Rosie O’Donnell’s talk show returned for one night only yesterday – for a good cause! The star-studded live-streamed talk show –which ran longer than the Oscars, as Rosie pointed out– successfully raised over half-a-million dollars for The Actors Fund, supporting entertainment professionals in need amid coronavirus.
Back in the late 90s, Rosie’s 25-Emmy-winning show promoted more theater than any other national program in television history. Last night, viewers at home were treated to appearances and performances by “literally everyone” from Broadway to the big screen as Rosie hosted live from her garage-slash-art studio.
Guests included Lin-Manuel Miranda, Neil Patrick Harris, Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, and more.
Here are the highlights:
- After a video message from a few celebrities who couldn’t make it, including Morgan Freeman, the first star to appear was “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson. He reminded fans that he got his start on Broadway – including a performance on Rosie’s original talk show.
- Only ten minutes in, Rosie already managed to raise $16,000 for The Actors Fund on YouTube alone, with donations going up by hundreds every minute.
- Then Gloria Estefan appeared, ready with her guitar to serenade folks at home. After urging everyone to “do our part,” she reminded fans that there’s “always tomorrow” – in song! She also showed off her two dogs, which she rescued at Broadway Barks.
- Lin-Manuel Mirandahad some time to kill between his kids bath and bedtime, revealing that he’s working on finishing up the music for his new musical “In The Heights.”
- “Pitch Perfect” star Ben Platt, who we told you has been putting on virtual dance parties for folks at home, talked about his love of Broadway and performed “Make You Feel My Love.”
- With the live-action “Little Mermaid” among the many productions on hold right now, composer Alan Menken revealed that he wrote four new songs for the movie with Lin-Manuel Miranda. He also talked about working on the upcoming “Enchanted” sequel, “Disenchanted,” and performed a little Disney medley on piano, singing songs from “Pocahontas,” “Aladdin,” and “Hercules,” and more.
- Neil Patrick Harrismade an appearance with his kids,Harper and Gideon. He was supposed to be in Berlin filming “Matrix 4,” but he was grateful for the extra time with his family. He showed off some magic tricks with some help from his magic assistants, who tried their best not to tell everyone the secrets behind the tricks.
- An hour into the show, Rosie and crew had successfully raised $50,000 for The Actors Fund on YouTube alone.
- “Glee” and “American Horror Story” star Darren Criss made an appearance and the virtual crowd went nuts. He was “happily” back home in California with his “beautiful” wife and kids – and guitars. He graced the show with an off-the-cuff, “exclusive” rendition of “Being Alive” by legendary Broadway composer and songwriter Stephen Sondheim. Who,by the way,was celebrating his 90th birthday.
- “Pose” star Billy Porter is no stranger to Rosie’s show – he was on the original eight times! He urged fans to donate to The Actors Fund, an organization that helped him when he found himself homeless, gig-less and filing for bankruptcy. “I’m not embarrassed by that,” he added. “Anybody can fall on hard times.”
- Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker also chimed in, saying they’ve been spending quarantine “playing a lot of games,” cooking, watching “The Crown,” and look forward to watching HBO’s new Stephen King adaptation “The Outsider.” Speaking of which, Oscar-nominated star Cynthia Erivohad appeared earlier to discuss bringing autism spectrum representation to the show.
- For anyone craving some sweet treats during quarantine, SJP repped her Girl Scout daughters, reminding folks that they’re still taking cookie orders!
- Kristin Chenoweth showed up in a bedazzled face mask –staying safe with style! She brought it back to Rosie’s show circa 1999, singing “Taylor the Latte Boy.”
- Katharine McPhee and David Foster kicked off their interview by singing happy birthday to Rosie. They also promoted their new Instagram live streaming series, where they’ve been dueting on piano and vocals.
- Barry Manilow serenaded everyone to close out the show, singing some of hits biggest hits including “Copacabana” and “I Made It Through Rain.”
Source:Dr. Dave’s Ultimate Prep
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