Review: ‘Like a Boss,’ starring Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek

January 10, 2020

by Carla Hay

Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek in "Like a Boss"
Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek in “Like a Boss” (Photo by Eli Joshua Ade/Paramount Pictures)

“Like a Boss”

Directed by Miguel Arteta

Culture Representation: Taking place in Atlanta and centered on the beauty industry, the comedy “Like a Boss” has a racially diverse cast that includes representation of white people, African Americans, Latinos and Asians in the middle and upper classes.

Culture Clash: Pandering to the worst stereotypes of women, the plot of “Like a Boss” is basically about a corporate catfight.

Culture Audience: “Like a Boss” will appeal primarily to people who like mindless comedies that sink to low and crude levels.

Tiffany Haddish, Salma Hayek and Rose Byrne in “Like a Boss” (Photo by Eli Joshua Ade/Paramount Pictures)

If you were someone who sat through the excruciatingly dumb trailer of “Like a Boss” as it played during previews of a movie you saw in a theater, you might have seen from the repulsed reactions of people in the audience that this movie was not only a turn-off but it was also going to be a flop. “Like a Boss” tries to pass itself off as a raunchy feminist film, but in the end, the movie (written and directed by men) treats women like trash by presenting them as clueless about business and being at their cruelest to other women. “Like a Boss” director Miguel Arteta and screenwriters Adam Cole-Kelly and Sam Pitman should be embarrassed about putting this crap into the world, because it shows how inept they are at making a female-centric comedy.

The plot centers on entrepreneurs Mel Paige (played by Rose Byrne) and Mia Carter (played by Tiffany Haddish), two best friends since childhood who have an Atlanta store that sells their own brand of beauty products called M&M. Mel handles the financial matters of the business, while Mia handles the creative aspects. On the surface, things seem to be going well, but Mel is hiding a secret that she eventually confesses to Mia: their company is $493,000 in debt. (This isn’t a spoiler, since the confession is in the movie’s trailers. And if you’ve seen the trailers, you’ve basically seen what could be called the best parts of this bad movie.) It doesn’t help the company’s finances that Mia likes to give deep discounts to customers for random reasons.

However, M&M is making enough sales to attract the attention of corporate shark Claire Luna (played by Salma Hayek), the owner of the successful  beauty corporation Ovieda that’s supposed to be a market leader. The writers of this movie clearly don’t know that the biggest U.S.-based beauty companies in America are actually headquartered in New York or Los Angeles, but maybe the filmmakers got financial incentives from Atlanta to have this cheap-looking movie take place there.

Claire swoops in to make an offer to buy 51% of M&M and pay off all the company’s debts. Mel wants to do the deal, but Mia is reluctant because it would break Mel and Mia’s pact to never sell the business. Mia, who is more street-smart than Mel, also senses that Claire can’t be trusted. However, Mel is desperate to erase the company’s debts, and argues with Mia that the sale would be good for the company.

After Claire observes the tension that the proposed deal is causing between the two longtime friends, Claire offers to buy 49% of the company on the condition that if either Mel or Mia leaves the company, Claire will get 51% ownership of the business. Of course, in a movie as stupid and unrealistic as this one, not only do Mel and Mia cave in to Claire’s demands that they make their decision in one day, but they also sign the deal in Claire’s office without any attorneys involved.

As a further insult to women, the screenwriters came up with the catty motivation that Claire targeted Mel and Mia for a takeover because she’s jealous of their close friendship and wants the deal to break up Mel and Mia. It turns out that Claire started Ovieda with her longtime best friend, whom Claire ended up firing because Claire is basically a greedy you-know-what. Claire wants to split up Mel and Mia because Claire failed at working with her best friend, so Claire can’t stand to see two female best friends work well together as business partners. In other words, Claire isn’t thinking like a real business person but is thinking like a petty high schooler. If this corporate raider were a man, there’s no way the filmmakers would come up with this moronic motivation to take over a company.

But the cattiness doesn’t stop there in “Like a Boss.” Mel and Mia have a circle of bourgeois “frenemies”—Kim, Jill and Angela (played by Jessica St. Clair, Natasha Rothwell and Ari Graynor)—mostly married mothers who apparently look down on the unmarried and childless Mel and Mia, who still live like college students. Mel and Mia are roommates who regularly smoke pot and have meaningless flings with boy toys. Meanwhile, Mel and Mia are convinced that their own lifestyles are better than their domesticated friends because Mel and Mia don’t have the responsibilities of husbands and children. Mel and Mia and their “Real Housewives”-type friends spend almost all of their scenes together trying to outdo and impress each other instead of genuinely having fun together as real friends do.

There’s also an unnecessary subplot where Claire pits Mia and Mel against two sexist men named Greg (played by Ryan Hansen) and Ron (played by Jimmy O. Yang), who have their own beauty company that’s competing with M&M for the millions being offered by Claire in the acquisition deal. Greg and Ron are portrayed as dorks who think they’re “woke,” but they’re really dismissive of their customers’ needs. They see beauty products as a way to exploit customers’ insecurities about their looks instead of enhancing natural beauty, and so their company uses a lot of cringeworthy marketing techniques that reflect this condescending attitude.

“Like a Boss” is polluted with some not-very-funny slapstick moments and an annoying fixation on telling jokes about women’s private parts every 10 minutes. There are cheesy Lifetime movies that are better than “Like a Boss,” which certainly isn’t worth spending any money to see. Byrne is capable of doing better work in comedies (as evidenced by “Bridesmaids” and “Neighbors”), but in “Like a Boss,” her Mel character is such a one-dimensional, uptight neurotic that there’s no room for any nuanced complexities.

Haddish continues to put herself in Typecast Hell as the foul-mouthed, quick-tempered, loud caricature that she keeps doing in every movie she’s done since her breakout in 2017’s “Girls Trip,” which is still her best film. Even though her Mia character in “Like a Boss” is college-educated, Mia is an unsophisticated mess. Unfortunately, there are many people in this world who have little or no contact with black women, and they get their ideas and stereotypes of black women from what they see on screen. Fortunately, we have versatile and intelligent actresses like Viola Davis, Regina King and Lupita Nyong’o to offset the damaging, negative stereotypes of black women that Haddish continues to perpetuate in her choice of roles.

“Like a Boss” also has some Hispanic racial stereotyping, since Claire makes Mel and Mia do some salsa-like dance moves with her in the office while Mexican music suddenly plays in the background. (Hayek is Mexican, in case you didn’t know.) There’s also a running gag that Claire can’t speak proper English because she’s constantly mispronouncing and fabricating English words. The not-so-subtle message the filmmakers are conveying is that Latino immigrants who are successful in American business still aren’t smart enough to master the English language. Just because “Like a Boss” director Arteta is also Latino doesn’t excuse this awful stereotyping.

Meanwhile, Hayek and Billy Porter (who plays the sassy Barrett, an openly gay employee of Mel and Mia) have the talent to be doing Oscar-caliber work. Instead, they are slumming it in this garbage movie. Supporting characters that could have been interesting are instead poorly written knock-offs that have been seen countless times before in other movies. Jennifer Coolidge plays the ditzy blonde (Sydney, an employee of Mel and Mia), while Karan Soni plays the villain’s smarmy lackey (Josh, who is Claire’s assistant).

“Like a Boss” is supposed to be a comedy about female empowerment in corporate America, but instead this movie has a very ghetto, misogynistic mindset that belongs in the same trash pile as a bunch of toxic and outdated cosmetics products.

Paramount Pictures released “Like a Boss” in U.S. cinemas on January 10, 2020.

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve: Lucy Hale replaces Jenny McCarthy; Billy Porter named host of New Orleans celebration ringing in 2020

November 26, 2019

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and ABC:

Dick Clark Productions and ABC announced that award-winning actress Lucy Hale, who previously served as host of the New Orleans festivities, will join Ryan Seacrest in Times Square as new co-host in New York for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020.” Emmy, Tony, and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer, director, composer, and playwright Billy Porter will also join the show, taking the reins in the central time zone and making his debut as host of the New Orleans countdown. Returning to the show for her third year, multi-platinum selling artist Ciara will once again oversee the Los Angeles festivities. Ryan Seacrest, who returns as host for his 15th year, will lead the traditional countdown to midnight live from New York City on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST on ABC.

