April 23, 1995
Howard Hesseman and Lewis J. Stadlen led the cast of jokers in Neil Simon's play set in the 1950s, the heyday of comic television.

Angels in America - May 2 - June 8 (Part I), and June 9 - July 9 (Part II), 1995
Winner of both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, playwright Tony Kushner describes his two-part epic (I: Millennium Approaches; II: Perestroika) as a gay fantasia on national themes. The production was developed and brought to fruition through the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays.


National Symphony Orchestra - September 9 - 11, 1994
Music Director Designate Leonard Slatkin led the Orchestra for the first time since the spring 1994 announcement that he would be the fifth music director of the National Symphony Orchestra.

Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields - October 1, 1994
Sir Neville Marriner, with 15-year-old violinist Leila Josefowicz, who made her Washington debut the previous season with the Academy and Marriner, returned under the auspices of Washington Performing Arts Society.

Washington Chamber Symphony - October 7, 1994 - March 11, 1995
The Washington Chamber Symphony, Stephen Simon, music director (formerly known as the Handel Festival Orchestra), has presented an annual subscription series of concerts in the Terrace Theater since the fall of 1982. The programs initially focused on the music of Handel and other baroque composers, but Simon has recently expanded the orchestra's repertoire to include all musical eras.

Julia Migenes - October 8, 1994, and Jessye Norman - April 10, 1995
WPAS presented the Washington debut recital of Ms. Mignenes, and the great soprano Jessye Norman returned to her hometown with pianist Ann Schein.

Aulos Ensemble with Julianne Baird - December 7, 1994
Authentic period instruments and Baird's lovely soprano voice brought a freshness to the many Christmas and holiday concerts presented by the Kennedy Center.

The Kennedy Center Messiah Sing-Along - December 23, 1994
Since its opening, as a gift to the community, the Kennedy Center has annually presented numerous free events and low-priced performances in its public spaces and halls during the December holiday season. Each year the free Messiah Sing-Along has attracted an overflow audience of participants to the Concert Hall on December 23. Other events presented annually in the Concert Hall during the Kennedy Center Holiday Celebration include WMAL's Christmas Eve at the Kennedy Center (free), a live, four-hour broadcast from the Concert Hall featuring local talent; The Spirit of Gospel Music, a free concert featuring local gospel choirs and singers; and New Year's Eve at the Kennedy Center, a paid admission concert performed for the past two seasons by members of the National Symphony Orchestra and followed by dancing in the Grand Foyer free to all.

National Symphony Orchestra - January 12-17, 1995
Music Director Designate Leonard Slatkin returned to lead the NSO in Mahler's Second Symphony (Resurrection), with soloists Elizabeth Futral and Claudine Carlson and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. The final performance was attended by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers - January 26, 1995
Well into a Terrace Concerts season of 32 concerts presenting artists and ensembles as different as the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra with guest violist Kim Kashkashian, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, and a solo flute recital by Paula Robison, the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers arrived to take the audience by storm with a joyous celebration of songs arising from the deep roots of black music in American society. Two months later countertenor Derek Lee Ragin amazed his audience with a demonstration of his unusual gift, a male alto voice of the greatest clarity and purity, in songs from the baroque to Barber. Ragin capped his recital with a round of spirituals.

A Cappella All-Stars - February 11, 1995
The sold-out A Cappella All-Stars- Brock and the Rockets, the Metronomes, Reverb, and Barry Hemphill's Arlington Metropolitan Chorus Ensemble - opened Washington, Front & Center!, an ongoing series presenting the best of Washington-area artists and companies.

Wynton Marsalis - March 22, 1995
WPAS presented the versatile jazz and classical trumpet virtuoso, performing with his quartet including jazz stars Ali Jackson (drums), Eric Reed (piano), and Reuben R. Rogers (bass).

Mozart: A Summer Music Festival - June 23 - 25, 1995
Christopher Hogwood, artistic director
For the third consecutive season, Christopher Hogwood has led the National Symphony Orchestra in this three-day series of lectures, concerts, and demonstrations which each year has explored a different aspect of Mozart's life and music.


The Washington Opera - November 13 - 27, 1994; March 18 - April 9, 1995
A stunning new Carmen starring Denyce Graves concluded the season. Repertory also included a new production of Faust, the cherished Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production of Le Nozze di Figaro, and the first American staging in more than 80 years of Tiefland.

