|'Stars In The House' Announces 'Godspell,' 'Annie,' 'Pageant' Reunions To Benefit The Actors Fund|
|Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 10:31 am EDT 05/19/21|
|Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:30 am EDT 05/19/21|
|“STARS IN THE HOUSE” ANNOUNCES THEATER-FILLED WEEK WITH “GODSPELL,” “ANNIE,” “PAGEANT” REUNIONS, AND “WICKED” GAME NIGHT
DONATIONS TO THE ACTORS FUND DURING SELECT EPISODES WILL BE MATCHED
NEW YORK – Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley announced today a theater-lovers dream week of shows, as they will reunite the casts of “Godspell,” “Annie,” and “Pageant,” and host a very special Elphabas vs. Glindas “Wicked” game night! All will benefit the Actors Fund, and several nights will include matching donations from generous supporters of the arts.
The current schedule, guests, and donations are as follows:
The current schedule, guests, and donations are as follows:
Wednesday, May 19 – Off-Broadway hit musical Pageant reunion featuring John Salvatore, Randl Ask, Russell Garrett, Joe Joyce, Dick Scanlan, David Drake, Jack Plotnick, and director/choreographer Bobby Longbottom. The musical spoof of beauty contests, featuring an all-male cast of competitors, debuted in 1991, was revived in 2014 for new audiences to enjoy
Thursday, May 20 – Wicked Game Night featuring the Glindas (Brittney Johnson, Alli Mauzey, and Patti Murin) vs. the Elphabas (Stephanie J. Block, Lilli Cooper, and honorary Elphaba Seth Rudetsky). May the most “popular” team win!
Friday, May 21 – Leaping Lizards! An Annie reunion featuring all of the original orphans, and Annie herself. Those joining in include Andrea McArdle, Danielle Brisbois, Shelley Bruce, Diana Barrows, Robyn Finn, Donna Graham, Janine Ruane, and Sasha Charnin
Donation match up to $3,000 from Dennis Ballard and Steven O’Neill
Saturday, May 22 – Godspell 50th Anniversary reunion featuring Stephen Schwartz and the players who originated these iconic songs: Peggy Gordon (By My Side, which she also co-wrote), Joanne Jonas (Bless The Lord), Gilmer McCormick (Learn Your Lessons Well), Steve Nathan (who played Jesus), Mark Planner (Original New York production), and George Salazar (Broadway revival). Godspell opened in 1971 , the brainchild of then Carnegie Mellon University student John-Michael Tebelak. It was quickly swept up by commercial producers and given a score by a young Schwartz. The show and it’s songs have since gone on to international acclaim, and become a rite of passage for most aspiring young actors
Donation match up to $3,000 from lifelong Broadway fan and longtime Actors Fund supporter Becca Rothschild
All episodes will livestream at 8pm ET on the Stars In The House YouTube channel, and StarsInTheHouse.com, and fans will be able to ask questions live, and donate to The Actors Fund. And of course, there is a good chance for some live music!
These stars join the incredible lineup of casts and talent that Seth and James have brought together to sing, share stories, and raise money to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic; including “ER,” “The West Wing,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “Night at the Museum,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “Thirtysomething,” “Little House On The Prairie,” “Knots Landing,” “Melrose Place,” “Frasier,” “Family Ties,” “The Waltons,” “Glee,” “30 Rock,” “Desperate Housewives,” “SCTV,” “White Collar,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Taxi,” “Fame,” and “Star Trek: Voyager;” plus iconic Broadway favorites “Spring Awakening,” “Rent,” “A Chorus Line,” “Mamma Mia,” “Les Misérables,” “Urinetown,” “Fun Home,” “The Prom,” “Anastasia,” “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” and “The Full Monty.” Jason Alexander, Wayne Brady, Lisa Kudrow, Ben Stiller, Chita Rivera, Kristin Chenoweth, Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond, Keala Settle, Randy Rainbow, Judith Light, Alex Newell, Leslie Uggams, Audra McDonald and Will Swenson, Peyton List, Patrick Wilson, Vanessa Williams, and Billy Porter are just some of the luminaries who have visited “Stars In The House” since the first show on March 16th. And often Seth and James remind their guests how important it is to keep in touch with loved ones during this social distancing and suddenly a surprise guest will pop up like Jon Hamm, Eric McCormack, John Lithgow, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Jessie Mueller, Iain Armitage, Rosie O’Donnell and Andrew Lloyd Webber!
