THE ACTORS FUND ANNOUNCES PLAY SERIES AS PART OF “STARS IN THE HOUSE” BEGINNING TODAY, 4/1
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
“STARS IN THE HOUSE” HOSTS SETH RUDETSKY AND JAMES WESLEY PRESENT
“PLAYS IN THE HOUSE”
EVERY WEDNESDAY AND SATURDAY MATINEE AS PART OF ITS REGULAR DAILY LIVE-STREAMED SHOW
IN SUPPORT OF
THE ACTORS FUND
AND THEIR SERVICES FOR THOSE IN NEED IN
PERFORMING ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
BEGINNING TODAY, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1 AT 2:00 PM ET
“STARS IN THE HOUSE” PARTNERS WITH SIRIUSXM RADIO AS THE OFFICIAL AUDIO BROADCASTER IN ADDITION TO ITS REGULAR LIVE-STREAMING
New York, NY (April 1, 2020) – The Actors Fund, the national human services organization for everyone in performing arts and entertainment, announced today that SiriusXM Broadway host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, will also produce and host “Plays in the House” as part of its weekly lineup of “Stars in the House”, a daily online show at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET. Plays in the House will begin today, Wednesday, April 1st at 2:00 p.m. and will continue every Saturday and Wednesday matinee at 2:00 p.m. until Broadway reopens.
The episodes will feature actors doing live readings of classic, award-winning plays. The episodes will feature actors doing live readings of classic, award-winning plays. Readings will not be recorded and can only be viewed if you watch live. Today’s line-up will star the complete cast of the original Broadway production of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein including Joan Allen, Peter Friedman, Boyd Gaines, Ellen Parker, Joanne Camp, Anne Lange, Drew McVety, and Cynthia Nixon. This one-time only event has been granted with permission from André Bishop and Ben Wasserstein. Today’s line-up will star the complete cast of the original Broadway production of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein including Joan Allen, Peter Friedman, Boyd Gaines, Ellen Parker, Joanne Camp, Anne Lange, Drew McVety, and Cynthia Nixon. This one-time only event has been granted with permission from André Bishop and Ben Wasserstein.
The Saturday, April 4th matinee will feature The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife starring playwright and Tony Award-nominee Charles Busch as “Marjorie” with more to be announced. Future plays will star Harvey Fierstein, Tony Shaloub, Brooke Adams and more. Director/writer Peter Flynn (Smart Blonde, Rhapsody in Seth starring Seth Rudetsky) serves as the online reading coordinator for this series. The producers also wish to thank Theatre Authority and Actors’ Equity Association for their support.
“Stars in the House”, which officially kicked off on March 16th is a daily series that features stars of stage and screen singing and performing live (from home!) to promote support for The Fund’s services for those most vulnerable to the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Joining Seth and James for the shows is Dr. Jon LaPook, chief medical correspondent for CBS News. Visit starsinthehouse.com for more info and to learn about upcoming guests. Since the first show, “Stars in the House” has raised more than $120,000 to benefit The Actors Fund.
This week’s lineup for “Stars in the House” also has been featuring an exciting week of reunion shows of hit TV series. Tonight, Wednesday, April 1st at 8:00 p.m. ET, the cast of “Frasier” will reunite on the program, including Kelsey Grammer, Peri Gilpin, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves and Dan Butler. On Monday, March 30th, the cast of “Taxi” appeared on the show, including Marilu Henner, Judd Hirsch, Christopher Lloyd, Danny Devito and Carol Kane. Last night, March 31st featured cast members from the hit NBC show “This Is Us” including Chris Sullivan, Chrissy Metz, Mandy Moore and Susan Kelechi Watson, plus executive producer Ken Olin and Moore’s husband/Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith.
In addition to its regular twice-a-day streaming and ability for viewers to watch it on their own time, “Stars in the House” has now also teamed up with SiriusXM. SiriusXM will be the exclusive audio broadcasting partner delivering the show to listeners daily on Volume (channel 106) and On Broadway (channel 72). SiriusXM subscribers can catch “Stars in the House” weekday mornings at 9:00 a.m. ET on Volume channel 106, with favorite program excerpts airing throughout the day on SiriusXM’s On Broadway channel 72. Listeners can also follow Seth on Seth Speaks and Seth’s Big Fat Broadway, two regularly scheduled programs that air on SiriusXM’s On Broadway channel. “Stars in the House” will air commercial-free on SiriusXM. The program is available to subscribers nationwide on SiriusXM radios, and those with streaming access can listen on demand on the SiriusXM app, and at home on a variety of connected devices. For more info to activate your streaming access or to sign up for a trial subscription, go to www.SiriusXM.com/AtHome.