“As we ring in a new decade and my 15th year hosting the show, I’m so excited to welcome the talented Lucy Hale to the stage with me,” said Seacrest. “It’s going to be a powerhouse year with Billy and Ciara and we can’t wait to celebrate with everyone!”

“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020” marks the 48th anniversary of America’s biggest celebration of the year and will include 5 ½ hours of special performances and reports on New Year’s festivities from around the globe. The lineup of performances will be announced in the coming months.

Ciara is a Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter, producer, model and actress. Over her 15-year career, her music catalogue has surpassed more than two billion streams, selling more than 23 million records and 22 million singles worldwide, including chart-topping hits “Goodies,” “Ride,” “Oh,” “1, 2 Step,” “Body Party,” and “I Bet.” Most recently, Ciara released her seventh studio album, Beauty Marks, which spawned platinum-selling hit “Level Up” and is the first release from her newly formed label Beauty Marks Entertainment (BME). In an effort to reclaim creative control over her artistry, Ciara formally launched BME as a boundless platform for her music, media, film, fashion, philanthropy, technology, and entrepreneurial pursuits. Since launching BME, Ciara, alongside husband Russell Wilson, has formed Why Not You? Productions and a management company through his West2East empire. Ciara is a devoted wife and mother of two as well as a philanthropist who sits on the board of her and her husband’s Why Not You? foundation and is dedicated to improving the lives of children and empowering women across the globe.

Multi-talented and dynamic, Hale captured the attention of millions as the star of Freeform’s smash hit series “Pretty Little Liars.” She is the seven-time winner of the Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress, was nominated for People’s Choice Award for Favorite Cable TV Actress in 2017 and presented with the 2013 Gracie Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Rising Star. She recently starred in the thriller “Truth or Dare” from Blumhouse Productions, and the Netflix Original film “Dude.” Hale can next be seen in the titular role of “Katy Keene” premiering on the CW on February 6 as well as in Sony/Blumhouse’s “Fantasy Island” in theaters February 14.  In addition to her thriving acting career, Hale joined forces with Rascal Flatts to release a cover of “Let It Go,” the epic anthem from “Frozen,” for the We Love Disney compilation. This followed the release of her debut album, “Road Between,” the year prior. Hale is repped by Reel Talent Management and ICM Partners.

Porter is an award-winning actor, singer, director, composer, and playwright. He most recently won the Emmy Award for Lead Actor for his appearance in FX’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated drama “Pose,” as well as appeared in “American Horror Story: Apocalypse.” A Hollywood Walk of Fame inductee, Porter has numerous theatre credits, including the role of Lola in the Broadway musical “Kinky Boots,” which he originated in 2013 and for which he won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards, as well as the Grammy for best musical-theatre album. Porter’s pop single “Love Yourself” was released in June.

“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020” is produced by Dick Clark Productions with Ryan Seacrest, Barry Adelman and Mark Bracco serving as executive producers. Larry Klein is producer.

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About Dick Clark Productions
Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. DCP is a division of Valence Media, a diversified and integrated media company with divisions and strategic investments in television, film, live entertainment, digital media and publishing. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

About ABC Entertainment
ABC Entertainment airs compelling programming across all day parts, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” the longest-running medical drama in prime-time television; riveting dramas “The Good Doctor,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “A Million Little Things” and “Station 19”; the Emmy® Award-winning “Modern Family” and trailblazing comedy favorites “American Housewife,” “black-ish,” “Bless This Mess,” “The Conners,” “The Goldbergs,” and “Schooled”; the popular “Summer Fun & Games” programming block, including “Card Sharks,” “Celebrity Family Feud,” “Holey Moley” and “Press Your Luck”; star-making sensation “American Idol”; reality phenomenon “Shark Tank”; “The Bachelor” franchise; long-running hits “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos”; “General Hospital,” which has aired for more than 55 years on the network; and late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”; as well as the critically acclaimed hit special ”Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons.’” The network also boasts some of television’s most prestigious awards shows, including “The Oscars®,” “The CMA Awards” and the “American Music Awards.” ABC programming can also be viewed on ABC.com, the ABC app and Hulu.

2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Celine Dion, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots added to lineup

November 13, 2019

The following is a press release from NBC:

A spectacle like no other awaits millions as the 93rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, the nation’s most cherished holiday tradition, once again kicks off the holiday season. Millions of families will tune in to watch the excitement unfold on Thursday, Nov. 28 as Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker of NBC News’ “TODAY” host the broadcast from 9 a.m.-noon in all time zones that will also include a special debut performance from her new album Courage by the incomparable Celine Dion.

The Macy’s Parade has must-see entertainment for everyone in the family. Joining the festivities will be stars from a variety of global music genres from pop, R&B and country to Latin and K-Pop, with a few noteworthy special appearances thrown in the mix. Appearing or performing onboard one of Macy’s signature floating stages will be Natasha Bedingfield, Black Eyed Peas, Chicago, Ciara, Josh Dela Cruz, Celine Dion, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, Debbie Gibson, former NASA astronauts Kay Hire & Janet Kavandi, Chris Janson, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin, NHL legends Dominic Moore and Eddie Olczyk, the cast & Muppets of Sesame Street, NCT 127, Ozuna, Billy Porter, Kelly Rowland, That Girl Lay Lay, TLC, Tenille Townes and Chris Young; with an extra special appearance by the one-and-only Santa Claus.

To kick-off the revelry, a special must-see opening number featuring a who’s who of actors, singers, dancers and more, all joined by the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, will start the Thanksgiving Day party with a smash.

Following the opener on 34th Street, Broadway’s best shows will take a star turn in front of Macy’s famed flagship with special performances from the casts of Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, Beetlejuice, Hadestown and Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. In addition, the show-stopping Radio City Rockettes® will bring their signature high-kicking magic to Herald Square.

Since November 1924, the magic of the holiday season has begun with the march of the Macy’s Parade as it enthrals the nation with its signature mix of whimsical elements and special performances. For the 93rd edition, the line-up will feature 16 giant character balloons; 40 novelty balloons, heritage balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 26 floats; 1,200 cheerleaders and dancers; more than 1,000 clowns; and 11 marching bands.

“We are thrilled to present the 93rd edition of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to our viewers nationwide,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs, NBC Entertainment. “This iconic tradition will once again jump start the holiday season with a celebration led by an incredible lineup of performers, bands, floats, balloons and more.”

For the fourth year, Macy’s, along with NBCUniversal and Verizon, will give viewers an up close and personal second screen experience of the Parade with a 360-degree livestream on Verizon’s YouTube page. The stream will go live at 8:30 a.m. EST at www.youtube.com/verizon and will run through noon EST. With exclusive access to cameras along the entire Parade route, online spectators will get a glimpse of the magic behind the scenes, as well as a preview of what’s to come as the Parade marches down the streets of Manhattan. Additional information on the livestream to be announced soon.

New giant balloons joining the line-up this year include Astronaut Snoopy by Peanuts Worldwide, Green Eggs and Ham by Netflix, and SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary by Nickelodeon. In celebration of his 75thbirthday, a heritage balloon and fan-favorite will return to the Parade as Smokey Bear returns to the skies over Manhattan.

Since 2005, the Macy’s Parade has also been home to a collection of high-flying artworks created in collaboration with renowned contemporary artists, as part of a special series titled Macy’s Blue Sky Gallery. This year, for the eighth edition of the collection, the world’s most renowned female contemporary artist will take her iconic art to new heights as Yayoi Kusama joins the Macy’s Parade with her Love Flies Up to the Sky balloon creation. The balloon design was developed by the artist from face motifs that appear in her “My Eternal Soul” series of paintings — a body of work that she began in 2009. Vibrant and animated, the paintings embody Kusama’s innovative exploration of form and revolve around a tension between abstraction and figuration. The artist’s signature dots, which recur throughout her practice, also feature prominently in the Macy’s Parade balloon design. Previous balloons in the Macy’s Parade Blue Sky Gallery series have included works from famed artists Tom Otterness, Jeff Koons, Keith Haring, Takashi Murakami, Tim Burton, KAWS and FriendsWithYou.

This year five new floats will debut, including Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues & You! (Josh Dela Cruz), The Brick-changer by The Lego Group (NCT 127), Home Sweet Home by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® (Tenille Townes), Rexy in the City by COACH® (Billy Porter), and Toy House of Marvelous Milestones by New York Life (Kelly Rowland).

The nation’s best marching bands bring the beat to the holiday revelry. For this year’s 93rd march, 11 of the specially chosen ensembles will ignite coast-to-coast excitement and hometown pride as they step off and perform on the streets of the Big Apple. This year’s bands include Awesome Original Second Time Arounders Marching Band (St. Petersburg, FL), Blue Springs High School Golden Regiment (Blue Springs, MO), Catalina Foothills Falcon Band (Tucson, AZ), Franklin Regional Panther Band (Murrysville, PA), Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States), Madison Central High School Band (Richmond, KY), Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. High School’s Kings of Halftime (Lithonia, GA), Morgan State University’s The Magnificent Marching Machine (Baltimore, MD), NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY), Ronald Reagan High School Marching Band (San Antonio, TX) and Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band (Cullowhee, NC).

Entertaining the crowds with their signature exuberance will be the Parade’s signature large and specialty performance groups. Joining the line-up this year are the teen dancers and cheerleaders of Spirit of America Dance Stars and Spirit of America Cheer. These groups together feature more than 1,200 of the very best performers recruited from hometowns nationwide. Days before Thanksgiving, they will gather for the first time in New York City to rehearse their numbers as a group, ahead of their once-in-a-lifetime national spotlight. Adding some wacky 1980s style dancing will be the hilarious 610 Stompers (New Orleans, LA), with modern dance youth talent showcased by The Alvin Ailey School (New York, NY) and the tap dance theatrics of children from The Nice List (New York, NY). Rounding out the performance group line-up and joining select talent performances will be Gamma Phi Circus (Normal, IL), Manhattan Youth Ballet (New York, NY), the dance stars of the world-renowned in-school arts education program National Dance Institute (New York, NY) and Young People’s Chorus of NYC (New York, NY).

PLEASE NOTE: All talent, performers, elements and information included are subject to change.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Brad Lachman Productions. Brad Lachman serves as executive producer, Bill Bracken will co-executive produce and Ron de Moraes directs.

For an insider’s look at the holiday procession, fans nationwide should visit macys.com/parade for regular updates including behind-the-scenes previews, special tours, interactive historical information, and more. Fans can also follow @macys on various social networks and join the conversation using #MacysParade.

2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: major floats, celebrity appearances announced

November 1, 2019

The following is a press release from NBC:

A spectacle like no other awaits millions, as the 93rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, the nation’s most cherished holiday tradition, kicks off the holiday season. On Thursday, November 28 at 9 a.m., the time honored phrase Let’s Have a Parade™ will ring from the starting line as the march of fantasy takes to the streets of New York City. With more than 8,000 volunteers dressed as clowns, guiding the flight of larger-than-life character balloons, transporting spectators to new worlds on signature floats, bringing the beat in the nation’s best marching bands and entertaining the crowds as part of dazzling performance groups, the annual march is jam-packed with entertainment. With more than 3.5 million spectators in New York City and more than 50 million television viewers nationwide, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is America’s premiere holiday celebration.

“Spectacle is synonymous with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and each year we aim to create an even bigger one than the last, with incredible must-see entertainment for millions of spectators nationwide,” said Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Featuring an amazing line-up of high-flying character balloons, jaw-dropping animated floats, world-class marching bands and performance groups, artists covering a variety of musical genres, and of course, the one-and-only Santa Claus, we are ‘Parade Ready’ and can’t wait to take to the streets of New York City to once again herald the arrival of the holiday season.”

For more than nine decades, the magic of the holiday season has begun with the march of the Macy’s Parade, as the spectacle enthrals the nation with its signature mix of whimsical elements and dazzling performances. For the 93rd edition, the line-up will feature 16 giant character balloons; 40 novelty balloons, heritage balloons, balloonicles, balloonheads and trycaloons; 26 floats; 1,200 cheerleaders and dancers; more than 1,000 clowns; and 11 marching bands.

INFLATABLE ICONS
Since 1927, when the Parade’s character balloons first joined the revelry, the inflatables have become a signature element featuring some of the world’s most beloved characters. Over time, the inflatables have morphed from air-filled characters carried on sticks to high-flying giants, balloonheads and even hybrid inflatables with vehicles inside (balloonicles) or tandem tricycles (trycaloons).

New giants joining the line-up this year include Astronaut Snoopy by Peanuts Worldwide, Green Eggs and Ham by Netflix, and SpongeBob SquarePants & Gary by Nickelodeon. In celebration of his 75th birthday, a heritage balloon and fan favorite will return to the Parade as Smokey Bear once again takes to the skies over Manhattan.

In 2005, the Macy’s Parade began to feature what would become a collection of high-flying artwork created in collaboration with renowned contemporary artists. The special series, entitled Macy’s Blue Sky Gallery, has featured some of the art world’s finest creators. This year, for the eighth edition of the series, the world’s most renowned female contemporary artist will take her iconic art to new heights as Yayoi Kusama joins the Macy’s Parade with her Love Flies Up to the Sky balloon. The design was developed by the artist from face motifs that appear in her “My Eternal Soul” series of paintings–a body of work that she began in 2009. Vibrant and animated, the paintings embody Kusama’s innovative exploration of form and revolve around a tension between abstraction and figuration. The artist’s signature dots–which recur throughout her practice—are also featured prominently in the Macy’s Parade balloon design. Previous balloons in the Macy’s Parade Blue Sky Gallery series have included works from famed artists Tom Otterness, Jeff Koons, Keith Haring, Takashi Murakami, Tim Burton, KAWS, and FriendsWithYou™.

Returning giant balloon characters include Diary of A Wimpy Kid® by Abrams Children’s Books; Sinclair Oil’s DINO®; The Elf on the Shelf®; Goku; Illumination Presents Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch; Jett by Super Wings™; Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen 2”; Chase from PAW Patrol®; Pikachu™ by the Pokémon Company International; Pillsbury Doughboy™; Power Rangers Mighty Morphin Red Ranger; Ronald McDonald®; and Trolls. Completing the inflatable lineup is the famed Aflac Duck, Sinclair Oil’s Baby DINOs and the Go Bowling balloonicles, as well as Universal Orlando Resort’s The Nutcracker.

STARS ON PARADE
The Macy’s Parade has must-see entertainment for everyone in the family. Joining the festivities will be stars from a variety of global music genres including Pop, R&B, Country, Latin and K-Pop, with a few noteworthy special appearances thrown in the mix. Appearing or performing onboard one of Macy’s signature floating stages will be Natasha Bedingfield, Black Eyed Peas, Chicago, Ciara, Josh Dela Cruz, Debbie Gibson, former NASA Astronauts Kay Hire & Janet Kavandi, Chris Janson, Idina Menzel, Lea Michele, Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin, NHL® Legends Dominic Moore and Eddie Olczyk, the cast & Muppets of Sesame Street, NCT 127, Ozuna, Billy Porter, Kelly Rowland, That Girl Lay Lay, TLC, Tenille Townes, and Chris Young; with an extra special appearance by the one-and-only Santa Claus.

FLOATING WONDERS
Conceived and crafted by the incredible artisans of Macy’s Parade Studio – a design and production facility that includes carpenters, engineers, electricians, painters, animators, sculptors, metal fabricators, scenic and costume designers – this year’s line-up of floats sets an unparalleled stage for entertainment. Gliding down Manhattan, the Parade’s signature floats transport spectators to worlds of wonder through creative design, engineering, and skillful construction. While they may seem to float down the Parade route as three stories tall and several lanes of traffic wide stages, the magic is truly in the design as these floats are built to collapse to no more than 12 ½-feet tall and 8-feet wide in order to travel safely from the New Jersey home of the Parade Studio to the Manhattan starting line via the Lincoln Tunnel each Thanksgiving eve.

