Opera diva Marilyn Horne, blues singer-guitarist B.B. King, dancer-choreographer Jacques D’Amboise, playwright Neil Simon and actor Sidney Poitier have been selected as honorees for the 18th annual Kennedy Center Honors, Kennedy Center chairman James D. Wolfensohn announced. They will be honored Dec. 3 at the Center in a show produced by George Stevens Jr. and Don Mischer. Lou Horvitz directs. CBS will tape the show for airing at a later date.
The 1993 show won an Emmy for best variety show; Horvitz is nominated for an Emmy for directing the ’94 show.
This year’s show will be written by Mischer and Bob Shrum. Walter Cronkite is to emcee.
President and Hillary Clinton will hold a reception for the honorees and guests at the White House before the event at the Kennedy Center. Clinton missed the presentation last year, having to attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting in Budapest.
On Dec. 2, Secretary of State Warren Christopher will host a formal dinner at the State Dept., where the honorees officially will be presented their medals in a ceremony that features presenters from the five honorees’ respective fields of endeavor.
The event is a major fundraiser for the Kennedy Center, last year pulling in $ 2.1 million.