VANESSA WILLIAMS TO APPEAR ON AN ALL-NEW “STARS IN THE HOUSE” TO BENEFIT THE NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley will be joined by Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel, NAACP LDF

June 24th At 8 PM ET

NEW YORK (June 17, 2020) – Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley announced today that stage and screen favorite Vanessa Williams will join them LIVE on “Stars In The House” on Wednesday, June 24th at 8 PM ET on the Stars In The House YouTube channel and on starsinthehouse.com. Vanessa will share favorite stories from her illustrious career in support of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the charity Stars In The House has been raising money for throughout June. Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of LDF, will appear as a special guest to share why viewers’ support of the fund means more now than ever. Fans tuning in will be able to interact with Vanessa and Janai in real time, ask questions, and donate to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for the chance to have their names read by Vanessa on air. And of course, like all episodes of “Stars in the House” – there will be LIVE music!

Vanessa Williams (Wikimedia Commons/Angela George / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0))

Vanessa Williams joins the incredible lineup of stars that Seth and James have brought together to sing, share stories, and raise money to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic; including Jason Alexander, Wayne Brady, Chita Rivera, Kristin Chenoweth, Tina Fey and Jeff Richmond, Keala Settle, Randy Rainbow, Judith Light, Alex Newell, Leslie Uggams, Audra McDonald and Will Swenson, Peyton List, Patrick Wilson, Billy Porter and Annette Bening. Broadway favorites like “Spring Awakening,” “Les Misérables,” “Urinetown,” “Fun Home,” “The Prom,” and “The Full Monty;” as well as iconic TV shows, among them “Melrose Place,” “Frasier,” “Glee,” “Desperate Housewives,” “SCTV,” “White Collar,” “Difficult People,” “Taxi,” are just some of the casts who have reunited on “Stars In The House” since the first show on March 16th. And often Seth and James remind their guests how important it is to keep in touch with loved ones during this social distancing and suddenly a surprise guest will pop up like Jon Hamm, Erik McCormack, John Lithgow, Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Jessie Mueller, Iain Armitage, Rosie O’Donnell and Andrew Lloyd Webber!

As the creators and executive producers of “Stars In The House,” Seth and James bring a masterful combination of music, storytelling and community to each episode, ensuring that the show goes on in viewers’ homes even while performance venues across the world are closed.

“Stars In The House” airs new episodes daily at 2 PM and 8 PM on its YouTube channel and starsinthehouse.com. For more information and to see upcoming guests, please visit starsinthehouse.com and follow @StarsInTheHouse, Seth (@SethRudetsky) and James (@JamesWesleyNYC) on Twitter and Instagram.

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ABOUT STARS IN THE HOUSE

“Stars in the House,” which officially kicked off on March 16th, is a Drama Desk Award-winning daily series that features stars of stage and screen singing or performing plays live (from home!) to promote support for The Actors Fund’s services for those most vulnerable to the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Joining Seth and James for the shows is Dr. Jon LaPook, chief medical correspondent for CBS News. Visit starsinthehouse.com to donate, watch previous episodes, learn about upcoming guests and more.

Since the first show, “Stars in the House” has raised more than $344,550 to benefit The Actors Fund and other charities – and continues to do so thanks to a generous donation from the Berlanti Family Foundation. Seth, James, and Dr. LaPook also received a special Drama Desk Award for keeping the theatre community connected, informed, and uplifted during the pandemic.

In addition to its regular twice-a-day streaming and ability for viewers to watch it on their own time, “Stars in the House” has teamed up with SiriusXM. SiriusXM is the exclusive audio broadcasting partner delivering the show to listeners daily on Volume (channel 106) and On Broadway (channel 72). SiriusXM subscribers can catch “Stars in the House” weekday mornings at 9:00 a.m. ET on Volume channel 106, with favorite program excerpts airing throughout the day on SiriusXM’s On Broadway channel 72. Listeners can also follow Seth on Seth Speaks and Seth’s Big Fat Broadway, two regularly scheduled programs that air on SiriusXM’s On Broadway channel and his brand-new podcast “Seth Rudetsky’s Back To School” where he interviews celebrities like Tina Fey and Allison Janney to find out hilarious and moving stories from their high school years. “Stars in the House” will air commercial-free on SiriusXM. The program is available to subscribers nationwide on SiriusXM radios, and those with streaming access can listen on demand on the SiriusXM app, and at home on a variety of connected devices. For more info to activate your streaming access or to sign up for a trial subscription, go to www.SiriusXM.com/AtHome.