This year, five new floats will debut including Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues & You! (Josh Dela Cruz), The Brick-changer by The Lego Group (NCT 127), Home Sweet Home by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® (Tenille Townes), Rexy in the City by COACH® (Billy Porter), and Toy House of Marvelous Milestones by New York Life (Kelly Rowland).

The returning float roster and its scheduled performers and special stars include 1-2-3 Sesame Street® by Sesame Workshop™ (The cast and Muppets of Sesame Street); Big City Cheer! by Spirit of America Productions (Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin); Central Park (Lea Michele); Christmas Cheer is Near by Elf Pets®/The Elf on the Shelf®; Cornucopia; Deck the Halls by Balsam Hill® (Idina Menzel); Everyone’s Favorite Bake Shop by Entenmann’s®; Fantasy Chocolate Factory by Kinder™ (Natasha Bedingfield), Harvest in the Valley by Green Giant® (Chris Janson); Heartwarming Holiday Countdown by Hallmark Channel (Chicago); Mount Rushmore’s American Pride by South Dakota Department of Tourism (Chris Young); the NHL® Most Valuable Hockey Mom presented by MassMutual (Black Eyed Peas and NHL® Legends Dominic Moore and Eddie Olczyk); Parade Day Mischief by SOUR PATCH KIDS® Candy (Ozuna); Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Nickelodeon (Ciara); Santa’s Sleigh (Santa Claus); Shimmer and Shine by Nickelodeon (Debbie Gibson); Snoopy’s Doghouse by Peanuts Worldwide (Charlie Brown and former NASA Astronauts Kay Hire and Janet Kavandi); Splashing Safari Adventure by Kalahari Resorts and Conventions (TLC); Tom Turkey; and Universal Playground by Universal Kids (That Girl Lay Lay).

Returning for a third year by popular demand, the Macy’s Singing Christmas Tree by Delta Air Lines will feature the harmonious voices of more than 100 Macy’s colleagues and friends from Delta hailing from across the nation and the world. Performing an original song to celebrate the start of the holiday season, the golden-voiced chorus will touch the hearts and uplift the spirits of millions.

STRIKE UP THE BAND AND DANCE
The nation’s best marching bands bring the beat to the holiday revelry. For this year’s 93rd march, 11 of the specially chosen ensembles will ignite coast-to-coast excitement and hometown pride as they step off and perform on the streets of the Big Apple. This year’s bands include Awesome Original Second Time Arounders Marching Band (St. Petersburg, FL), Blue Springs High School Golden Regiment (Blue Springs, MO), Catalina Foothills Falcon Band (Tucson, AZ), Franklin Regional Panther Band (Murrysville, PA), Macy’s Great American Marching Band (United States), Madison Central High School Band (Richmond, KY), Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. High School’s Kings of Halftime (Lithonia, GA), Morgan State University’s The Magnificent Marching Machine (Baltimore, MD), NYPD Marching Band (New York, NY), Ronald Reagan High School Marching Band (San Antonio, TX), and Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band (Cullowhee, NC).

Entertaining the crowds with their signature exuberance will be the Parade’s signature large and specialty performance groups. Joining the line-up this year are the teen dancers and cheerleaders of Spirit of America Dance Stars and Spirit of America Cheer. These groups together feature more than 1,200 of the very best performers recruited from hometowns nationwide. Days before Thanksgiving, they will gather for the first time in New York City to rehearse their numbers as a group, ahead of their once-in-a-lifetime national spotlight. Adding some wacky 1980s style dancing will be the hilarious 610 Stompers (New Orleans, LA), with modern dance youth talent showcased by The Alvin Ailey School (New York, NY) and the tap dance theatrics of children from The Nice List (New York, NY). Rounding out the performance group line-up and joining select talent performances will be Gamma Phi Circus (Normal, IL), Manhattan Youth Ballet (New York, NY), the dance stars of the world-renowned in-school arts education program National Dance Institute (New York, NY) and Young People’s Chorus of NYC (New York, NY).

A NATIONAL SPECTACLE
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is the nation’s biggest and most anticipated holiday celebration. Broadcast nationally on NBC, with millions of families nationwide tuning in to watch the excitement unfold,  the TODAY Show’s Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker will host the three-hour broadcast from 9 a.m. – noon (in all time zones).

To kick off the revelry, a special must-see opening number featuring a who’s who of actors, singers, dancers and more, all joined by the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, will start the Thanksgiving Day party with a smash.

Following the opener, on 34th Street, Broadway’s best shows will take a star turn in front of Macy’s famed flagship with special performances.  In addition, the show-stopping Radio City Rockettes® will bring their signature high-kicking magic to Herald Square.

360 DEGREE INTERACTIVE FUN
For the fourth year, Macy’s, along with NBCUniversal and Verizon, will give viewers an up close and personal second screen experience of the Parade with a 360-degree livestream on Verizon’s YouTube page.  The stream will go live at 8:30 a.m. EST at www.youtube.com/verizon and will run through noon EST. With exclusive access to cameras along the entire Parade route, online spectators will get a glimpse of the magic behind the scenes, as well as a preview of what’s to come as the Parade marches down the streets of Manhattan.

For spectators in New York or those traveling to the city to see it live, the 93rd Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins at 9 a.m., kicking off from 77th Street and Central Park West. The procession will march to Columbus Circle, turn onto Central Park South and then march down 6th Avenue/Avenue of the Americas. At 34th Street, the Parade will make its final turn west and end at 7th Avenue in front of Macy’s Herald Square.

For an insider’s look at the holiday procession, fans nationwide should visit macys.com/parade or regular updates including behind-the-scenes previews, special tours, interactive historical information, and more.  Fans can also follow @macys on various social networks and join the conversation using #MacysParade.

This Thanksgiving, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will bring millions of spectators a dazzling celebration like no other. Start the countdown, in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … Let’s Have a Parade!

Delta Air Lines is the official airline of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Hilton is the official hotel of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Ram is the official truck of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Remo is the official drumhead provider of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Under Armour is the official outerwear provider of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

2019 Primetime Emmy Awards: presenters announced

September 11, 2019

The following is a press release from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences:

The Television Academy and Emmy Awards telecast producers Don Mischer Productions and Done+Dusted announced the first group of talent set to present the iconic Emmy statuettes at the 71st Emmy Awards on Sunday, September 22.

The presenters include:

  • Angela Bassett* (9-1-1 and The Flood)
  • Stephen Colbert* (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
  • Viola Davis* (How to Get Away with Murder)
  • Michael Douglas* (The Kominsky Method)
  • Taraji P. Henson (Empire)
  • Terrence Howard (Empire)
  • Jimmy Kimmel* (Jimmy Kimmel Live)
  • Peter Krause (9-1-1)
  • Seth Meyers* (Late Night With Seth Meyers and Documentary Now!)
  • Billy Porter* (Pose)
  • Naomi Watts (The Loudest Voice)
  • Zendaya (Euphoria)
  • The cast of Game of Thrones: Alfie Allen*, Gwendoline Christie*,
    Emilia Clarke*, Peter Dinklage*, Kit Harington*, Lena Headey*, Sophie Turner*, Carice van Houten*, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau*, and Maisie Williams*

September 17, 2019 UPDATE:

More presenters have been announced for the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards:

  • Anthony Anderson* (black-ish)
  • Ike Barinholtz (Bless the Harts)
  • Cedric the Entertainer (The Neighborhood)
  • Max Greenfield (The Neighborhood)
  • Bill Hader* (Barry)
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus* (VEEP)
  • Cast of VEEP: Anna Chlumsky, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn, Clea DuVall, Tony Hale, Sam Richardson, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Sarah Sutherland, Matt Walsh
  • Gwyneth Paltrow (The Politician)
  • Amy Poehler* (Duncanville and Russian Doll)
  • Maya Rudolph (Bless the Harts and The Good Place)
  • RuPaul* (RuPaul’s Drag Race)
  • Lilly Singh (A Little Late with Lilly Singh)
  • Ben Stiller* (Escape at Dannemora)
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge* (Fleabag)
  • Cast of Keeping Up with the Kardashians: Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner

The 71st Emmy Awards will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 22, (8:00-11:00 PM ET/5:00-8:00 PM PT) on FOX.