As the creators and executive producers of “Stars In The House,” Seth and James bring a masterful combination of music, storytelling and community to each episode, ensuring that the show goes on in viewers’ homes even while performance venues across the world are closed.
“Stars In The House” airs new episodes Tuesdays - Saturdays at 8PM ET on its YouTube channel and starsinthehouse.com. For more information and to see upcoming guests, please visit starsinthehouse.com and follow @StarsInTheHouse, Seth (@SethRudetsky) and James (@JamesWesleyNYC) on Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT STARS IN THE HOUSE
“Stars in the House,” which officially kicked off on March 16th, is a daily series that features stars of stage and screen singing or performing plays live (from home!) to promote support for charitable services for those most vulnerable to the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Joining Seth and James for the shows is Dr. Jon LaPook, chief medical correspondent for CBS News. Visit starsinthehouse.com to donate to The Actors Fund, watch previous episodes, learn about upcoming guests and more.
Since the first show, “Stars In The House” has raised more than $925,880 to benefit The Actors Fund, and over $203,337 for other charities including the NAACP LDF, Trevor Project, Humane Society of New York, and more – and continues to do so thanks to a generous donation from the Berlanti Family Foundation. Seth and James also received a special Drama Desk Award and a Gotham Icon Award from the Museum of the City of New York for keeping the theatre community connected, informed, and uplifted during the pandemic.
ABOUT THE ACTORS FUND
The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services.
The Actors Fund COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance program has been able to distribute more than $20 million to more than 15,700 professionals in the performing arts and entertainment community who have been impacted by the coronavirus. This has helped people in financial crisis pay for basic living expenses such as essential medications, rent, food, utilities and other needs.
For the health and safety of everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Actors Fund has transitioned to online and phone-based services, which remain available for everyone in the performing arts and entertainment community. These services include: Artists Health Insurance Resource Center, The Career Center, Housing Resources, Addiction & Recovery, HIV/AIDS and Senior Services, Counseling and Emergency Financial Assistance, as well as The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. To make a tax-deductible donation to The Actors Fund, visit actorsfund.org/donate.
ABOUT SETH RUDETSKY
Seth began working on Broadway as a pianist for shows like Les Miserables and Phantom Of The Opera. He soon connected with Hearts and Voices, an organization that brings live weekly performances to hospitalized people with AIDS and began volunteering for them in 1992, performing at: Rivington House, Roosevelt Island Hospital, the prison ward at St. Clare’s Hospital and the Cardinal Cooke AIDS ward
In 2001, he produced and conducted "Dreamgirls” starring Heather Headley, Audra McDonald and Lillias White, the first fall concert for The Actors Fund, which was recorded on Nonesuch Records and raised almost $1 million for The Fund. He then did “Funny Girl” with Idina Menzel and Jane Krakowski, “Chess” with Adam Pascal and Josh Groban, “Hair” with Jennifer Hudson (Ghostlight Records, Grammy nomination), “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” with Terrence Mann and Jennifer Hudson and “On The Twentieth Century” with Marin Mazzie and Kathleen Turner. He also starred opposite Sutton Foster in The Actors Fund production of “They’re Playing Our Song” and hosted and played piano for an array of divas for their 2009 Nothing Like A Dame concert with Betty Buckley, Stephanie J. Block, Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara and Bebe Neuwirth.
He is the afternoon Broadway host on SiriusXM Radio and recently co-wrote and co-starred in “Disaster!” on Broadway, which was co-produced by his husband, James. He was also a co-producer on the Broadway for Orlando recording of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and Voices for the Voiceless, he and his husband’s annual fundraiser for You Gotta Believe, which helps older foster children find loving homes.
