Think you've got what it takes in music, drama, or dance to get into Juilliard? Good luck -- the school enrolls about eight percent of its applicants. Uploaded by wikimedia.org.
If you aspire to a professional career in drama, dance, or music, you can hardly have a better school on your resume than Juilliard.
About 800 students are enrolled at Juilliard’s Lincoln Center “campus,” and that sounds like a good number. But consider that a couple of years ago, the school received 2,138 applications for admission and enrolled 162 people. Only the most promising talents get to train at Juilliard.
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Even though there are three disciplines training at Juilliard, the school still tilts strongly toward music education. Of the 800 students noted above, only about 90 are in dance, and 90 in drama. The rest of the students are studying under the distinguished music faculty the school always attracts.
One way to look at any school is to look at its graduates. I admit up front that I’m more familiar with the drama and music graduates than dance. With that caveat, here are some of Juilliard’s distinguished alumni:
Christine Baranski • Andre Braugher • Marcia Cross • Kelsey Grammer • William Hurt • Val Kilmer • Kevin Kline • Laura Linney • Patti LuPone • Kelly McGillis • Elizabeth McGovern • Bebe Neuwirth • Mandy Patinkin • Kevin Spacey • David Ogden Stiers • Bradley Whitford • Robin Williams
Van Cliburn • Bill Conti • Chick Corea • Miles Davis • Renee Fleming • Philip Glass • Marvin Hamlisch • Bernard Herrmann • Yo Yo Ma • Henry Mancini • Barry Manilow • Wyton Marsalis • Itzhak Perlman • Leontyne Price • Tito Puente • John Williams • Meredith Willson
It's often said that Shelly Long made a huge career mistake by leaving this show. She did. And then Kirstie Alley never had believable chemistry with Ted Danson. Uploaded by ivstatic.com.
Cheers had the two elements that every successful sitcom needs, an excellent ensemble cast and great writing. Together, they created a place we knew we’d enjoy hanging out — where everybody knows your name.
The show ran for eleven seasons on NBC, usually during the hugely popular Thursday night lineup. Although its premiere episode finished last in the ratings, it quickly caught on and became a perennial top 10 show, even finishing the 1990-91 season at number one.
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Most of the characters remained on the show throughout its run. These include bar owner Sam Malone (Ted Danson), bar regulars Norm (George Wendt) and Cliff (John Ratzenberger), waitress Carla (Rhea Perlman), bartender Woody Boyd (Woody Harrelson), and psychiatrist/customer Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) and his ex-wife Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth). Initially, Shelley Long played Sam’s love interest Diane Chambers; then the storyline brought in Kirstie Alley as bar manager Rebecca Howe. Not only did Long commit career suicide by leaving the series, Alley as her replacement was never truly believable in her role. One of the show’s few shortcomings.
Cheers received the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series four times. Many of the actors were also honored for their acting skills: Alley and Long each won an Emmy and a Golden Globe, Danson won two Emmys and Golden Globes, while Harrelson won one Emmy, Neuwirth won two, and Perlman took home four.
And the show’s theme song is one of the most memorable in television history…
Copyright 2009-2011, Robin G. Chalkley. All material on these pages, and the listing of items as Great American Things, is copyrighted. The exceptions are the photographs and videos, which remain the property of their respective owners.
Header photo used courtesy of Flickr photographer too melo.