For more information, please visit Emmys.com. Find out Where to Watch.

*71st Emmy Awards Nominees

 

https://www.emmys.com/news/awards-news/emmy-presenters-190911

2019 Tony Awards: performers and presenters announced

June 3, 2019

The following is a press release from the Tony Awards:

Some of the world’s biggest stars from stage and screen will appear at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards. The list of names announced includes Darren Criss, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Samuel L. Jackson, Regina King, Laura Linney, Audra McDonald, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells, LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Michael Shannon. More presenters will be announced soon.

The Tony Awards telecast will feature an incredible line up of celebrity presenters and musical performances for Broadway’s biggest night.
James Corden will return to host the American Theatre Wing’s 2019 Tony Awards, which will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on CBS. The three-hour program will air on Sunday, June 9th 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT time delay). The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

You can also watch the Tony Awards online with CBS All Access. More info at cbs.com/all-access.

June 5, 2019 UPDATE: A second round of artists has been added to appear at THE 73rd ANNUAL TONY AWARDS(R), live from the historic Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Sunday, June 9 (8:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. The star-studded lineup includes Sara Bareilles, Laura Benanti, Abigail Breslin, Danny Burstein, Kristin Chenoweth, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Josh Groban, Danai Gurira, Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Jackson, Shirley Jones, Jane Krakowski, Judith Light, Lucy Liu, Aasif Mandvi, Sienna Miller, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Catherine O’Hara, Kelli O’Hara, Karen Olivo, Anthony Ramos, Marisa Tomei, Aaron Tveit, Samira Wiley and BeBe Winans.

Emmy and Tony Award winner James Corden will host the 2019 Tony Awards for the second time. As previously announced, Darren Criss, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Regina King, Laura Linney, Audra McDonald, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells and Michael Shannon will also take part in Broadway’s biggest night.

The TONY Awards, which honors theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. This year marks the 73rd anniversary of the TONY Awards, which were first held on April 6, 1947 at the Waldorf Astoria’s Grand Ballroom. The ceremony is presented by Tony Award Productions, which is a joint venture of the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, which founded the Tonys.

Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss of White Cherry Entertainment will return as executive producers. Weiss will also serve as director for the 20th consecutive year. Ben Winston is a producer.

June 6, 2019 UPDATE:

Cynthia Erivo (Photo by Barry Brecheisen)

The Tony Awards telecast will feature performances by the casts of “Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations”; “Beetlejuice”; “The Cher Show”; “Choir Boy”; “Hadestown”; “Kiss Me, Kate”; “Oklahoma!”; “The Prom” and “Tootsie.” The evening will also feature a special performance by Tony Award winning-actress Cynthia Erivo.

2018 Christmas in Rockefeller Center: performers announced

November 15, 2018

Christmas in Rockefeller Center

The following is a press release from NBC:

The most wonderful time of the year kicks off with the annual lighting of New York City’s famous tree on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center(R)” on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8-10 p.m. ET/PT. The evening will include festive performances by Diana Ross, Tony Bennett,  Brett Eldredge, Darci Lynne Farmer, Diana Krall, John Legend, Martina McBride, Pentatonix and Kellie Pickler, with a special appearance by Howie Mandel. Additional acts to be announced. NBC’s “Today” anchors Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Craig Melvin will co-host the highly anticipated holiday special.

Prior to the primetime telecast, an additional live hour of the special will be broadcast on select NBC stations (7-8 p.m. ET) and be co-hosted by “Extra’s” Mario Lopez and WNBC’s Stefan Holt and Natalie Pasquarella. Check local listings.

The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to the Great Depression. First erected in 1931, the inaugural tree was decked with 700 lights and placed in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building (the current Comcast Building). The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating pond. NBC-TV televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on “The Kate Smith Show” and as part of the nationwide “Howdy Doody” television show from 1953-55

The 86th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 72-foot tall, 45-foot wide Norway Spruce from Wallkill, N.Y. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons and is approximately 75 years old.

It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored LEDs on approximately five miles of wire and topped with a new Swarovski star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. The new three-dimensional star is 9 feet 4 inches in diameter, weighs approximately 900 pounds and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals.

NBCUniversal is celebrating the 10th anniversary of our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, kicking off with “Christmas in Rockefeller Center(R).” As part of the company’s Green is Universal initiative, the campaign will support tree-planting efforts to promote recovery in disaster-stricken areas. NBCUniversal’s $50,000 donation will restore tree canopies across the United States that have been destroyed by recent wildfires and hurricanes. The more than 100,000 trees planted since the partnership’s inception have helped to rebuild forests and communities, as well as provide beautification, cleaner air and water, and restoration of natural habitat.

ABOUT THE HOSTS:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE

Savannah Guthrie is the co-anchor of NBC News’ TODAY and she also serves as NBC News’ chief legal correspondent. Since joining TODAY, she has conducted a wide range of exclusive interviews with newsmakers, including President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power and former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords. Guthrie was a primary anchor for both the network’s primetime 2018 midterm election coverage and the 2016 presidential election coverage. Guthrie has anchored major breaking news events, including the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Las Vegas mass shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris and the 2013 Moore, Okla., tornado. As part of her work on TODAY, she received a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Show in 2012. Guthrie is also a New York Times bestselling author for her books “Princesses Wear Pants” and the sequel “Princesses Save the World.”

HODA KOTB

Hoda Kotb is the co-anchor of NBC News’ TODAY as well as the co-host of TODAY with Kathie Lee and Hoda. Kotb has also been a “Dateline” correspondent since 1998 and covered a variety of domestic and international stories, as well as human-interest pieces and features across all NBC News platforms. Kotb has received numerous awards, including the 2008 Gracie Award for Individual Achievement, the 2008 Alfred I. duPont -Columbia University Award, a Peabody in 2006 and as part of her work on TODAY, a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Show in 2012. She is a New York Times bestselling author for her books “Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer and Kathie Lee,” “Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives” and “I’ve Loved You Since Forever.”

AL ROKER

With a career spanning 35 years, 13-time Emmy-award winner Al Roker is the weather, feature and co-anchor on NBC’s TODAY. Throughout the years, Roker has reported live for TODAY from some of history’s worst storms and natural disasters including Haiti in 2010 and from the Lower Ninth Ward and the French Quarter in New Orleans for a special edition on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. He is a recipient of the American Meteorological Society’s prestigious Seal of Approval and has been a pioneer in the use of computer graphics for weathercasting and as part of his work on TODAY, he received a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Show in 2010. Since 1985, he has served each holiday season as co-host for the annual Christmas at Rockefeller Center and also co-hosts The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Rose Bowl Parade. As CEO of Al Roker Entertainment, he produces programming for traditional TV networks as well as OTT and digital platforms. Roker is also bestselling author with 11 acclaimed books to his credit.