“Our main concern is raising spirits and helping The Fund help those who are suffering,” Seth said. “We’re hoping that everyone watching will not only enjoy the amazing singing and the inside Broadway stories, but also donate to ActorsFund.org/Donate. And, because social distancing is so important right now, every star will be singing from his/her own home!”
Celebrities who have appeared or are scheduled to appear on “Stars in the House” include Ian Armitage, Shoshana Bean, Laura Benanti, Sierra Boggess, Wayne Brady, Betty Buckley, Laura Bell Bundy, Andréa Burns, Kerry Butler, Norbert Leo Butz, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Carolee Carmello, Kristin Chenoweth, Gavin Creel, Melissa Errico, Raúl Esparza, Tina Fey & Jeff Richmond, Christopher Fitzgerald, Kathryn Gallagher, Ana Gasteyer, Mandy Gonzalez, Justin Guarini, Debbie Gravitte, James Monroe Iglehart, Rachel Bay Jones, Jeremy Jordan, Marc Kudish, Judy Kuhn, Anika Larsen, Linda Lavin, Beth Leavel, Telly Leung, Beth Malone, Melissa Manchester, Lindsay Mendez, Idina Menzel, Kate Shindle, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Rosie O’Donnell, Kelli O’Hara, Christine Pedi, Billy Porter, Alice Ripley, Adam Pascal, Faith Prince, Kate Shindle, Keala Settle, Marc Shaiman, Jennifer Simard, Elizabeth Stanley, Patrick Wilson and Marissa Jaret Winokur, with many more to be announced!
Added Seth: “Yes, we have to social distance, but the good news is, some celebs live together! So we have some fabulous couples performing due concerts!” Confirmed celebrity couples have included Sebastian Arcelus and Stephanie J. Block, Will Chase and Ingrid Michaelson, Jen Cody and Hunter Foster, Jenn Colella and Chilina Kennedy, Colin Donnell and Patti Murrin, Santino and Jessica Fontana, Andy Karl and Orfeh, Liz Larsen and Sal Viviano, Audra McDonald and Will Swenson, and Steven Pasquale and Phillipa Soo.
With shutdowns on Broadway and in film and television, theater, concerts, dance, music and many other areas of entertainment, the need is great and growing. Since March 18th, The Actors Fund has provided $1,012,552 in emergency financial assistance to 850 people who work in performing arts and entertainment. This emergency financial assistance is helping those in financial crisis with assistance for basic living expenses such as essential medications to help prevent infections to pay for food or utilities and other needs.
“Now more than ever, people in our community are depending on The Fund’s vital services,” said The Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell. “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.”
As the situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, The Actors Fund has temporary transitioned to online and phone-based services, which remain available for everyone in the performing arts and entertainment community.
These services include: Artists Health Insurance Resource Center, The Career Center, Housing Resources, Addiction & Recovery, HIV/AIDS and Senior Services, Counseling and Emergency Financial Assistance, as well as The Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.
To make a tax-deductible donation to The Actors Fund, visit www.actorsfund.org/Donate.
The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. Through offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and secondary employment and training services.
Seth Rudetsky has been helping raise money for the Actors Fund since 2001 when he began his yearly concerts that included Dreamgirls with Audra McDonald, Heather Headley, Lillias White and Billy Porter, Funny Girl with Sutton Foster and Idina Menzel, Chess with Josh Groban and Adam Pascal and more. James Wesley and Seth have been married since 2012 and have been working together constantly on projects to raise money and awareness for a number of social justice organizations. In 2016, they formed their 501c3 called Your Kids, Our Kids with its initial mission being to directly help one of the most vulnerable populations in our society — children — through creative means. Voices for the Voiceless: Stars for Foster Kids is one of their yearly projects, raising millions for You Gotta Believe which helps find families for older foster youth. These concerts have starred celebs like Tina Fey, Rosie Perez and Chita Rivera. In June of 2016, they organized Broadway for Orlando in the wake of the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub. Uniting the Broadway community to sing “What the World Needs Now is Love” (in the style of “We Are the World”), the single featured over 50 Broadway stars like Bernadette Peters, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Sara Bareilles and charted on Billboard’s Hot 100, selling over 50,000 copies and raising over $100,000 for the Orlando LGBT community. On January 20, 2017, they presented the first edition of Concert for America, which premiered at The Town Hall in NYC, raising money and awareness for civil rights organizations, as well as infusing Americans with hope and inspiration and the desire to become more active citizens. To date, there have been 13 editions performed around the country, including in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Atlanta. James and Seth are the proud recipients of the 2016 National Leadership Award from the LGBTQ Task Force for their work on Broadway for Orlando’s What the World Needs Now is Love. In 2018, Seth and James also received the NYCLU Liberty Award for their contributions to the LGBT community.