The Washington Opera - December 31, 1994 - February 19, 1995
The Bartered Bride was a Washington premiere; Brenda Harris sang her first Semele, and Vanessa, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, returned to the repertory in a provocative new production during the company's Eisenhower Theater season.


The Australian Ballet - October 11 - 16, 1994
The centerpiece of the Kennedy Center Festival Australia, this world-renowned company performed Don Quixote plus a mixed bill featuring recent works by young Australian choreographers.

Pennsylvania Ballet - October 18 - 23, 1994
The Pennsylvania Ballet gave the world premiere of the sixth ballet created through the Kennedy Center Ballet Commissioning Project - David Parsons's Mood Swing - and Swan Lake.

Ghettoriginal Productions - January 10 - 11, 1995
The opening of this season's Dance America series presented by WPAS and the Kennedy Center, this energetic, youthful company from New York employs street dancing to enliven their modern choreography.

American Ballet Theatre - February 28 - March 5, 1995
Playing to a nearly sold-out crowd, American Ballet Theatre performed Manon as well as the world premiere of Twyla Tharp's How Near Heaven.

Ballet National de Marseille Roland Petit - March 7 - 12, 1995
Luigi Bonino starred as Charlie Chaplin in Petit's Chaplin Dances.

Young Uck-Kim Recital with Dance - March 8, 1995
The world-renowned violinist, with pianist Staffan Scheja, performed a program of music by Stravinsky and Ravel, capping the concert with Stravinsky's Duo concertante featuring two principal dancers of the New York City Ballet - Darci Kistler and Nikolaj Hübbe.

Miami City Ballet - April 25 - 30, 1995
The highlight of the Kennedy Center's Salute to Florida (honoring the state's sesquicentennial), this young company's Washington, D.C., debut featured the world premiere of the seventh Kennedy Center commissioned ballet - Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Mystery of the Dancing Princesses - as well as a full-length Jewels.

Special Events

The Kennedy Center Festival Australia: - October 1994
    Chamber Made Opera: Medea - October 11 - 12
    Melbourne's Chamber Made Opera brought its critically acclaimed, modern production of the age-old, tragic story of a woman scorned and her family.

    Circus Oz - October 12 - 16, 1994
    The Kennedy Center Festival Australia presented Australia's fabulous and funny avant-garde circus troupe.

    An Evening with Zoe Caldwell - October 13
    The veteran actress Zoe Caldwell spent an evening regaling the audience with stories from her long and distinguished stage career.

    Tjapukai Aboriginal Dance Company - October 14
    Tjapukai, from Queensland, gave a program of authentic Aboriginal music and dance.

    Michael Kieran Harvey - October 15
    Pianist Michael Harvey, co-winner of the 1993 Ivo Pogorelich International Solo Piano Competition, brought a program of works by contemporary Australian composers.

    Australian Films (AFI Theater) - October 10 - 16
    Urban Australian films were shown in the AFI Theater

    Readings by Australian Authors (Library & Theater Lab) - October 10 - 16
    For the first time the Center presented readings by prominent authors: Thomas Keneally, Robert Hughes, Jill Ker Conway, Frank Moorhouse, Glenda Adams, Kate Grenville, Peter Carey, and David Malouf.

The Seventeenth Kennedy Center Honors Gala - December 4, 1994
Honoring Kirk Douglas, Aretha Franklin, Morton Gould, Harold Prince, and Pete Seeger.

The Art of the Samurai: Flashing Swords and Fighting Kites - March 26 - 28, 1995
This Japan Festival program included, in the Atrium, a display of the Fighting Kites of Shirone, with demonstrations of Kumitaiko drumming and Tate ceremonial sword fighting. Following a brief intermission during which Japanese-style refreshments were served, the Japanese folk drama Akoh-Gishi was performed depicting a legendary incident in 1701 when the Akoh Samurai rebelled against the stern rule of the Shogunate.

1995-96 Season


Hello, Dolly! - September 12 - October 8, 1995
The Kennedy Center's 25th anniversary theater season opened with Carol Channing starring in a sparkling new production of one of the most beloved musical comedies.

Master Class - September 14 - October 22, 1995
Theater legend Zoe Caldwell returned in a pre-Broadway engagement of Terrence McNally's stunning new work, which went on to earn Tony Awards for both the actress and the playwright..