CRAIG MELVIN

Craig Melvin is a news anchor on NBC News’ TODAY and an anchor on MSNBC. His breaking news coverage and reporting appears across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms. Melvin has covered a wide-range of news events, including several Republican and Democratic National Conventions. He has also covered tragic mass shootings across the country for the network, including Dallas and Orlando in 2016; Charleston, South Carolina in 2015; the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. in 2013; and Sandy Hook in 2012. In addition, Melvin reported extensively on police involved shootings and subsequent protests in Baltimore, Maryland in 2015 and Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. Melvin also contributed to NBC Sports coverage of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

ABOUT THE PERFORMERS:

DIANA ROSS

Diana Ross is an American singer, actress and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Mich., Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, which became Motown’s most successful act in the 1960s and one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross released her debut solo album, which contained the Top 20 Pop hit “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and the No. 1 Pop hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” She later released the album “Touch Me in the Morning” in 1973; its title track reached No. 1, as her second solo No. 1 hit. That same year, her album “Lady Sings the Blues,” which was the original soundtrack of her film based on the life of jazz singer Billie Holiday, went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, selling more than 300,000 copies within its first 8 days of release. By 1976, the “Mahogany” soundtrack included her third No. 1 hit, “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To).” Her 1976 album included her fourth No. 1 hit, “Love Hangover”. In 1979, Ross released the album “The Boss.” Her 1980 semi-eponymous album “Diana” reached No. 2 on the US Billboard albums chart and spawned the No. 1 hit “Upside Down,” and the Top 5 international hit “I’m Coming Out.” Ross’ final single with Motown Records during her initial run with the company achieved her sixth and final US No. 1 Pop hit, the duet “Endless Love.” She is the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Ross has also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award-nominated performance for her performance in the film “Lady Sings the Blues.” She also starred in two other feature films, “Mahogany” and “The Wiz,” later acting in the television films “Out of Darkness,” for which she also was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and “Double Platinum.” Ross was named the “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history. She will be performing songs off her new holiday collection, “Wonderful Christmas Time.”

TONY BENNETT

No one in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence than Tony Bennett. In the last 10 years alone he has sold 10 million records. The essence of his longevity and high artistic achievement was imbued in him in his loving childhood home in the Astoria section of Queens where he was born on Aug. 3, 1926. As a teenager Bennett sang while waiting on tables and then enlisted in the Army during World War II and while in Europe he performed with military bands. Bennett’s big break came in 1949 when comedian Bob Hope noticed him working with Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village in New York City. Bennett is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and now in the first two decades of the 21st century. He has introduced a multitude of songs into the Great American Songbook that have since become standards for popular music. With millions of records sold worldwide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received 19 Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Bennett is also an Emmy Award winner, a Kennedy Center honoree NEA Jazz Master and the first interpretive singer to receive the Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress. An accomplished painter, three of his works are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute and he has authored six books.

DIANA KRALL

Diana Krall is the only jazz singer to have nine albums debut at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. To date, her albums have garnered five Grammy Awards, 10 Juno Awards and have also earned nine gold, three platinum and seven multi-platinum albums. Krall’s unique artistry transcends any single musical style and has made her one of the most recognizable artists of our time. Born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, which is outside of Vancouver, Krall grew up in the western part of Canada and began studying the piano when she was 4 years old. Krall was still a teenager when she was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1994, she signed with GRP Records and recorded “Only Trust Your Heart,” which marked the beginning of her association with Tommy LiPuma, a collaboration that would continue until LiPuma’s untimely passing in 2017. Krall’s success continued with her subsequent releases “All for You” and “Love Scenes,” but her watershed moment came in 1999 with the release of “When I Look in Your Eyes,” her first release for the historic Verve record label. The recording spent an unprecedented 52 weeks in the #1 position on Billboard’s Jazz chart, won two Grammy Awards and went platinum in the U.S. and Canada. Krall’s next album, “The Look of Love,” continued her international success and became a top 10 seller on Billboard’s Top 200 Album charts. Since then she has released a string of recordings that have created an impressive body of work, including recordings featured in several film soundtracks. Krall has expanded upon her role as a performer to include songwriting, producing and arranging and has brought her talents to collaborate with many other artists, including Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett. She tours extensively around the globe to sold out audiences, appearing at premiere jazz festivals and concert halls throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

BRETT ELDREDGE

Platinum-selling singer/songwriter Brett Eldredge has established himself as one of country music’s smoothest-singing vocal powerhouses, biggest radio heavy hitters and most entertaining, arena-packing showmen. He recently released his latest single, “Love Someone,” from his self-titled record, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and the all-genre Top Albums Sales chart. The record has yielded gold-certified hits “Somethin’ I’m Good At” and most recently, “The Long Way.” The latter tune lends its name to his critically acclaimed and first ever sold-out headlining tour. Eldredge’s live shows feature his six chart-topping, gold and platinum-certified singles spanning three albums. The Paris, Ill., native released his Christmas record “Glow” in 2016 and earned an additional #1 song on the Holiday Music and Adult Contemporary charts with “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” a duet alongside Grammy-winner Meghan Trainor. The deluxe edition, featuring five brand new evergreen tracks, was released in October 2018.

DARCI LYNNE FARMER

Winning NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” at just 12 years old by the most votes for a final performance in the history of the show, singer/ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer impresses audiences across the country with her sweetheart disposition and undeniable, show-stopping talent beyond her years. Accompanied by her musical friends including divaesque rabbit Petunia, shy and soulful mouse Oscar and sarcastic old woman Edna. Singing through her friends helped the young entertainer find a voice inside she didn’t know she had and helped her overcome a lifelong struggle with shyness. An Oklahoma native, Farmer began participating in talent-based pageants at a young age and picked up ventriloquism shortly after. Two weeks later, Farmer began tackling talent shows, eventually making it to the biggest talent show on television, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Following her big win, she has been featured on NBC’s “Little Big Shots,” Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship,” “Ellen” and “Today.” “Darci Lynne: My Hometown Christmas Special” will air on NBC this December. Farmer and her friends are continually on the road bringing smiles to audiences across the country. In 2019 Farmer will hit the road for her “Fresh Out of the Box Tour.” For dates and the latest information, visit www.darcilynne.com.

JOHN LEGEND

A highly accomplished musician, songwriter, actor, film producer and philanthropist, Legend is one of the most versatile and talented artists in entertainment today. He recently completed the prestigious and highly exclusive EGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony – when he won as producer of NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.” In 2015, Legend, along with Common, won the Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy for their song “Glory” from the film “Selma,” which chronicled the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Ala. The 10-time Grammy winner has released five studio albums and began his impressive Grammy run in 2006 when he won Best New Artist for his debut release, “Get Lifted,” which captured Best R&B Album. “Get Lifted,” along with each of his next three albums – “Once Again,” “Evolver” and “Love in the Future” – reached the Top 5 in album sales on the Billboard charts and achieved gold status. As a film producer, Legend worked on the 2016 film sensation “La La Land,” in which he also appeared. In addition, Legend has acted in several TV and film productions, including “Underground,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Soul Men.” On Broadway, Legend won a Tony last year as a producer of August Wilson’s “Jitney,” which won for Best Revival of a Play.

MARTINA MCBRIDE

Martina McBride is a multiple Grammy-nominated country singer, whose incomparable vocals have kept her at the top of the charts garnering six No. 1 hits and 20 top 10 singles. Selling more than 18 million albums to date, McBride has earned 14 Gold, nine Platinum, three Double Platinum and two Triple Platinum certifications. McBride has been honored with more than 15 major music awards, including four wins from the Country Music Association and three Academy of Country Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year. On October 30, McBride released her new cookbook, “Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life.” Her first book, “Around the Table,” a collection of her favorite recipes, hosting tips, practical menu planning advice and themed décor inspiration, came out in 2014. She also released a new Christmas album in October called “It’s the Holiday Season” featuring her favorite Christmas standards, all with the backing of a symphony. When McBride isn’t in the studio, she focuses her time on charitable causes dear to her heart. Through her Team Music Is Love charity initiative, McBride partners with non-profit causes to help many of the towns she’s performing in. McBride also invites fans to join her team in making the world a better place through the power of music. Since 2011, Team Music Is Love has been responsible for many successful fundraising and volunteer projects helping causes such as hunger relief, cancer research, combating domestic violence and helping children in need. McBride was also recently awarded the Covenant House Beacon of Hope Award and Music Business Association’s prestigious 2015 Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic efforts on behalf of domestic violence.

