On the eve of Memorial Day, a star-studded line-up will grace the stage for one of PBS' highest-rated programs, the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT. The multi award-winning television event has truly become an American tradition, honoring the service and sacrifice of all our men and women in uniform, their families at home and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The concert will feature riveting performances from some of the world's biggest stars. In addition, acclaimed actors will present personal stories of love and sacrifice submitted by viewers through the concert's "Virtual Wall of Remembrance" (see page 3.) The NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT will air live in HD on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol tonight, May 27, 2012 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.
The program is co-hosted for the seventh year by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna (CRIMINAL MINDS) and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise (CSI:NEW YORK), two acclaimed actors who have dedicated themselves to veteran's causes and supporting our troops in active service. They will be joined by an all-star line-up including: distinguished American leader Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.); the multi-platinum rock band Daughtry; nine-time Grammy award-winner, singer and songwriter Natalie Cole; country music superstar Trace Adkins; acclaimed film and television actress Selma Blair; Emmy, Oscar and Tony award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn; Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor and Vietnam veteran Dennis Franz; and world renowned tenor Russell Watson; in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly (additional talent to be announced).
Mantegna made his Broadway debut in Stephen Schwartz's musical adaptaion of Studs Terkel's Working. He was awarded the Tony and Joseph Jefferson Award for his acclaimed performance as cynical real-estate agent Richard Roma in David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross.
The actor also starred in the theatrical premiere of A Life in the Theater, The Disappearance of the Jews at the Goodman Theater, and in the Broadway production of Speed the Plow with Ron Silver and Madonna. In addition, he directed a critically acclaimed stage production of Mamet's Lakeboat, starring Ed O'Neil and George Wendt, in a successful Los Angeles theatrical run.