Three Tall Women - November 7 - December 3, 1995
Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning play was one of the year's theatrical highlights.

State Fair - January 2 - 28, 1996
John Davidson, Andrea McArdle, Kathryn Crosby, and Donna McKechnie starred in Rodgers & Hammerstein's State Fair.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - February 21 - March 17, 1996
The Kennedy Center co-produced the Royal Shakespeare Company's American tour of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which played the Eisenhower Theater before moving to Broadway.

Nomathemba - April 17 - May 19, 1996
As part of the its longstanding commitment to fostering new plays and playwrights, the Kennedy Center collaborated with Crossroads Theatre Company to produce Nomathemba, a South African drama with music by Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast - June - September 1996
This Washington premiere engagement set box office records during a four-month run.


National Symphony Orchestra - 1995 - 96
The NSO celebrated the legacy of Ludwig van Beethoven throughout the season, performing all of the composer's symphonies and concertos, and offered the premieres of 25 new fanfares by American composers commissioned by the Kennedy Center (with support from the John and June Hechinger Commissioning Fund) in honor of its 25th Anniversary.

Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival - April 29 - May 1, 1996
This festival brought established stars like Marian McPartland together with up-an-comers like Dee Dee Bridgewater and Diva---No Man's Band for three days of performances, seminars, films, and free lunchtime jam sessions in the Grand Foyer


The Washington Opera - November 4 - 25, 1995; March 10, 1996
The 40th anniversary season opened with Giuseppe Verdi's Luisa Miller. In March, The Domingo Gala honoring incoming Artistic Director Placido Domingo. Repertory also included Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Der Rosenkavalier.


America Dancing - 1995 - 96
The Kennedy Center launched an ambitious five-year retrospective of modern dance, paying tribute to immortals including the pioneering choreographer Isadora Duncan, the fabled Denishawn school, the team of Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, and Jose Limon.

Cloud Gate Dance Theatre - October 14, 1995
Cloud Gate presented the American premiere of Nine Songs, a contemporary dance drama based on classical Chinese literature.

Suzanne Farrell Stages Balanchine - October 17 - 22, 1995
Attracting international attention during a week of performances in the Opera House, the Kennedy Center commissioned a one-time-only staging of George Balanchine ballets by his protégé and muse, Suzanne Farrell.

Martha Graham Dance Company - November 2 - 5, 1995
The Martha Graham Dance Company offered a 50th-anniversary staging of Appalachian Spring, along with the world premiere of theater artist Robert Wilson's critically acclaimed tribute to Martha Graham, Snow on the Mesa.

The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago - December 6 - 17, 1995
With support from the Kennedy Center Ballet Commissioning Project, the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago premiered Legends, five dances by women choreographers.

American Ballet Theatre - March 26 - 31, 1996
Highlights included performances of Sir Kenneth MacMillan's evening-length Romeo and Juliet.

Special Events

The Eighteenth Kennedy Center Honors Gala - December 1995
Honoring Jacques d'Amboise, Marilyn Horne, Riley B.B. King, Sidney Poitier, and Neil Simon.

enteringartnature - March 25 - 30, 1996
For its annual springtime celebration of the arts of Japan, the Kennedy Center commissioned a room-size bamboo installation from sculptor/painter/filmmaker Hiroshi Teshigahara.

The Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary Gala: A Salute to the Performing Arts - April 27, 1996
The Kennedy Center marked a quarter-century with a spectacular gala performance and dinner celebrating this nation's achievements in the performing arts. Highlights of the evening included performances by the National Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin, the American Ballet Theatre, musical theater star Colm Wilkinson, actor Richard Dreyfuss, vocalist Aretha Franklin, Dr. Billy Taylor with the jazz big band Diva, and many, many others.

1996-97 Season


Mrs. Klein - September 17 - October 20, 1996
Legendary actress Uta Hagen returned in the psychological drama Mrs. Klein.

Damn Yankees - December 10, 1996 - January 12, 1997
Jerry Lewis held court as the Devil in the smash Broadway revival of Damn Yankees.

Golden Child - February 22 - March 30, 1997
The Kennedy Center staged acclaimed playwright David Henry Hwang's new work, developed by the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays.