PENTATONIX

Three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling artist Pentatonix has sold nearly 10 million albums in worldwide consumption and performed for hundreds of thousands of fans at their sold out shows across the globe. Their YouTube channel boasts more than 15.5 million subscribers, yielding over 3.4 billion video views. Their 2015 self-titled album is certified gold after debuting #1 on Billboard’s 200. Additionally, nine of their albums reached the top 10 on Billboard’s 200 chart (two albums reaching No. 1) and received multiple RIAA certifications for multi-platinum, platinum and gold selling albums and singles. Their tracks, “Mary, Did You Know?” and “Hallelujah” were certified platinum, while the Pentatonix original, “Can’t Sleep Love,” was certified gold. The group has had two holiday specials on NBC, released their tour documentary “On My Way Home” in 2015 and appeared in the feature film, “Pitch Perfect 2.” In October 2017, Pentatonix released a deluxe version of their certified platinum 2016 holiday album, “A Pentatonix Deluxe,” and completed their sold-out “A Pentatonix Christmas Tour” in December. The following year, in April 2018, Pentatonix released the first collection in the group’s PTX Presents series, “PTX Presents: Top Pop Vol. 1,” which features 11 PTX-curated modern pop performances, and just wrapped their 39-city North American tour in September. Their fourth holiday album, “Christmas Is Here!” is out now and is accompanied by a new single, “Making Christmas.” They have also announced their “Christmas Is Here! Tour” that starts in November and finishes with four nights at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

KELLIE PICKLER

Kellie Pickler was born and raised in North Carolina and now calls Nashville home. She first won hearts and gained national attention as a top finalist on “American Idol” at the age of 19. Pickler has released four albums – gold-certified “Small Town Girl,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart and was the bestselling debut by a solo country female that year; “Kellie Pickler,” which also debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart and featured her first top 10 hit and the platinum-certified single, “Best Days of Your Life”; “100 Proof,” named the #1 Country Album of the Year by Rolling Stone; and “The Woman I Am.” Her CMT docu-comedy series, “I Love Kellie Pickler,” debuted in 2015, propelling the network to its highest premiere since 2012. After three successful seasons, the series was retired so that Pickler could focus on “Pickler & Ben.” This holiday season Pickler stars in a Hallmark Channel Original Movie “Christmas at Graceland” where she plays a finance executive who rediscovers her passion and talent for singing. The film aired Nov. 17 and Pickler will perform beloved Christmas songs, including “Silent Night,” “Silver Bells,” “First Noel,” “I’ll Be Home for Christ-mas,” “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” Pickler is a “Dancing With the Stars” champion and an avid supporter of our servicemen and women. She has completed 11 USO Tours, performing for those serving abroad.

HOWIE MANDEL

Howie Mandel has remained a constant force in show business for more than 30 years. Mandel will return as host of the game show “Deal or No Deal” when it premieres Dec. 5 on CNBC. For nine seasons he has served as a judge on NBC’s hit summer talent competition series, “America’s Got Talent,” which recently wrapped its milestone 13th season. He will also be seen as a judge on the global winter edition of the series, “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” which will premiere Jan. 7. His additional work as a host, actor, and/or executive producer include “Take It All” and “Howie Do It” for NBC, “Deal With It” for TBS and “Mobbed” for Fox. Previously, Mandel received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program for “Deal or No Deal” and a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Game Show Host for the syndicated version of the show. Mandel’s versatile career has encompassed virtually all aspects of the entertainment spectrum, including television, film and stage. From his work on the Emmy Award-winning “St. Elsewhere,” to the international animated children’s series “Bobby’s World,” Mandel has become a mainstay of the American comedy scene. In 2009, Mandel added author to his resume when he released his frank, funny and no-holds-barred memoir, “Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me.” The memoir revealed his ongoing struggle with OCD and ADHD, and how it has shaped his life and career. It made The New York Times bestseller list on its first week and remained on the list for several consecutive weeks. Mandel has done countless comedy specials both on cable and network television. He has also hosted his own syndicated talk show, “The Howie Mandel Show,” and continues to be a mainstay on the talk show circuit. He also continues to perform as many as 200 standup comedy shows each year throughout the U.S. and Canada.

ABOUT THE REGIONAL SHOW (7-8 P.M. ET) HOSTS:

MARIO LOPEZ

Mario Lopez is the consummate entertainer. He is the host of the Emmy Award winning show “Extra,” and the national iHeart radio programs “On with Mario Lopez” and “iHeartRadio Countdown with Mario Lopez.” Lopez is a constant presence on the pop culture scene with a legion of fans across the board. Actor, NYT Best Selling author, producer and host, Lopez’s prolific career has made him one of the most sought-after personalities in entertainment today. Some of Lopez’s acting credits include This Is Us, Jane the Virgin, Nip/Tuck and Saved by the Bell, among many others. In 2008, Mario Lopez made his Broadway debut as Zach in the revival of A Chorus Line where he met his wife Courtney. Mario and Courtney have two adorable kids, Gia and Dominic and two dogs, Julio and Juanita.

STEFAN HOLT

Stefan Holt co-anchors NBC 4 New York’s 4 p.m and 11 p.m. daily newscasts. He also contributes to NBC 4 New York I-Team investigations throughout the Tri-State area. Holt was one of the first U.S. journalists to report live from Havana following the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro. He also co-anchored NBC 4 New York’s news coverage from the 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University and NBC 4 New York’s 2016 Election Night coverage from 30 Rock. He later travelled to Washington, D.C. to co-anchor the station’s coverage of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. In recognition of his commitment to journalistic excellence, Holt was recognized with a regional Edward R. Murrow award as part of NBC 4 New York’s team coverage of the 2017 Tribeca terrorist attack. Holt has also been recognized with three New York Emmys(R) for NBC 4 New York’s team coverage of the 2016 Hoboken rail crash, 2017 Presidential Inauguration and the 2017 Bronx Lebanon Hospital shooting.

NATALIE PASQUARELLA

Natalie Pasquarella co-anchors NBC 4 New York’s 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. daily newscasts. She also contributes to NBC 4 New York I-Team investigations throughout the Tri-State area. Throughout her time at NBC 4 New York, Pasquarella has covered many of the Tri-State’s most memorable stories. This included the 2015 visit of Pope Francis to New York City and the 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University. Pasquarella also co-anchored NBC 4 New York’s 2016 Election Night coverage from 30 Rock and later travelled to Washington, D.C. to co-anchor the station’s coverage of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. In 2018, Pasquarella travelled to London to cover the 2018 Royal Wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. In recognition of her commitment to journalistic excellence, Pasquarella has been awarded four New York Emmys(R) as part of NBC 4 New York’s team coverage of the 2016 Dallas Police attacks, the 2016 Hoboken rail crash and the 2017 Bronx Lebanon Hospital shooting.

November 27, 2018 UPDATE:

Ella Mai, the New York City Ballet’s production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” Rob Thomas and the Radio City Rockettes have been added to the list of spectacular performances slated for this year’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center®” telecast on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8-10 p.m. ET/PT.

The new additions join previously announced performers Diana Ross, Tony Bennett & Diana Krall, Brett Eldredge, Darci Lynne Farmer, John Legend, Martina McBride, Pentatonix and Kellie Pickler in the annual celebration. NBC’s “Today” anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin are set to host.

Tony Award winner Billy Porter as well as the PAL Cops & Kids Chorus in New York City, with a special introduction by Tony Danza, will also lend their voices to the additional live hour of the special to be broadcast on select NBC stations (7-8 p.m. ET). The regional hour will be co-hosted by “Extra’s” Mario Lopez and WNBC’s Stefan Holt and Natalie Pasquarella, and also feature additional songs from Diana Krall, Brett Eldredge, Darci Lynn Farmer, Martina McBride, Pentatonix and Kellie Pickler. Station list included below. Check local listings.

The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to the Great Depression. First erected in 1931, the inaugural tree was decked with 700 lights and placed in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building (the current Comcast Building). The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating pond. NBC-TV televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on “The Kate Smith Show” and as part of the nationwide “Howdy Doody” television show from 1953-55

The 86th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 72-foot tall, 45-foot wide Norway Spruce from Wallkill, N.Y. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons and is approximately 75 years old.

It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored LEDs on approximately five miles of wire and topped with a new Swarovski star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. The new three-dimensional star is 9 feet, 4 inches in diameter, weighs approximately 900 pounds and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals.

