7:03pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'Rosie O'Donnell Show' Gets One-Night Revival for Actor’s Fund Benefit
Brace yourself for rogue koosh balls. The Rosie O’Donnell Show is back.
The actress and comedian’s juggernaut talk show of the 1990s is getting a one-night revival on Sunday to raise money for The Actors Fund and the growing number of performing arts and entertainment professionals put out of work by the coronavirus pandemic. The special will air live, on YouTube and Broadway.com, and has already assembled an A-list roster of guests to appear from the socially distant comforts of their own homes.
“Everybody who knows me knows that Broadway has been one of the brightest lights in my life since the time I was a little girl,” O’Donnell siad Wednesday in a statement. “It has also been the lifeblood of New York City for generation after generation. After all Broadway has given to the world, now — in this time of tremendous need — it’s our turn to give something back. There is no better way to support this community than via The Actors Fund. And, with a lineup like this, I dare you not to tune in.”
Already lined up are Sebastian Arcelus, Skylar Astin, Beth Behrs, Erich Bergen, Nate Berkus, Stephanie J. Block, Tituss Burgess, Norbert Leo Butz, Kristin Chenoweth, Gavin Creel, Darren Criss, Gloria Estefan, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Harvey Fierstein, David Foster, Morgan Freeman, Neil Patrick Harris, Megan Hilty — keep reading! — Judith Light, Barry Manilow, Rob McClure, Audra McDonald, Katharine McPhee, Alan Menken, Idina Menzel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Lauren Patten, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Randy Rainbow, Andrew Rannells, Chita Rivera — just a few more! — Seth Rudetsky, Lea Salonga, Miranda Sings, Jordin Sparks, Ben Vereen, Adrienne Warren, James Wesley and, if you can believe it, other yet-to-be-announced names.
The event, presented in partnership with Revelations Entertainment and Broadway.com, will air live at 7 p.m. ET. O’Donnell has also enlisted her original music director, composer and producer John McDaniel, to join.
“This is the ultimate win-win proposition,” said producer Erich Bergen. “The Actors Fund needs our support, and we’re all desperate for some fabulous entertainment we can enjoy from the safety of our own homes. I’m so grateful to Rosie, and to this truly jaw-dropping array of talent that have agreed to participate.”
Considering the social distancing required to put on the event, it will likely look different from its heyday.
“Because social distancing is so important right now, this amazing benefit is an incredible show of support to lift spirits, bring us all together virtually and help The Actors Fund help those in need,” said Fund chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell. “Now more than ever, people in our community are depending on The Fund’s vital services. It’s critical that we be there for those in need, in particular our seniors and the immunocompromised individuals who need our help, as well as those in financial distress.”
Those who wish to make a tax deductible donation can do so here.