Sunday’s 38th annual presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors celebrated the work of five “titans of the performing arts,” Variety reports, honoring the careers of director George Lucas, singer/songwriter Carole King, conductor Seiji Ozawa and actors Cecily Tyson and Rita Moreno.
“Emceed for the second year by Stephen Colbert, the show began with a toast to Moreno that included a lively perf of ‘America’ from ‘West Side Story’ and ended with Aretha Franklin delivering a rousing rendition of King’s ‘You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,'” the story notes.
President Obama was on hand, arriving at intermission after delivering a prime-time address to the nation about terrorism. The ceremony was the first under new Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter, and the first to be produced by the new team of Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss.
“The toast to director Lucas was the evening’s most elaborate segment,” Variety notes. “Emceed by Usher, it included appearances by Carrie Fisher (by ‘video voicemail’), as well as former honorees Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. James Earl Jones narrated the biographical film for Lucas as well as a shorter video clip that highlighted Lucas’ many technological achievements in film. It ended with a laser-filled tribute to ‘Star Wars’ that plowed new ground for the Honors event.”
The ceremony is scheduled to air Dec. 29 on CBS.