ABOUT SETH RUDETSKY

Seth moved to New York in 1988 and started volunteering for God’s Love We Deliver, which brings meals to people with AIDS all across the city. He is decidedly not skilled at cooking and soon decided his talents could be better used elsewhere. At a holiday party in 1992, he connected with Hearts and Voices, an organization that brings live weekly performances to hospitalized people with AIDS. He started volunteering for them and has been a mainstay at many hospitals since 1992: Rivington House, Roosevelt Island Hospital, the prison ward at St. Clare’s Hospital and since 2005, he’s been playing the piano/booking singers at the Cardinal Cooke AIDS ward. Broadway folks love volunteering to sing and Seth’s patients have been serenaded by the likes of Audra MacDonald, Tituss Burgess and Betty Buckley! In 1998, Seth was asked to write the opening number for The Easter Bonnet Competition, which is the big spring fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. He did that for many years and then began hosting the Gypsy Of The Year Competition, which is the BC/EFA fall fundraiser (and resulted in him sharing a dressing room with Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman!).

In 2001, he produced and conducted “Dreamgirls” starring Heather Headley, Audra McDonald and Lillias White, the first fall concert for The Actors Fund, which was recorded on Nonesuch Records and raised almost $1 million for The Fund. He then did “Funny Girl” with Idina Menzel and Jane Krakowski, “Chess” with Adam Pascal and Josh Groban, “Hair” with Jennifer Hudson (Ghostlight Records, Grammy nomination), “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” with Terrence Mann and Jennifer Hudson and “On The Twentieth Century” with Marin Mazzie and Kathleen Turner. He also starred opposite Sutton Foster in The Actors Fund production of “They’re Playing Our Song” and hosted and played piano for an array of divas for their 2009 Nothing Like A Dame concert with Betty Buckley, Stephanie J. Block, Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara and Bebe Neuwirth.

He is the afternoon Broadway host on SiriusXM Radio and recently co-wrote and co-starred in “Disaster!” on Broadway, which was co-produced by his husband, James. He was also a co-producer on the Broadway for Orlando recording of “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and Voices for the Voiceless, he and his husband’s annual foster care event on Broadway.

As a writer, he was nominated for three Emmy awards for comedy writing on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” and is the author of “My Awesome Awful Popularity Plan” and “The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek” (published by Random House), a young adult series about a teenaged gay kid named Justin Goldblatt, who’s obsessed with theater and sports a Jewfro.

In response to concerns that marginalized people would suffer after 2016’s presidential election, along with his husband James, Seth conceived and hosted a concert series called Concert for America. The first concert was held at The Town Hall in New York, New York January 20, 2017.

Concert For America features brilliant, inspiring performances by films stars like Rosie Perez, TV stars like Piper Perabo, comedians like Caroline Rhea, recording artists like Melissa Manchester, Broadway stars like Brian Stokes Mitchell and legendary icons like Chita Rivera and Barry Manilow.

ABOUT JAMES WESLEY

In 2015, after devastating cuts were imposed on the only two foster care organizations working with older children and youth in New York City, James conceived and co-produced Voices for the Voiceless on Broadway starring Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, Megan Hilty, Antwone Fisher, Charlene Tilton, Caroline Rhea, Darren Criss, Alec Mapa, Kate Shindle, and Eden Espinosa. It shined a spotlight on foster care in a unique and entertaining way, combining celebrity, music, and everyday people sharing their stories. The concert raised $500,000 for You Gotta Believe! and the Council on Adoptable Children.

The following year, the concert returned to Broadway, starring Chita Rivera, Rosie Perez, Stephanie Mills, Gloria Gaynor, Liz Callaway, and Sherri Saum, among many others.

In response to concerns that marginalized people would suffer after 2016’s presidential election, James produced and hosted a concert series called Concert for America. The first concert was held at The Town Hall in New York, New York January 20, 2017. Over the course of the series, entertainment’s biggest stars generously lent their voices to raise money for national organizations dedicated to protecting civil rights, women’s health and environmental protection.

As a writer, he wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway play, “Unbroken Circle”, starring Eve Plumb and Tony nominees Anika Larsen and Jennifer Simard. He also wrote “Art and Science”, a comedy-drama dealing with the generational differences between two gay men. It starred Tony nominees Tony Sheldon and John Tartaglia.

James was also proud to be one of the lead producers on Broadway of his husband’s musical, “Disaster!”

James and Seth are the proud recipients of the National Leadership Award from the LGBTQ Task Force for their work on Broadway for Orlando’s What the World Needs Now is Love.