The King and I - April 16 - May 18, 1997
The Kennedy Center's Tony-winning co-production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I transported Opera House audiences to 19th-century Siam, with help from an international cast that included screen and stage star Hayley Mills.

Valley Song - April 29 - May 25, 1997
The Kennedy Center co-produced (with Los Angeles' Center Theater Group) playwright Athol Fugard's haunting, lyrical poem to the new South Africa, Valley Song.

The Phantom of the Opera - June - October 1997
This blockbuster musical played for its third sold-out summer engagement.

By Jeeves - June 4 - August 31, 1997
Audiences were thrilled to see the newest musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber: By Jeeves, an adaptation of P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves-and-Wooster stories that Lloyd Webber created with playwright/director Alan Ayckbourn.


National Symphony Orchestra with Bobby McFerrin - November 23, 1996
Music man Bobby McFerrin wowed Washingtonians when he conducted the National Symphony Orchestra concerts for families and school children.

National Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin - April 3 - 5, 1997
As part of the African Odyssey festival, Leonard Slatkin conducted African Portraits, an opera combining jazz performers and the symphony orchestra tracing the effect of slavery upon the world.


The Washington Opera - November 9 - December 1, 1996
Repertory included Il Guarany and La Boheme.


America Dancing - 1996 - 97
The second season of the Center's ambitious retrospective of 20th-century modern dance, America Dancing, featured the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, THARP!, and The Paul Taylor Dance Company.

American Ballet Theatre - October 1996
The ballet season featured ABT's full-length Romeo and Juliet.

Dance Theatre of Harlem - April 8 - 13, 1997
The annual return of DTH coincided with the conclusion of the fourth season of the Kennedy Center/Dance Theatre of Harlem Community Initiative in Dance, which has enabled more than 200 talented young dancers from the Washington area to study with DTH instructors and perform with the company.

Garth Fagan Dance - April 22 - 23, 1997
As part of the multi-year African Odyssey festival, choreographer Garth Fagan was commissioned to create an African-themed work for young people.

Special Events

The Kennedy Center 25th Birthday Open House Arts Festival - September 8, 1996
The 12th annual open house offered free performances of music, theater, and dance.

The Nineteenth Kennedy Center Honors Gala - December 1996
Honoring Edward Albee, Benny Carter, Johnny Cash, Jack Lemmon, and Maria Tallchief.

Millennium Stage - debuted March 1997
As part of Chairman James A. Johnson's "Performing Arts for Everyone" initiative and its commitment to a free performance every day of the year, the Center debuted the Millennium Stage with an opening weekend that drew audiences totaling more than 8,000.

1997-98 Season


Neil Simon's Proposals - October 1 - 26, 1997
It was affairs of the heart, the ties that bind, and plenty of laughter to go with them in this pre-Broadway production of Pulitzer Prize winner Neil Simon's newest work.

Smokey Joe's Cafe - December 23, 1997 - January 18, 1998
This smash Broadway hit rocked and rolled to the '50s and '60s tunes written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller -- from Elvis' pelvis-grinding "Hound Dog" to the Coasters' sassy "Yakety Yak."

Dreamgirls - January 20 - February 15, 1998
The Kennedy Center staged Michael Bennett's glittering, tune-filled tale of a '60s girl group clawing its way to the top. Winner of six Tony Awards.

Brothers of the Knight - April 17 - 26, 1998; July 7 - 19, 1998
Debbie Allen's hip, dance-driven drama, an original Kennedy Center production, was adapted from the classic fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Showboat - May 28 - July 19, 1998
Harold Prince directed the Tony-winning revival of this landmark musical.

Royal Shakespeare Company - June 9 - 21, 1998; June 24 - July 5, 1998
A mini-festival of four plays, including Hamlet and Cymbeline, featured the troupe recognized around the world as the foremost contemporary interpreters of Shakespeare's works.


A Celebration of America's Music - October 26, 1997
Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and the Kennedy Center presented A Celebration of America's Music, hosted by Bill Cosby.

NSO Caribbean Festival - June 11 -13, 1998
Dominican-born jazz pianist Michel Camilo served as artistic director for this festival also featuring Latin-jazz superstars Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D'Rivera.


The Washington Opera - November 12 - 29, 1997; January 7 - February 14, 1998; March 7 - 28, 1998
Repertory included Romeo and Juliette, The Magic Flute, and Don Giovanni.


Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company - October 31 - November 2, 1997
This spectacular and moving program featured the world premiere of We Set Out Early . . . Visibility Was Poor, performed to music by Igor Stravinsky and contemporary Latvian Peteris Vasks, and featuring video images created by the acclaimed art photographer Lynn Davis.

The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago - December 9-14, 1997
Ballet Russes' adventurous spirit lives on in the legendary Joffrey Ballet, which performed its predecessor's brilliant and beloved works -- including Nijinsky's L'Aprés-midi d'un faune and Leonide Massine's Parade -- along with two contemporary classics from Gerald Arpino, Kettentanz and Sea Shadow.

Tribute to the Solo - March 3 - 5, 1998
An all-star exploration of one of our most powerful forms of expression, this evening of dance featured a collection of today's greatest dancers presenting dynamite solos created by Martha Graham, Jane Dudley, Helen Tamiris, Mary Wigman, Martha Clarke, and others.

American Ballet Theatre - April 7 - 12, 1998
The extraordinary ABT returned to its favorite stage for performances featuring a brand-new staging of Fredric Franklin's Coppélia, Tudor's incendiary Pillar of Fire, and Balanchine's elegant Theme and Variations.

Special Events

Millennium Stage - 1997 - 98
As part of Chairman James A. Johnson's "Performing Arts for Everyone" initiative and its commitment to a free performance every day of the year, the Millennium Stage continued to draw large crowds of people -- many of them new to the Kennedy Center, and some of them attending a live performance for the very first time.

The Kennedy Center Open House: A Salute to the Circus - September 7, 1997
The 13th annual open house offered free performances of music, theater, and dance.

The Twentieth Kennedy Center Honors Gala - December 1997
Honoring Lauren Bacall, Bob Dylan, Charlton Heston, Jessye Norman, and Edward Villella.

The Kennedy Center Art of the State "Israel at 50: A Celebration of Statehood" Festival - Spring 1998
Featured Gesher Theatre in Isaac Babel's City (Odessa Stories), The Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv - Itim Ensemble in Va Yomer. Va Yelech. (And He Said. And He Walked.), and the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company.

1998-1999 Season


The Captain's Tiger - September 22 - November 1, 1998
As part of The Kennedy Center African Odyssey, the internationally acclaimed playwright Athol Fugard returned to the Center with his latest play. The Captain's Tiger is a wryly funny tale about an innocent young man who, dreaming of fame as a writer, signs on for a voyage on a bucket of bolts bound for the seamiest ports in Asia.

The Magic Fire - November 10-December 6, 1998
This play, a moving portrait of an unforgettable family of international eccentrics marooned by fate in Buenos Aires at the time of Eva Peron's death, was developed with the help of the 1998 Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays.

Annie Get Your Gun - January 1 - 24, 1999
Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat starred in this sassy revival of Irving Berlin's 1946 smash hit that produced such Broadway classic tunes as "You Can't Get a Man With a Gun," "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly," "Anything You Can Do," and "There's No Business Like Show Business."

The Gin Game - April 6-May 2, 1999
L. Coburn's Pulitzer prize-winning comedy of a rivalry and budding romance between two stubborn retirees who break through their loneliness to forge a friendship over a tumultuous series of gin games was directed by Charles Nelson Riley and starred Tony Award-winners Julie Harris and Charles Durning.

Red, White and Tuna - June 1-6, 1999
Joe Sears and Jason Williams brought the third installment of their Tuna series to the Kennedy Center for three weeks of hilarity.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company in The Complete Millennium Musical (Abridged) - June 1-July 25, 1999
This over-the-top trio of actors performed their side-splitting, musical version of the history of the world to sell-out audiences.

Titanic - July 7 - August 25, 1999
The extraordinary success of Titanic, a Kennedy Center co-production, is documented in its five Tony Awards, its huge box office, and rave reviews.


National Symphony Orchestra - September 10-19, 1998
The Beethoven Festival returned with guest artistic director Robert Shaw in what were to be his last performances with the NSO. Beethoven's choral works were the centerpiece of this festival. Works performed included Missa Solemnis in D major, Opus 123; the Choral Fantasy, Opus 80; and Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125. Festival performers included the Cathedral Choral Society, Dominique Labelle, Marietta Simpson, Richard Clement, Nathan Berg, and The Choral Arts Society of Washington, Norman Scribner, music director.

