March 05, 2012 9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Shonda Rhimes Talks 'Grey's Anatomy's' Live Musical Benefit
The stars of ABC's Grey's Anatomy will revisit last year's musical episode when they take the stage this month to perform selected songs from the Shonda Rhimes drama's "Song Beneath the Song" and music from the medical drama as part of a fundraiser for The Actors Fund.
Set for Sunday, March 18, Grey's creator Rhimes says the benefit won't be the first time the cast -- including Tony winner Sara Ramirez, Jessica Capshaw, Sandra Oh, Kevin McKidd and more -- take the stage together.
"We did a musical benefit during the writers' strike that featured the casts of both Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice," Rhimes tells The Hollywood Reporter. "All of us really enjoyed the experience and spoke about doing it again. Sara, Grey's EP Tony Phelan and I discussed putting something together after the musical episode last season and we're just getting around to it now."
Set to benefit The Actors Fund -- a nonprofit organization that provides care and services to entertainment industry professionals -- the event will feature cast members Eric Dane, Sarah Drew, James Pickins Jr., Kim Raver, Chandra Wilson as well as Capshaw, McKidd, Oh and Ramirez performing songs from last March's musical episode as well as other songs from the series while offering a behind-the-scenes look at how the series comes together.
"There are so many people out work right now and it's wonderful to know that the Actors Fund is trying to bridge the gap," Rhimes says. "We're fortunate to be able to help by throwing this concert."
The March 2011 episode revolved around Ramirez's Callie Torres, who experiences her surgery following a near-death car crash through such songs as Brandi Carlile's "The Story" and Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars."
Ramirez -- who won a Tony in 2005 for her role in musical Spamalot -- was the first one on board for the live performance. "She has an amazing voice and an incredible confidence that comes with that level of talent," Rhimes says. "She's been instrumental in the planning of this event."
The showrunner -- who will launch her third series this season with the Kerry Washington political fixer drama Scandal on April 5 -- reveals that the Grey's cast and crew are looking to recapture the energy from "Song Beneath the Song" with the live performance.
"The biggest thing we took away from doing that episode was how much fun everyone had -- the actors, the crew, the writers … it was fun and inspiring to step out of our comfort zones," says Rhimes, who penned the episode. "So we're just going to try to have fun with this benefit concert and give the audience a good time."
For tickets and more information about Grey's Anatomy's "The Song Beneath the Show" -- which will also feature a special performance by Ingrid Michaelson -- go to uclalive.org.