Stars in the House, the new daily live streamed concert series created by Playbill correspondent and SiriusXM Broadway host Seth Rudetsky and producer James Wesley, presents a reading of Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Heidi Chronicles April 1 at 2 PM featuring its original 1989 Broadway company: Tony winner Joan Allen, Tony nominee Peter Friedman, Tony winner Boyd Gaines, Ellen Parker, Tony nominee Joanne Camp, Anne Lange, Drew McVety, and Tony winner Cynthia Nixon. (Allen, Gaines, and Camp were all Tony-nominated for their performances in the Tony-winning The Heidi Chronicles, with Gaines winning his first Tony for his Broadway debut.)
The Heidi Chronicles reading is the first of the Plays in the House series, which will continue every Saturday and Wednesday at 2 PM until Broadway reopens. The first reading is presented with the permission of André Bishop and Ben Wasserstein. Director-writer Peter Flynn serves as the online reading coordinator for Plays in the House, which will continue April 4 with a reading of Charles Busch's The Tale of the Allergists Wife.
The Stars in the House series—which launched March 16 with Tony winner Kelli O'Hara—promotes support for The Actors Fund and its services in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Previous guests have also included Lindsay Mendez, Ruthie Ann Miles, Melissa Manchester, Anika Larsen, Tom Kitt, Keala Settle, Marc Shaiman, Jessie Mueller, Norbert Leo Butz, Patrick Wilson, Andrea Martin, Audra McDonald and Will Swenson, Kristin Chenoweth, Liz Callaway, Len Cariou, Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Sierra Boggess, Ramin Karimloo, Betty Buckley, Jason Alexander, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jeremy Jordan, Raúl Esparza, Annette Bening, Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond, Colin Donnell and Patti Murin, Stephanie J. Block, Sebastian Arcelus, Eric McCormack, Andréa Burns, Mandy Gonzalez, Miranda Sings, Lea Salonga, Alex Brightman, Kerry Butler, Judy Kuhn, Michael Cerveris, Beth Malone, Sydney Lucas, Emily Skeggs, Julie Halston, Charles Busch, Iain Armitage, Judd Hirsch, Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, Carol Kane, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Santino Fontana, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, and Actors Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell.
New shows air daily at 2 PM ET and 8 PM ET, featuring performances by stars of stage and screen and conversations with Rudetsky between each tune. Rudetsky will encourage live viewers to donate, and Wesley will give updates from The Fund as well as shout-outs to people donating in real time. Dr. Jonathan LaPook, chief medical correspondent for CBS News, will also make frequent appearances to answer questions and offer best practices.
The 8 PM April 1 guests include Frasier stars Kelsey Grammer, Peri Gilpin, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, and Dan Butler. Watch previous Stars in the House concerts here.
SiriusXM is the exclusive audio broadcasting partner delivering Stars in the House to listeners daily. Subscribers can catch Stars in the House weekday mornings at 9 AM ET on Volume channel 106, with favorite program excerpts airing throughout the day on SiriusXM’s On Broadway channel 72.
“Our main concern is raising spirits and helping The Fund help those who are suffering,” Rudetsky said. “We’re hoping that everyone watching will not only enjoy the amazing singing and the inside Broadway stories, but also donate to the Actors Fund. And, because social distancing is so important right now, every star will be singing from his or her own home!”
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Additional stars who have already confirmed appearances as part of the initiative: Shoshana Bean, Wayne Brady, Laura Bell Bundy, Kerry Butler, Ann Hampton Callaway, Carolee Carmello, Gavin Creel, Melissa Errico, Christopher Fitzgerald, Ana Gasteyer, Justin Guarini, Debbie Gravitte, James Monroe Iglehart, Marc Kudish, Linda Lavin, Beth Leavel, Telly Leung, Idina Menzel, Rosie O’Donnell, Alice Ripley, Adam Pascal, Faith Prince, Kate Shindle, Jennifer Simard, Elizabeth Stanley, Marissa Jaret Winokur with more to be announced.
As is the case for husband-and-husband duo Rudetsky and Wesley, many stars live together. Stars in the House has confirmed celebrity couples Will Chase and Ingrid Michaelson, Jen Cody and Hunter Foster, Jenn Colella and Chilina Kennedy, Santino and Jessica Fontana, Andy Karl and Orfeh, Liz Larsen and Sal Viviano, and Steven Pasquale and Phillipa Soo.
“Now more than ever, people in our community are depending on The Fund’s vital services,” said Mitchell, who serves as chairman of the board for The Actors Fund. “It’s critical that we be there for those in need, in particular our seniors and the immuno-compromised individuals who need our help, as well as those in financial distress.”
Stars in the House will stream daily until Broadway re-opens.
As the situation surrounding the coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve, The Actors Fund will provide services online and via phone. 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 ActorsFund.org/Donate.