Duke Ellington 100th Anniversary - February 5, 1999
The Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Institution joined in this celebration of this great, seminal figure in jazz. The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra was conducted by David Baker, and The Billy Taylor Trio, and guest artists including FIND FILE.

The Americanos Concert: A Celebration of Latin Music - July 15, 1999
Hosted by actor/director Edward James Olmos, this high-energy performance was sold out. The event starred leading artists including Cachao, Paquito D'Rivera, Sheila E, Gloria Estefan, and José Feliciano. The program was taped by WETA-TV for later broadcast on PBS as part of the series "The Kennedy Center Presents."


The Washington Opera - October 24 - November 28, 1998; February 13 - March 24, 1999
A season of five first Washington Opera productions opened with superstars Mirella Freni and Plácido Domingo in Fedora. José Cura and Denyce Graves starring in the title roles of Samson et Dalila, with Plácido Domingo conducting. Simon Boccanegra starred bass baritone Simon Estes and the cast of Boris Godunov was led by bass Samuel Ramey in the tour-de-force title role. The North American premiere of the rarely performed Sly starred José Carreras who made his Washington Opera in his first appearance in an American opera production since 1987. Tristan und Isolde featured some of Europe's finest singers.


American Ballet Theater - September 29 - October 4, 1998
One of America's greatest companies returned to the Kennedy Center with two programs including The Merry Widow, Jerome Robbins' Fancy Free, Anthony Tudor's Pillar of Fire, and Clark Tippet's Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1.

The Stanislavsky Ballet - December 9 - 13, 1998 and December 15-20, 1998
In its only U.S. engagement, the Kennedy Center brought the Stanislavsky Ballet with two productions in their American premieres: the company's lauded holiday production of The Nutcracker and it new, landmark production of Swan Lake, staged by the preeminent Soviet choreographer Vladimir Burmeister.

Dance Theater of Harlem - March 30 - April 4, 1999
Dance Theater of Harlem celebrated its 30th season with many reasons to rejoice. This internationally acclaimed troupe of extraordinary young dancers came to the Kennedy Center with a distinguished repertoire that included works by the 20th century's masters.

Philadanco - April 16 - 18, 1999
The Philadelphia Dance Company returned to the Kennedy Center's Imagination Celebration for another "soul-stirring" (The Washington Post) performance geared towards young people.

Royal Swedish Ballet - June 8 - 13, 1999
In its first Kennedy Center engagement the Royal Swedish ballet danced a collection of works by the legendary Ballet Suedois.

Special Events

The Twenty-first Kennedy Center Honors Gala - December 6, 1998
Honoring Bill Cosby , John Kander & Fred Ebb, Willie Nelson, André Previn, and Shirley Temple (Black)

1999-2000 Season


Side Man - November 3 - 28, 1999
Andrew McCarthy starred, with the Broadway cast, in Warren Leight's Tony Award-winning hit Side Man, a touching, humorous eulogy for the ghosts, sometimes living, in the halls of the American family and the spirits that have given their lives for music. The score included music by Benny Goodman, Hoagy Carmichael, Donald Byrd, and others.

Wit - February 29 - March 26, 2000
Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning first play was been praised for its script, stagecraft and stunningly acted portrayal of the life and death of a woman-a scholar steeped in the prose and poetry of John Donne. Judith Light starred.

Art - April 11 - May 7, 2000
This play by Yasmina Reza and starring Judd Hirsch, revolves around the purchase by Serge, a Parisian dermatologist, of a modern painting-white stripes on a white canvas, and its effect on three friends. (The play won the 1995 Moliere Award for its original Paris production, received. the 1996/97 Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award in London and the Broadway production of Art won the 1998 Tony for Best Play.)

The Dinner Party - June 17-July 16, 2000
Neil Simon set this hilarious comedy in a gilded, glittering gourmet restaurant in Paris. The ensemble cast included Henry Winkler, John Ritter, Len Cariou, Veanne Cox, Penny Fuller, and Anette Michelle Sanders. It was directed by John Rando in its pre-Broadway engagement.


National Symphony Orchestra - Beethoven Festival, September 8 - 18, 1999
Music Director Leonard Slatkin led this year's festival, devoted to all the works for solo instrument and orchestra, including several fragments of concertos left unpublished at Beethoven's death. Featured artists were Hilary Hahn, the Ying Quartet, Garrick Ohlsson, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, in addition to members of the National Symphony Orchestra.

