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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 14, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 28
Concert For America an important night of talent and causes
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Concert For America an important night of talent and causes

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

CONCERT FOR AMERICA
5TH AVENUE THEATRE
July 7


On Thursday July 7 the 5th Avenue Theatre was host to Concert For America. The concert benefit is the brainchild of Sirius/XM Radio host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, James Wesley. Mixing both Broadway and local talents (all whom have connections to the Pacific Northwest), the list of stars was a treasure trove of talent. They gathered on the Seattle stage to perform and raise awareness (and money) for several national charities including: the NAACP, Sierra Club, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the National Immigration Law Center.

The concert started with the hosts (married couple) Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley taking the stage and explaining the purpose of the evening, while simultaneously streaming a live FaceBook feed. The entire cast of the evening was brought on stage to start the night by singing 'What the World Needs Now.' This was the song that Seth/James had Broadway talents gather to record (in a 'We Are The World' way) as a benefit after the Pulse massacre in Orlando. The recording is available on iTunes.

Sierra Boggess lead the line-up of the evening's individual performers. Listening to her belting out 'I Have Confidence' from The Sound of Music, it was easy to see why she was the original 'Ariel' from Broadway's The Little Mermaid. Ms. Boggess later returned to the stage to sing the impeccably timed delight, 'The Minute Waltz.' Other talents that followed were Bellevue's own Megan Hilty (9-5 the musical, 'SMASH') who sang the hit song, 'Let Me Be Your Star' from the television series 'SMASH.' Kerry Butler sang a medley from her starring roles in the musical Hairspray, as well as her breakout solo from the musical Catch Me If You Can, 'Fly, Fly Away,' and brought the house down. Both shows got their world premier debuts at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre, later moving to Broadway and winning several Tony Awards.

It wasn't just Broadway talent that met on the 5th Avenue's stage. Maureen McGovern sang her hit 'There's Got To Be A Morning After.' Melissa Manchester pulled double-duty not only with a solo performance of 'Come in Out of The Rain,' but also by appearing in the ensemble singing back-up. Dinah Manoff (I Ought To Be In Pictures, Grease) made an appearance to talk about the importance of the evening, and the charity beneficiaries. Local talents also played a part. Seattle's own blond-bombshell Billie Wildrick appeared with three other local ladies singing Peggy Lee's classic, 'I Am A Woman.' Caety Sagioan delivered an absolutely sultry version of Bricusse/Newley's 'Feeling Good.' Seattle's own 'Diverse Harmony' (the nation's first gay-straight alliance youth chorus) appeared and sang beautifully. Seattle was also the first city (of a long line of concerts to be) that have included dance. The audience was treated to a performance by the Spectrum Dance Theater, and were blown away by their movements.

Between the acts, the two hosts reminded the audience (and live FaceBook feed) about the importance of what the evening beneficiaries stand for, and brought out various representatives from each organization. Through brief speeches, the figureheads spoke about the work these charities do to combat the deplorable Presidential decisions on Travel Bans, environment issues, as well as immigration issues for LGBT and other communities.

Concert For America was conceived within days following the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. Using their connections from Broadway and films, husbands Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley reached out to their communities to gather talent that would donate their time for these important charities. The response was overwhelming. Each city has a different lineup of talent and performances, and the concerts will continue across America to raise funding and awareness.

NOTE: Don't worry if you weren't able to make the concert. You can still help out by going to http://www.ConcertsForAmerica.com for donations, merchandise or a listing of the Concert for America touring/performance schedules.

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Concert For America an important night of talent and causes
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