Maestro to the stars David Foster, who has collaborated with some of the greatest superstars in music, returns to THIRTEEN’s Great Performances series with several of his favorite artists for a magnificent night of music: Hitman Returns: David Foster & Friends is scheduled to air this March 2011 on PBS (check local listings). (In New York, THIRTEEN will air the program on Wednesday, March 9 at 8 p.m.)
Filmed last October 2010 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Hitman Returns, the follow-up concert to the hugely popular 2008 Hitman: David Foster & Friends, is an all-star celebration featuring even more chart-topping stars and music from the 15-time Grammy Award-winner’s extensive career catalog.
Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media partners.
The Mandalay Bay Events Center concert followed showman Foster’s 10-city “Foster + Friends” tour which sold out across the country. “We had such a phenomenal time last go round, I knew that I wanted to come back with a stronger, bigger and even more theatrical show that would be totally unforgettable. I think we succeeded in assembling some of the greatest voices out there for one night,” stated Foster. “I was thrilled to be hosting and accompanying my friends on this very special night,” he concluded.
Foster’s high profile friends on this occasion include All-4-One, Martina McBride, Charice, Natalie Cole, Earth, Wind & Fire, America’s Got Talent sensation Jackie Evancho, Lara Fabian, Ne-Yo, Michael Bolton, pedal steel guitar virtuoso Robert Randolph, Chaka Khan, Kenny Loggins, Seal, Ruben Studdard, and Donna Summer, performing songs either written, produced or connected to Foster over the course of his prolific musical career.
The evening offers a succession of showstopping solos, from both veteran performers and newcomers, the latter category represented in spectacular fashion by 10-year-old phenomenon Jackie Evancho’s renditions of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Pie Jesu” and Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro,” and “Glee” star Charice’s soulful “All By Myself.”
But the concert is also thrilling for its striking duets: Bolton and Seal’s bluesy mash-up of “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “It’s a Man World”; Natalie Cole and Ruben Studdard’s nostalgic “When I Fall in Love”; Lara Fabian and Bolton’s fervent “The Prayer”; and Donna Summer and Seal’s powerhouse medley of “Unbreak My Heart,” “Crazy,” and “On the Radio.”
Foster — who has been nominated for an unprecedented 45 Grammy awards, won two Emmys and was an Oscar nominee — has discovered and nurtured the careers of megastars such as Josh Groban and Michael Bublé. He has well as created chart-topping hits for legends Andrea Bocelli, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Chicago, Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind and Fire & Chaka Khan.
Song Rundown (as of press time)
David Foster “Winter Games”
Kenny Loggins “Heart To Heart”
Chaka Khan “Through the Fire”
All-4-One “I Swear”
Natalie Cole / Ruben Studdard “When I Fall In Love”
Jackie Evancho “Pie Jesu”
Jackie Evancho “O Mio Babbino Caro”
Martina McBride “We’ve Got Tonight”
Michael Bolton / Seal Medley “When A Man Loves A Woman / It’s A Man’s World”
Chaka Khan “I’m Every Woman”
Earth Wind & Fire Medley “In The Stone / September / After The Love Has Gone”
Lara Fabian “Caruso”
Ne-Yo “Miss Independent”
Charice “All By Myself”
Ne-Yo, Charice, Robert Randolph “Earth Song”
Lara Fabian / Michael Bolton “The Prayer”
Donna Summer / Seal Medley “Unbreak My Heart / Crazy / On The Radio”
Donna Summer “Last Dance”
The concert was produced by THIRTEEN for WNET and WBR (Warner Bros. Records) for PBS broadcast on Great Performances, and will also be released this March as a concert CD/DVD on 143/Reprise Records.
The telecast was directed for television by David Horn, and produced by Mitch Owgang. Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn and David Foster are executive producers.
Great Performances is funded by The Starr Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Joseph A. Wilson, public television viewers and PBS.