Stage and screen favorites team up May 17 for the second annual virtual concert to benefit homeless youth around the world. Night of Covenant House Stars is co-hosted by Audra McDonald and John Dickerson, with a lineup including Meryl Streep, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Vanessa Williams, Ariana DeBose, Kelli O’Hara, Sara Bareilles, and the Broadway cast of Six.
Also slated to appear are Ben Platt, Denée Benton, Stephanie J. Block, Dolly Parton, Rachel Brosnahan, Capathia Jenkins, Jo Ellen Pellman, Darius De Haas, Daniel Yearwood, Ames Mcnamara, Laurie Metcalf, and more. The stars will be joined by Covenant House youth as well.
“These stars have stepped up because they recognize that our young people don’t have the option to shelter at home without a home,” says Covenant House President Kevin Ryan. “For thousands of young people in this past year and for 2,000 young people tonight, Covenant House is their home. Night of Covenant House Stars will help us keep our doors open, 24/7, when youth experiencing homelessness need us more than ever.”
The Broadway community became involved with Covenant House on a large scale after Stephanie J. Block first performed at a benefit years ago. She teamed up with board member (and fellow Broadway performer) Capathia Jenkins to found the Broadway Sleep Out, now expanded to the Stage and Screen Sleep Out. The connections continued to grow, even when shifted to a digital landscape. McDonald and Dickerson hosted a virtual benefit last year as well.
The theme of the gala this year is “Stand Up, Stand Strong,” recognizing and celebrating the resilience of young people experiencing homelessness and the heroism of frontline staff working to keep them safe during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Funds raised will go directly to food, clothing, healthcare, education, job training, and short and long-term housing for youth overcoming homelessness at Covenant House across the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
The evening, sponsored by Kia, is produced by Jeff Calhoun with musical supervision by Jason Howland. McDonald, Dickerson, and Calhoun are all members of the Covenant House board of directors.