New Year's Eve with Billy Taylor and Friends - December 31, 1999
A stellar 1999-2000 jazz season was highlighted by a star-studded, live nationwide Millennium New Year's Eve public radio broadcast from the Terrace Theater featuring the Billy Taylor Trio, saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, guitarist Russell Malone, vocalist Marlena Shaw, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and vibraphonist Stefon Harris.

Leif Ove Andsnes, pianist - January 22, 2000
Commissioned by the Washington Performing Arts Society, Mark Anthony Turnage's new work for piano received its world premiere during this recital by Leif Ove Andsnes.

Dame Cleo Laine and the John Dankworth Group - February 11, 2000
British jazz artist Dame Cleo Laine and the John Dankworth Group returned as part of the Louis Armstrong Legacy series to premiere three new works commissioned for Laine by the Kennedy Center: "The Fools of Time," by composer Frank Proto and lyricist John Chenault; "The Morning of the Imminent" (Millennium Suite), by jazz composer Tommy Smith and the newly appointed Poet Laureate of Scotland Edwin Morgan; and "The Bard Sings," by John Dankworth using poems by William Shakespeare. Works representing the 20th-century masters of jazz and popular music were also performed to the sell-out house.

Cho-Liang Lin and André Michel Schub - February 19, 2000
Miró String Quartet with violist Donald Weilerstein - March 26, 2000
A stellar violin/piano duo and a prize-winning quartet joined by an acclaimed, veteran violist performed to sold-out on the Fortas Chamber Music Concerts audiences.


The Washington Opera - October 23 - November 27, 1999; February 12 - March 19, 2000
Operas spanning the years 1724 to 1955 included the first American staging in more than 90 years of Jules Massanet's Le Cid, starring Plácido Domingo as the legendary Spanish hero. Rigoletto, Susannah, Julius Caesar, a new production of Puccini's Tosca in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the opera's premiere, and Otello, conducted by Placido Domingo and starring José Cura and Ian DeNolfo, who alternated in the title role.

Martin Guerre - December 23, 1999 - January 16, 2000
Martin Guerre, a classic of French literature, was adapted as a musical by Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schönberg and produced by Cameron Mackintosh.

The Washington Opera - December 29, 1999 - January 25, 2000
Bellini's lyrical and romantic bel canto opera, I Puritani, was presented for the first time.


Suzanne Farrell Stages the Masters of 20th Century Ballet - October 21 - 24, 1999
The Kennedy Center produced a world premiere production for the Millennium Season, Suzanne Farrell Stages the Masters of 20th Century Ballet. Suzanne Farrell, one of the icons of 20th century ballet, takes her cue from the masters of ballet with whom she studied, danced and admired. The works of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Maurice Béjart took on a new life with Ms. Farrell and the grace of the company she selected.

American Ballet Theatre - March 21 - 26, 2000
ABT brought two world premiere productions: The Russian classic Swan Lake choreographed after Petipa by company artistic director Kevin McKenzie and Variations on a Theme by Haydn choreographed by Twyla Tharp.

The Houston Ballet - March 28 - April 2, 2000
The full-length ballet Dracula, choreographed by Ben Stevenson, gave an Eastern European literary legend artistic perspective of the New World.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - May 2 - 7, 2000
In partnership with the Kennedy Center, the Washington Performing Arts Society co-presented the return of the internationally praised Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with all new works by up-and-coming choreographers Ron Brown and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar.

The Bolshoi Ballet - May 30 - June 4, 2000
This seminal company, brought to the United States for the first time in a decade by the Kennedy Center, began a triumphant, critically acclaimed five-city tour at the Center. The Bolshoi's performances showcased its original production of Romeo and Juliet-a collaboration in the 1940s of the choreographer Leonid Lavrovsky, the composer Prokofiev, and the legendary Bolshoi ballerina Ulanova, and its new staging of Don Quixote by company artistic director Alexei Fadeechev.

Special Events

The Twenty-second Kennedy Center Honors Gala - December 5, 1999
Honoring comedian and pianist Victor Borge, actor Sean Connery, dancer and teacher Judith Jamison, actor Jason Robards, and singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder.



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