NBCUniversal is celebrating the 10th anniversary of our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, kicking off with “Christmas in Rockefeller Center®.” As part of the company’s Green Is Universal initiative, the campaign will support tree-planting efforts to promote recovery in disaster-stricken areas. NBCUniversal’s $50,000 donation will restore tree canopies across the United States that have been destroyed by recent wildfires and hurricanes. The more than 100,000 trees planted since the partnership’s inception have helped to rebuild forests and communities, as well as provide beautification, cleaner air and water, and restoration of natural habitat.

ABOUT THE ADDITIONAL NATIONAL PERFORMERS:

ELLA MAI

Ella Mai is a British singer-songwriter. She released her first EP, “Time,” in 2016, followed by her second EP, “Change,” later that year. Her third EP, “Ready,” featured “Boo’d Up,” which later became her breakthrough hit. Ella Mai has served as the opening act for both Kehlani and Bruno Mars on tour, where she continued to gain the public’s attention. In August, she released the single “Trip,” which peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. She released her self-titled debut in October of this year, which charted #5 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums and #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums upon release last month. Her album includes the smash multi-platinum hit singles “Boo’d Up” and “Trip.”

NEW YORK CITY BALLET

New York City Ballet’s acclaimed production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” premiered in 1954 and has been performed in New York City every year since. Set to Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky’s glorious score, “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” features choreography by Balanchine, scenery by Rouben Ter-Arutunian, costumes by Karinska and lighting by Mark Stanley, after the original design by Ronald Bates. More than 100,000 people see the production each year. The New York City Ballet (NYCB) will perform “Candy Canes” from Act 2 of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.” The segment will feature NYCB Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht as well as students from the School of American Ballet, NYCB’s official school. The New York City Ballet opened its annual season of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” on Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and will run until Dec. 30.

ROB THOMAS

Rob Thomas is one of modern music’s most compelling and commercially successful artists. For 20 years, he has been the frontman and primary composer for Matchbox Twenty, leading the quintet to multiplatinum success over the course of four albums and a string of #1 hits. Thomas’ two solo albums, 2005’s platinum-certified No. 1 album “…Something to Be” and 2009’s “cradlesong” generated the hit singles “Her Diamonds” and “Someday.” Thomas made history with “…Something to Be” as having the first album by a male artist from a rock or pop group to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 since the chart had debuted. With “cradlesong” he made history once again as the only male artist with multiple #1 hits at Adult Top 40. His last release, 2015’s “The Great Unknown,” was praised by the likes of Rolling Stone. Thomas has also collaborated with Mick Jagger on the #1 single “Disease,” Willie Nelson and Santana, the latter resulting in 1999’s “Smooth” — the Latin-tinged blockbuster that earned Thomas three Grammy Awards and spent 12 weeks atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. In 2004, he was the first-ever honoree of the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s prestigious Hal David Starlight Award, created to recognize a composer in the early years of his or her career that has already made a lasting impact. He has won numerous BMI and ASCAP Awards, and has earned the Songwriter of the Year crown from both Billboard and BMI. Thomas is also known as an electrifying live performer, drawing fans of all ages to Matchbox Twenty’s concerts as well as to his solo shows around the globe. Thomas is currently finishing up his next studio album which will be out in spring 2019.

THE RADIO CITY ROCKETTES

“The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes,” presented by Chase, is a beloved holiday tradition and seen by more than one million people each year at Radio City Music Hall. This year the show features a brand-new finale scene, “Christmas Lights,” a stunning example of how innovation is blended with tradition. The finale begins at the conclusion of the “Living Nativity” scene with the original light of Christmas – the North Star. Fragments of light suddenly appear as aerialists fly across the Great Stage. One hundred Intel Shooting Star mini drones, representing Christmas lights, create various images and animations that are synchronized to music and lighting effects. The Radio City Rockettes are then revealed, performing new choreography in glamorous new costumes designed by Tony and Drama Desk Award-nominated costume designer Emilio Sosa. The production is running now through Jan. 1, 2019 and tickets are on sale at www.rockettes.com/christmas and at the Radio City box office.

ABOUT THE ADDED REGIONAL PERFORMERS:

BILLY PORTER

Billy Porter stars on Ryan Murphy’s “Pose” on FX and has made several appearances this season on “American Horror Story.” Porter is a Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer, director, composer and playwright from Pittsburgh. He is best known for his star turn as Lola in the smash hit Broadway musical “Kinky Boots,” for which he won the 2013 Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. Other Broadway acting credits include the Tony-nominated Broadway musical, “Shuffle Along,” “Miss Saigon,” “Five Guys Named Moe” and “Grease.” His one-man show, “Ghetto Superstar: The Man That I Am,” was nominated for a 2005 GLAAD Media Award. Porter’s film and television credits include Baz Luhrman’s “The Get Down,” “The Humbling” directed by Barry Levinson, “Another World,” “Twisted” and “Law & Order.” As a recording artist, Porter’s solo albums include his first CD, “Untitled,” and his sophomore album, “At the Corner of Broadway + Soul – LIVE.” “Billy’s Back on Broadway,” was released in 2014. Porter’s newest album, “The Soul of Richard Rodgers,” is released on Sony Masterworks. As a director, Porter directed the revivals of George C. Wolf’s plays, “The Colored Museum” and “Top Dog/Underdog” as well as the critically acclaimed recreation of “The Wiz.” Porter is currently filming the Paramount feature film “Limited Partners,” starring Tiffany Haddish, which will be out next summer.

THE PAL COPS & KIDS CHORUS IN NEW YORK CITY

The PAL Cops & Kids Chorus in New York City evolved from a songwriting project that engaged NYPD officers and PAL (Police Athletic League) teens in a process of creativity and discovery. The experience was so impactful that the officers and teens have continued to practice and perform original work and standards from the American songbook throughout the year. The PAL Cops & Kids Chorus provides a unique opportunity for New York City youth to form genuine relationships with NYPD officers, build self-esteem and perform in a variety of exciting venues throughout New York City. The Chorus is an initiative within the PAL Acting Program, under the leadership of PAL Board member Tony Danza. New York City’s Police Athletic League is the first and finest civilian-run PAL in the country. Founded in 1914, PAL has served the city’s young people for over 100 years. PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to 30,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization. For more information, please visit www.palnyc.org.

TONY DANZA

Most recently starring in the Netflix series “The Good Cop,” Tony Danza has been one of the world’s most beloved and iconic entertainers for over 40 years. Perhaps best known for his starring roles on two of television’s most cherished and long-running series, “Taxi” and “Who’s The Boss,” Danza has also starred in hit films such as “Angels In Outfield,” “She’s Out of Control,” “Hollywood Knights,” and “Don Jon.” Well established as a song-and-dance man, Danza often tours with his hit live show, “Standards & Stories,” with the New York Times raving, “Tony’s a live wire who tap dances, plays the ukulele, tells stories and radiates irresistible charm. … He exudes the kind of charisma that can’t be taught.” Danza has starred on Broadway in “The Producers,” “A View from the Bridge,” and most recently received rave reviews for his performance in the Broadway musical comedy “Honeymoon In Vegas,” with the New York Times calling his performance “sly genius” and a “career high.”

STATIONS AIRING REGIONAL SHOW (7-8 P.M. ET):

WBGH (Binghamton, N.Y.), WYNC (Boston, Mass. – satellite of WBTS), WBTS (Boston, Mass.), WCBD (Charleston, S.C.), WVIR (Charlottesville, Va.), WETM (Elmira, N.Y.), WNBW (Gainesville, Fla.), WVIT (Hartford, Conn.), WTLV (Jacksonville, Fla.), WGAL (Lancaster, Pa.), WTVJ (Miami, Fla.), WNBC (New York, N.Y.), WKTD (Norfolk, Va.), WAVY (Norfolk, Va.), WPTV (Palm Beach, Fla.), WCAU (Philadelphia, Pa.), WRAL (Raleigh-Durham, N.C.), WRC (Washington, D.C. – jip at 7:30pm), WRDE (Salisbury, Md.), WTWC (Tallahassee, Fla.), WKTV (Utica, N.Y.), WVNC (Watertown, N.Y.), WTOV (Wheeling, W.V.)