“STARS IN THE HOUSE” RAISES MORE THAN $55,000 AND COUNTING FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT COMMUNITY FUND DURING LABOR DAY SPECIAL
Rick Miramontez / Kendall Edwards / Bailey Everett
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
“STARS IN THE HOUSE”
PRESENTED BY SETH RUDETSKY AND JAMES WESLEY
WITH CO-HOST ANNETTE BENING
RAISES MORE THAN $55,000 AND COUNTING FOR
THE ENTERTAINMENT COMMUNITY FUND
DURING LABOR DAY SPECIAL
OVER $1.2 MILLION RAISED BY “STARS IN THE HOUSE” SINCE MARCH 2020
New York, NY (September 7, 2023) – The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund) announced today that the Stars In The House Labor Day Special that was presented on Monday, September 4 by SiriusXM’s Seth Rudetsky, his husband, Broadway producer James Wesley and Entertainment Community Fund Chair Annette Bening has raised more than $55,000 so far, bringing the total amount of money raised for the Fund by the show to over $1,253,780 since March 2020. This total includes a $25,000 matching gift donation from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS in honor of Annette Bening. There is also an additional ongoing matching gift donation of up to $50,000 from John Cryer and Lisa Joyner. People can continue to donate at StarsInTheHouse.com to help meet the match.
Special guests included Dylan Adler, Jason Alexander, Atsuko, Jensen Atwood, Dan Bucatinsky, Kate Burton, D’Arcy Carden, Josh Colley, Jon Cryer, Lisa Edelstein, Juan Pablo Espinosa, Patrick Fabian, Joely Fisher, Fisher and Thames, Spencer Garrett, Greg Germann, Matt Gould, Marilu Henner, Cheyenne Jackson, Lisa Joyner, John Kassir, Andrew Leeds, Maureen McCormick, Paul McCrane, Donna Mills, Rory O’Malley, Michael Orland, Jack Plotnick, Caroline Rhea, Gabrielle Ruiz, Cody Saintgnue, Sarah Silverman, Jean Smart, John Tartaglia, Lauren Tom, Steven Weber, Henry Winkler, Noah Wyle and Matt Zarley.
To download photos from the event, click here. (Photo Credit: Nina Prommer)
“Seth and James have done it again! Our deepest thanks to everyone who made the Stars In The House Labor Day special so successful—including our remarkable Chair, Annette Bening, and the multitude of guests who spent their holiday in support of the Fund. And of course, our thanks to the hundreds of people who donated so generously to help those in need in our industry,” said Fund President and CEO Joe Benincasa.
The special can be viewed at startsinthehouse.com.
As the creators of Stars In The House, Seth and James have brought a masterful combination of music, storytelling and community to each episode, ensuring that the show went on in viewers’ homes even while performance venues across the world were closed.
Stars In The House airs new episodes on its YouTube channel and starsinthehouse.com, and is produced by Seth, James and David Katz. For more information and to see upcoming guests, please visit starsinthehouse.com and follow @StarsInTheHouse, Seth (@SethRudetsky) and James (@JamesWesleyNYC) on Twitter and Instagram.
Since May 1, the Fund has raised over $7.6 million from more than 9,500 donors to support film and television workers from notable donors like The Katie McGrath & JJ Abrams Family Foundation, Stacey Abrams, Annette Bening, Tom Bergeron, Greg Berlanti, Rachel Bloom, Nancy & Steve Carrell, Rosanne Cash in memory of Johnny Cash, Suzanne Collins & Cap Pryor, Minnie Driver, Vince Gilligan, Seth MacFarlane, Lynn Nottage, Michelle Pfeiffer & David E. Kelley, Daniel Radcliffe, Shonda Rhimes, Steven Spielberg & Kate Capshaw, and Chandra Wilson
As of September, the Fund has distributed more than $6 Million to more than 2,885 film and TV workers.
SETH RUDETSKY 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.
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. Recently, he authored “Musical Theatre For Dummies” which is also available as an audio book.
He is the afternoon Broadway host on SiriusXM Radio and 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.
In January 2021, 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.
JAMES WESLEY In addition to conceiving the idea for Broadway for Orlando, James created (and co-produced with Seth) Stars For Foster Kids 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. The upcoming concert with be September 18 at The Town Hall in New York City featuring former foster youth Bellamy Young and Rosie Perez as well as performances by Patina Miller, Adam Pascal and Norm Lewis.
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.
ABOUT STARS IN THE HOUSE
Stars In The House, which officially kicked off on March 16, 2020, in response to the pandemic, is a YouTube series that features stars of stage and screen chatting and singing to promote support for charitable services.
Since the first show, Stars In The House has raised more than $1,253,780 to benefit the Entertainment Community Fund, and over $600,000 for other charities including the International Rescue Committee, NAACP LDF, Trevor Project, Humane Society of New York, Waterkeeper Alliance, You Gotta Believe, Cancer Support Community, New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, Youth Pride Chorus, and more – and continues to do so thanks to a generous donation from the Berlanti Family Foundation and ongoing support from Streamyard. Seth, James and CBS chief medical correspondent and Stars In The House medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook received a special Drama Desk Award. Seth and James also received 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. The series is also officially part of the Covid-19 archives at the Library of Congress.
Visit starsinthehouse.com to donate to the Entertainment Community Fund, watch previous episodes, learn about upcoming guests and more.
ABOUT THE ENTERTAINMENT COMMUNITY FUND
The Entertainment Community Fund, formerly The Actors Fund, is a national human services organization that addresses the unique needs of people who work in performing arts and entertainment with services focused on health and wellness, career and life, and housing. Since 1882, the Fund has sought to ensure stability, encourage resiliency and be a safety net for those who shape our country’s cultural vibrancy. Learn more at www.entertainmentcommunity.org.