Updates on In the Heights movie, Hercules musical among highlights from Rosie O'Donnell's live show
The virtual show raised more than $500,000, with celebrities like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patti LuPone, Cynthia Erivo, Neil Patrick Harris, and more showing up for support.
The one-night-only return of The Rosie O'Donnell Show was a who's who of Broadway and beyond. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patti LuPone, Billy Porter, Neil Patrick Harris, and Cynthia Erivo were just a few of the stars that (virtually) appeared during the live YouTube show, which raised over $500,000 in three-and-a-half hours. All the proceeds went to The Actors Fund, an organization supporting actors, costume designers, ushers, and others impacted by Broadway's shutdown due to COVID-19.
Here are some of the highlights from the live show, which is now available on YouTube (watch above):
Lin-Manuel Miranda gives update on In The Heights movie
"We were literally recording the score when all of this started happening," Miranda said, referring to the spread of coronavirus. "There’s a lot that remains to be done on that movie. We were finishing the score and the mixing and just getting the music exactly right."
Miranda said he's intending for In the Heights to make a theatrical debut, but was vague about whether the film would keep its current release date, saying, “I’m really hopeful that that’s something we all get to watch in the theaters together — when it’s time, and no sooner, to go out." Representatives for the film and Miranda did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.
Alan Menken is (unsurprisingly) delightful
The composer, songwriter, director, and all-around musical magician gave updates on some of the projects he's involved with. He said he's recorded all the songs for the upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid — which has since halted production — including "four new songs" he wrote with Miranda.
Menken then casually brought up that Hercules is coming to the stage, the same production "we did in Central Park last summer.” Although he didn't provide any additional details, it's still big news considering there were previously no plans to do an extended run of the hugely popular musical.
Then, in one of the top moments of the livestream, Menken performed a medley of numerous classic songs he's composed (beginning right after the one hour mark). He began with "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid, followed by "Beauty and the Beast" from the 1991 film, "A Whole New World" from Aladdin, "Go the Distance" from Hercules, and more. It was spectacular and represented how Menken "scored life for a lot of us," as O'Donnell said.
Just Keep Smiling
The imitable Patti LuPone treated the audience to two songs: "100 Years From Today" and the Nat King Cole classic "Smile." Then Audra McDonald and her husband also sang "Smile." And then Kelli O'Hara also ... almost sang "Smile," but thankfully she had a backup prepared and did a gorgeous rendition of "Take Me to the World" from the musical Evening Primrose.
Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim's dual birthday wishes
It was adorable to see two legends wishing each other a happy birthday — coronavirus style. Around the hour and 27-minute mark, Webber sang to Sondheim, who turned 90 on Sunday, on the live show. Then, Sondheim returned the favor, singing "Happy Birthday" to the British composer, who turned 72, while washing his hands for 20 seconds as the CDC recommends.
Lea Salonga singing "Reflections" from Mulan
Toward the very end, joining the stream from Manila, Salonga performed "Reflection," the tune she famously sang in Disney's 1998 film Mulan. There were some great renditions on the live show — from Darren Criss covering "Being Alive" from Company to Jordan Fisher singing "For Forever" from his musical Dear Evan Hansen — but Salonga took the cake with her powerful voice.
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The Rosie O'Donnell Show