Rosie O’Donnell raises $500K for Broadway with live show

Rosie O'Donnell raised $500,000 for The Actor's Fund. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI

March 23 (UPI) — Rosie O’Donnell hosted a live, star-studded YouTube show that helped raise $500,000 for The Actor’s Fund amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Actor’s Fund helps support actors, designers, ushers and more as Broadway has been shut down due to the virus.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Neil Patrick Harris, Billy Porter, Patti LuPone, Alan Menken, Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, Lea Salonga, Darren Criss, Jordan Fisher, Kristin Chenoweth, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tituss Burgess, Matthew Broderick, Idina Menzel, Ben Platt all appeared during O’Donnell’s special which acted as new installment of “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.”

Miranda gave an update on the film adaption of “In The Heights,” based on his stage musical of the same name. The film, from director Jon M. Chu, is set to arrive in theaters on June 26 but the release has been called into question as movie theaters have been closed around the world.

“I’m really hopeful that that’s something we all get to watch in the theaters together when it’s time and no sooner,” Miranda said about the project after mentioning that he was still working on the film’s score when the virus hit.

Rihanna’s charity The Clara Lionel Foundation, meanwhile, donated $5 million to help fight COVID-19. The charity is named after her grandparents.

The money will be given to Direct Relief, Feeding America, Partners in Health, The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, the International Rescue Committee and more.

The Clara Lionel Foundation says this will help with local food banks, the acceleration of COVID-19 testing in Haiti and Malawi, protective equipment for health workers, healthcare worker training and the distribution of respiratory supplies.

“We know that one of the most powerful weapons we have against COVID-19 is preparedness,” The Clara Lionel Foundation said.

Ciara and her husband Russell Wilson, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Dierks Bentley, BTS member Suga, Vanessa Hudgens and more have also donated money to help with COVID-19.

Ciara and Wilson announced on Instagram that they will be donating 1 million meals to Seattle Food Life Line and encouraged fans to help support their local food banks during the pandemic.

Reynolds and Lively said that they will be donating $1 million to be split between Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.

“Remember the love that can travel through all this. Communities are stepping up – shopping for the elderly, making lunches for children. We can all do something for one another, even if that’s simply staying home,” Lively said on Instagram.

Dierks Bentley announced on Twitter that he will give $1,000 to all 90 employees who work at his bar Whiskey Row Nashville, which has been closed due to COVID-19. The country star called on other bar owners in the Nashville area to take care of their employees as best they can.

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Suga and Parasite director Bong Joon-ho each donated more than $82,000 each to the Hope Bridge Korea Disaster Relief Association. The association said the money will be used to distribute face masks and hand sanitizers.

Vanessa Hudgens announced on Instagram that she donated an undisclosed amount to Feeding America, displaying the thank you message that she received.

Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel have been recording makeshift late night shows from their homes and uploading them to YouTube. Every episode features the comedians supporting a different charity and leaving a link for fans to do the same.

Fallon recently promoted charity Save the Children with his guest Jennifer Garner. The organization helps to make sure kids can learn and get the nutrition they need while school is out.


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