As a writer, he was nominated for three Emmy awards for comedy writing on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and is the author of three volumes of “Seth’s Broadway Diary” which has tons and tons of inside Broadway stories (Dress Circle Publishing) and “My Awesome Awful Popularity Plan” and its sequel “The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek” (published by Random House), a young adult series about a teenaged gay kid named Justin Goldblatt, who’s obsessed with theater and sports a Jewfro.
He is the afternoon Broadway host on SiriusXM Radio and recently co-wrote and co-starred in “Disaster!” on Broadway, which was co-produced by his husband, James. Seth and James produced the all-star Broadway for Orlando recording of “What the World Needs Now Is Love," featuring Carole King, Gloria Estefan, Sara Bareilles, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Billy Porter. The song charted on the Billboard Hot 100, reached #1 on iTunes, and raised over $100,000 for the GLBT Center of Orlando. Seth and James also organized the group to sing at the Democratic National Convention in 2016.
Seth and James teamed up with Broadway superstar Audra McDonald, director Schele Williams, and Broadway Inspirational Voices’ Joseph Joubert and Michael McElroy to release a very special recording and music video of the beloved song “Georgia On My Mind” to help to raise funds and awareness for Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight organization’s work to ensure that every eligible Georgian has the resources and information they need to vote in the January 5th runoff election. The single is released by Broadway Records, and is available wherever digital music is sold and on BroadwayRecords.com. The video, which was directed by Schele Williams, is available for viewing via Fair Fight’s YouTube Page.
Most recently, they collaborated with Williams on a special video celebrating the Inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, which aired during the January 20 special. Over 35 stars, including Chita Rivera, Betty Buckley, Chandra Wilson, Jessie Mueller, Laura Benanti, Leslie Uggams, Peppermint, Vanessa Williams, Wayne Brady, and more joined from the safety of their own homes to belt out two iconic Broadway songs: “Season of Love” from RENT, and “Let The Sunshine In” from HAIR.
ABOUT JAMES WESLEY
In addition to conceiving the idea for Broadway for Orlando, James created (and co-produced with Seth) Voices for the Voiceless on Broadway in 2015 starring Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, Megan Hilty, Antwone Fisher, Charlene Tilton, Caroline Rhea, Darren Criss, Alec Mapa, Kate Shindle, and Eden Espinosa. It shined a spotlight on foster care in a unique and entertaining way, combining celebrity, music, and everyday people sharing their stories. The concert raised $500,000 for You Gotta Believe! and the Council on Adoptable Children.
The now-annual benefit concert for You Gotta Believe had its sixth edition in February 2020 at The Town Hal in New York City, starring Laurie Metcalf, Kelli O'Hara, Andrea Martin, and Brian Stokes Mitchell, among many others.
In response to concerns that marginalized people would suffer after 2016's presidential election, James co-produced and co- hosted a concert series called Concert for America with his husband. The first concert was held at The Town Hall in New York, New York January 20, 2017. Over the course of the series (13 in all), entertainment’s biggest stars from Barry Manilow, Vanessa Williams, Chita Rivera, Melissa Manchester, Marcia Cross, and Grant Gustin, generously lent their voices to raise money for national organizations dedicated to protecting civil rights, women’s health, and environmental protection.
As a writer, he wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway play, “Unbroken Circle”, starring Eve Plumb and Tony nominees Anika Larsen and Jennifer Simard. He also wrote “Art and Science”, a comedy-drama dealing with the generational differences between two gay men. It starred Tony nominees Tony Sheldon and John Tartaglia.
James was also proud to be one of the lead producers on Broadway of his husband’s musical, “Disaster!”
James and Seth are the proud recipients of the National Leadership Award from the LGBTQ Task Force for their work on Broadway for Orlando’s What the World Needs Now is Love. For their work on Stars in the House, they have received the Gotham Icon Award from the Museum of the City of New York, the Founders Award for Resilience from the Cancer Support Community and a Drama Desk Award.
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