(NEW YORK) — Rosie O’Donnell brought her Emmy-winning talk show back for one night only on Sunday, raising over $600,000 for The Actors Fund in an effort to offer help during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced Broadway shows to go dark through April 13.
The three-and-a-half-hour event, which streamed live on Broadway.com, featured appearances and performances from Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Gloria Estefan, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Harvey Fierstein, Morgan Freeman, Neil Patrick Harris, Judith Light, Barry Manilow, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells, Chita Rivera, Jordin Sparks, Ben Vereen, Tituss Burgess and Kristin Chenoweth, among others — all from the comfort of their own homes.
Each shared updates on how they’re coping with with the fallout from the virus, which has forced people to stay inside, as well as touting the great work The Actors Fund does to help struggling theater workers.
One of them was Porter, who revealed that he once turned to The Actors Fund after filing for bankruptcy left him homeless. “I’m not embarrassed by that,” said the Pose star, adding, “Anybody can fall on hard times.”
McDonald and Chenoweth were among those who performed, along with Manilow, who closed the show with a medley of his big hits, including “Copacabana,” “Can’t Smile Without You” and “Looks Like We Made It.”
As she closed the show, O’Donnell teased that she may hold similar events in the future to benefit other people struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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