Nat'l Memorial Day Concert Headliner Alfie Boe Prepares for Sunday's PBS Telecast


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Today is a big day in Washington D.C. as some of the world's best entertainers prepare for the annual National Memorial Day concert to be aired live on PBS tomorrow evening.

Hosted by Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds) and Gary Sinise (CSI: New York), the concert will again celebrate the nation's heroes, those who have given of themselves in the military. A special address will be given by Retired General Colin Powell.

A salute will be included to the late Charles Durning, the robust character actor who passed away last December. Durning had been a regular participant in the concert for years. In fact, Mantegna credits Durning for getting him involved with the concert.

Added Sinise, "Joe's the reason that I'm there, so Charlie's the reason we're both there. It was through the concert that I met Charlie, which was terrific; Joe knew him better because he'd done the concert longer."

Rehearsals for the performers began on Friday the 24th at the Kennedy Center and continue through the day on Sunday. Saturday's run through are open to the media and have resulted in some excellent photographs and footage. Photos from today's rehearsal are being added as it happens at Flickr: Capital Concerts' Photostream.

The event features British multi-genre singer Alfie Boe (pictured here with his wife, Sarah, at the Kennedy Center), who is joined by classical artists Katherine Jenkins and Chris Mann, each accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra.

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Boe was interviewed on Friday by Larry London on Voice of America, tweeting the listeners to an amazing a capella rendition of Bring Him Home, the Les Miserables standard that is now his signature song. It is indeed the song he will sing to the troops Sunday evening on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The Fleetwood native also sang Rank Strangers, a spine tingling presentation that wowed London as well. He also reiterated his plans to tour America in 2014 beginning on the west coast. He said it would "be a big ole trek" that would include east and central portions of the United States as well. Dates are being finalized.


Boe will be in Washington D.C. until Monday, after which he'll make a quick trip to Chicago, presumably to do some advance work with PBS on his upcoming DVD release. The DVD was shot on April 8 at the Royal Albert Hall in London and features music from his Storyteller CD. That CD was released last November in the UK but is just hitting America on August 6. Around that time, PBS is slated to start airing the DVD on its stations around the country.

Airtime for the concert is 8pm with a repeat following the 90-minute event directly afterward.

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