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"American Celebration" at Ford's Theatre

March 3, 2002 Black tie event by invitation only.

Broadcast Friday, April 12th, 10:00 p.m on ABC.

"This is the Moment"

Ford's Theatre Tenor Daniel Rodriguez

"This is the Moment" - The 'Singing Cop' stole the spotlight.  ~Robert L Haught

Introduced by "NYPD Blue" actor Dennis Franz, Daniel Rodriguez gave a powerful rendition of "This Is the Moment," with video action from the Olympics in the background. America's Olympic gold medalists joined him on stage as the president and first lady led the audience in a standing ovation. 

The annual gala benefiting historic Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, includes performances by music legend Stevie Wonder, Dennis Franz ("NYPD Blue"), John Spencer ("West Wing"), pop sensation and movie star Mandy Moore ("A Walk to Remember"), Tony-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth, Grammy-winning gospel singer Yolanda Adams, magician David Copperfield, country trio SHeDAISY and America's Tenor, the singing police officer, Daniel Rodriguez, from the Manhattan South precinct whose patriotic performances at Yankee Stadium and other venues last fall truly embodied the American spirit.


As Daniel Rodriguez sings the show-stopper "This is the Moment," five Olympic Gold Medalists make a special appearance during the show. Derek Parra (speedskating), Chris Witty (speedskating), Vonetta Flowers and Jill Bakken (women's bobsled), and Jim Shea, Jr. (skeleton) walk onstage, prompting a standing ovation from the delighted audience members.


Mrs. Laura Bush serves as the honorary chair of the gala celebration, and Mrs. Tom Daschle, Mrs. Trent Lott, Mrs. John D. Dingell and Mrs. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin serve as gala chairs. Senator Lott, Senator Daschle, Congressman Dingell and Congressman Tauzin join a distinguished audience of political and corporate leaders to share this special evening of entertainment in America's most historic theater.


This year marks the 22nd televised gala at Ford's theater since its reopening in 1968. For 103 years following President Lincoln's assassination, this national treasure remained dark as a symbol of national mourning. On January 30, 1968, a restored Ford's Theatre opened, dedicated as a memorial to Lincoln's love of the performing arts. In 1975 President Ford became the first president to attend a gala at the theater since its closure in 1865.

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