Press Release

PBS Special to Premiere on Friday, September 21 at 9PM ET/PT

Produced by George Stevens, Jr. & Directed and Produced by Michael Stevens, Winners of 19 EMMY Awards

LOS ANGELES, July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — A legendary line-up of talent from the worlds of music, television, stage and screen join together for an unprecedented night of entertainment in “From Dust To Dreams: Opening Night at The Smith Center For The Performing Arts” in Las Vegas, set to air on PBS on Friday, September 21st at 9pm ET/PT.

This historic television event will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris and will feature performances by Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, country superstars Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris and Martina McBride, iconic singer-songwriter Carole King, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, world renowned classical violinist Joshua Bell, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Member John Fogerty, Gospel great Mavis Staples, Train lead singer Pat Monahan, and American Ballet Theater dancers Marcello Gomes and Luciana Paris.

“From Dust To Dreams” will showcase never-before-seen duets and artist collaborations:  Train’s Pat Monahan takes the stage with Martina McBride for their first-ever performance of “A Song for You.”  Mavis Staples teams with Carole King for their performance of the timeless classic “You’ve Got a Friend.”  In a powerhouse trio of talents brought together for the first time, Jennifer Hudson takes the stage with Martina McBride and Carole King for an unforgettable performance of “Natural Woman.”  Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard prove once again why they are country music royalty with their rendition of “Pancho & Lefty.” Later, they are joined by Emmylou Harris for a special version of Haggard’s classic “Ramblin’ Fever.”

“I am so honored to have been a part of the Smith Center’s opening night,” said the GRAMMY winning recording artist, Martina McBride.  “I am excited for viewers at home to see how magical the night was performing with some of the most iconic names in music.”

The world of Broadway is represented by Tony winner Brian Stokes Mitchell (Kiss Me Kate, Man of La Mancha, Ragtime), Laura Osnes (Grease, South Pacific, Anything Goes), Cheyenne Jackson (television’s Glee, 30 Rock and Broadway’s Finian’s Rainbow, All Shook Up), Sherie Rene Scott (Aida, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Little Mermaid, Women on the Verge), Montego Glover (Memphis, Color Purple) and Benjamin Walker (Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, Inherit the Wind).

“We set out to celebrate the best of the American creative spirit whether it was classical, Broadway, rock, dance or soul on the occasion of the opening of a world class performing arts center,” comments director and producer, Michael Stevens.  “It’s not every day that you get the chance to see such a range of artists all at the peak of their respective talents.”

“This was an historic night in Las Vegas and the Smith Center was thrilled with the show. George and Michael Stevens produced an extraordinary celebration filled with timeless and inspiring performances,” adds Myron Martin, President and CEO of The Smith Center for The Performing Arts.

“From Dust To Dreams: Opening Night at the Smith Center For The Performing Arts” is produced by 15-time Emmy winner George Stevens, Jr. and directed and produced by four-time Emmy winner Michael Stevens from The Stevens Company.


From Dust To Dreams: Opening Night at The Smith Center For The Performing Arts is part of the ongoing, multi-platform “PBS Arts” initiative, which highlights PBS’s commitment to the performing and visual arts, and gives millions of viewers a front-row seat and a backstage pass for the best music, theater, dance, art, and cultural history programs on-air and online.  For more information, visit


The Stevens Company is one of the industry’s most respected and lauded production companies helmed by a father-and-son team with a combined seven decades of experience as storytellers of the highest artistic caliber – feature film, documentaries, and event television specials.  Michael and George Stevens, Jr. have produced the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors together for a decade, the performing arts celebration which George Stevens, Jr. started in 1978.  They earned Emmys for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 productions of the Honors–one of only 12 programs in television history to win in three consecutive years.  At President Obama’s invitation, the Stevens conceived and produced “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial” and secured talent ranging from Bono to Jon Bon Jovi to Garth Brooks and Jamie Foxx for the historic event.  In 2011 their award winning film “Thurgood” which starred Laurence Fishburne as the Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall who paved the way for racial integration in our nation’s school drew widespread critical acclaim on HBO.   In 1998, they collaborated on their first feature together, Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line,” which was nominated for seven Academy Awards.


The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a public/private partnership that is becoming the centerpiece of cultural life in Las Vegas, offering a blend of performances by resident companies, as well as first-run touring attractions. The Smith Center is the cultural center for Las Vegas – a place that educates, entertains and excites the citizens of our great community. Located in downtown’s 61-acre urban development, Symphony Park, The Smith Center broke ground in May of 2009 and opened to the public March 2012. For more information about The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, visit

For media inquiries, please contact:

Holly Taylor

Jennifer Jimenez