Anna Singing at Kennedy Center Honors

The Kennedy Center Honors aired last night, and Anna’s performance of “It’s Not Where You Start It’s Where You Finish” was phenomenal. She and other Broadway woman performed to honor actress/singer Shirley MacLaine. Shirley, as well as the Obamas and the other honorees, were visibly thrilled at Anna’s number, and now you can be too!

Broadway vets Sutton Foster, Patina Miller and Karen Olivo along with ‘Pitch Perfect’ star Anna Kendrick paid tribute to legendary star of stage and screen Shirley MacLaine on last night’s 36TH ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS

. . . Then Glenn Close introduced a performance homage to MacLaine, saying, “Years ago, a young dancer with stars in her eyes headed to New York and took musical theater by storm. Tonight, returning the favor, Broadway’s brightest young stars have come to the Kennedy Center to salute the artist they admire.” First Tony Award-winning actress, singer and dancer Sutton Foster performed a medley of hit Broadway songs made famous by MacLaine, including “Something Better Than This,” “Steam Heat” and “She’s No Longer A Gypsy,” followed by Tony Award-winning musical theater actress Patina Miller singing MacLaine’s signature song, “If My Friends Could See Me Now.” Then Tony Award-winning actress Karen Olivo sang “Irma La Douce,” followed by Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrickbelting out “It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish.” The tribute concluded with all of the performers singing “Lord Help Us, We Love Her” in honor of MacLaine. {broadwayworld.com}

Anna Kendrick Nails It At The Kennedy Center Honors

What’s scarier than performing in a packed theater, for a crowd that includes President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama? This: performing in a packed theater that also includes accomplished stage performers like Glenn Close, Shirley MacLaine, Kathy Bates, Renee Fleming, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Herbie Hancock, and Carlos Santana.

What’s scarier than that? Performing in front of said house, in a musical number that puts you up alongside Broadway megastars Patina Miller (Pippin, Sister Act), Karen Olivo (West Side Story) and Sutton Foster (everything good you ever saw).

But last night, during the CBS airing of the Kennedy Center Honors, 28-year-old film star Anna Kendrick faced these daunting circumstances and hit it out of the park. During the live tribute to Shirley MacLaine, which focused on the Oscar-winner’s long career on the stage, Kendrick showed off the singing chops most of us first witnessed in Pitch Perfect and her top-selling single, “Cups.”

We shouldn’t be surprised, of course—Kendrick garnered a Tony nomination at age 12 (!!) for her Broadway debut in High Society. But still, it’s been a while since America has seen her rock out live, as opposed to from a sound stage or recording studio. And we must tip our top hat to Kendrick for really pulling it off, thus whetting our appetites for her upcoming performance as Cinderella in the Into The Woods film adaptation, and every other imagined Broadway production that could potentially follow. (Suggestions: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Wicked, Cabaret, Sweet Charity, Cinderella, Les Miserables, Little Shop of Horrors, A Chorus Line, Anything Goes, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Light in the Piazza, The King and I, Legally Blonde, My Fair Lady, Chicago, Once Upon a Mattress, etc, etc.){vanityfair.com}

Check out HQ and MQ photos from the event in our gallery here.

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