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Tuning In

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Taste of the Fourth

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, and My Network TV is celebrating Broadway on its holiday special, "Taste of Chicago 2007 Fireworks Spectacular," airing at 8 p.m. on My Network TV (WDCA Channel 20).

The two-hour broadcast will feature performances from the Windy City's Grant Park Orchestra, as well as "Broadway in Chicago," "High School Musical," "Wicked," "The Color Purple" and "The Putnam County Spelling Bee."

Songwriter Josh Kelley and Blue Man Group also take the stage.

The day's other holiday fare:

2007 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest (noon, ESPN): Competitors compete for "top dog" bragging rights (and cash, of course) by determining who can wolf down the highest number of the all-American sandwiches in record time. Takeru Kobayashi, the six-time defending Nathan's hot dog-eating champ, now says he'll compete despite reports of a painful jaw injury.

A Capitol Fourth 2007 (8 p.m., WETA-Channel 26 and MPT-Channel 22). Hosted by veteran actor Tony Danza, the nation's premier Independence Day holiday concert — now in its 27th year — features performances from some of the country's best known and award-winning musical artists, including season five "American Idol" finalist Elliott Yamin, Grammy-winning gospel artist Yolanda Adams, rock 'n' roll legend Little Richard, country music sensation Dierks Bentley, actress-singer Hayden Panettiere (NBC's "Heroes"), and Tony Award winner Bebe Neuwirth with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Erich Kunzel. As usual, the concert, which airs live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, will offer a stunning display of fireworks over the Washington Monument along with a performance of Tchaikovsky's stirring "1812 Overture" by the NSO.

Yankee Doodle Dandy (5:30 p.m., TCM): The 1942 classic stars James Cagney in his Oscar-winning portrayal as American tunesmith and showman George M. Cohan.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports