Last night, Rosie O’Donnell hosted a one-night-only event on YouTube featuring Broadway performers at home in order to raise money for The Actors Fund, an organization that is providing emergency financial assistance to entertainment industry professionals impacted by closures related to the coronavirus pandemic. The event reportedly raised $500,000 for the fund, including $100,000 from O’Donnell herself, and included appearances by Patti LuPone, Billy Porter, Kristin Chenoweth, and even Stephen Sondheim (singing happy birthday to Andrew Lloyd Webber and vice versa). Here are five at-home performance highlights from the fundraiser:
Patti LuPone Singing “A Hundred Years from Today” and “Smile”
LuPone was in the middle of previews of a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” when all Broadway theaters were closed due to the pandemic, and the show was to have its premiere last night, Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday.
Kristin Chenoweth Sings “Taylor the Latte Boy”
Chenoweth chose a song she performed on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.”
Kelli O’Hara Sings “Take Me to the World”
O’Hara introduced her kids, who are at home because of school closures due to the pandemic, and chose a song by Stephen Sondheim in celebration of his 90th birthday.
Billy Porter Sings “Not While I’m Around”
Porter talks about breaking boundaries as a LGBTQ performer and how he was a former beneficiary of The Actors Fund.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim Wish Each Other Happy Birthday
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim share a March 22 birthday and wished each other happy birthday, the former at the piano and the latter while washing his hands!