On September 21, SiriusXM’s Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, were joined by stars of the stage, screen, and dance floor for the latest iteration of their critically acclaimed CONCERT FOR AMERICA.
The evening was filled with moving and thrilling performances, and calls to action from members of the entertainment community, as well as those who have been most impacted by the recent immigration crisis. Newlyweds Chris Wood (Supergirl) and Melissa Benoist (Supergirl herself!) dazzled the audience with their own rendition of “An Old-Fashioned Wedding” from Annie Get Your Gun. Dancing With The Stars couple Kate Flannery and Pasha Pashkov were joined by Pasha’s wife Daniella Karagach to show off their moves. Flannery also performed alongside her longtime friend and collaborator, and recent Emmy Award winner, Jane Lynch.
While there was fun to be had by all, the stars were there to bring attention to an incredibly important cause and raise funds for the National Immigration Law Center, the only national organization whose mission is to defend and advance the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families. The production raised over $110,000 (and still counting) to support this essential mission. Also on hand to lend their voices were Wayne Brady (Let’s Make A Deal), Liz Callaway (singing her Oscar-nominated song from the film Anastasia), Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives), Grant Gustin (singing Pasek & Paul’s “Running Home To You” from The Flash), Tony Award winner Rachel Bay Jones (Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen), Emmy and Tony Award winner Laurie Metcalf (The Conners), Grammy Award winner Melissa Manchester, Emmy Award winner Eric McCormack (Will & Grace), Caroline Rhea (Disney Channel’s Sydney To The Max), Gina Torres (Pearson), Elyfer Torres (Betty en NY), Eden Espinosa (Falsettos, Wicked), Carrie Manolakos (Mamma Mia!, Wicked), and Yuri Sardarov (Chicago Fire) telling the harrowing tale of how his mother escaped from Azerbaijan all the while clutching him as baby. And how, through the kindness of strangers, they finally came to America.
CONCERT FOR AMERICA was co-presented by Greg Berlanti, Robbie Rogers, and their Berlanti Family Foundation and clips from previous concerts can all be found at ConcertForAmerica.com.
“We’re so thankful to Greg and Robbie for agreeing as soon as we wrote them to underwrite all the costs of this concert. And to our volunteers and our artists who performed up a storm for no money whatsoever!” said Rudetsky and Wesley. “And to the National Immigration Law Center for fighting to keep the values of the America we all love. As Laurie Metcalf said in her call-to-action, ‘Everyone should post #DefendDaca! If you’re young, that’s ‘hashtag Defend Daca’, and if you’re over 40, that’s ‘number sign Defend Daca’!’”
A concert of songs, comedy, and commentary, CONCERT FOR AMERICA has been hailed by the New York Times as “striking for its emphasis on the importance of faith in the United States and optimism about its future.” Created and hosted by SiriusXM’s Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, who also organized the Broadway For Orlando/What the World Needs Now is Love recording in 2016.
CONCERT FOR AMERICA debuted on January 20, 2017, and toured the country, benefitting five national organizations fighting for civil, human, and environmental rights. This was the 13th CONCERT FOR AMERICA benefit, the most recent one taking place last summer in NYC starring Idina Menzel, Audra McDonald Tina Fey, Patrick Wilson, among others.