Org to fete Streisand, Freeman, Jones, Tharp

WASHINGTON — Barbra Streisand, Morgan Freeman, country crooner George Jones, choreographer Twyla Tharp and the Who’s Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey will be feted at this year’s Kennedy Center Honors.

The group will be celebrated at a Dec. 7 black-tie gala and variety show to be attended by President George Bush and first lady Laura Bush. George Stevens Jr. will again produce the event, which will air on CBS later in the month.

In announcing this year’s recipients, Kennedy Center chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman said Streisand’s “trailblazing career in music, theater, films and television is one of the most thrilling spectacles of our culture.” He called Freeman “one of the most respected performers in American cinema” and Tharp “an American original whose work has indelibly enriched the vocabulary of modern dance, contemporary ballet and the Broadway musical.”

Schwarzman said Jones has been “instrumental in making country music a vital force in American life” and praised Townshend and Daltrey for transforming the sights and sounds of rock ‘n’ roll.

This year’s Kennedy Center Honors will include a Dec. 6 dinner at the State Dept. hosted by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and a pre-show reception at the White House.

The Kennedy Center kudos, now in their 31st year, are a fund-raiser for the performing arts center that attracts showbiz and political celebrities of every stripe.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more