A Pride month edition of Quarantunes, a series of invite-only online concerts hosted by WME Partner Richard Weitz and his daughter Demi Weitz, on Saturday, June 27, 2020, raised $867,767 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. This is the highest ever single fundraising total raised by a Quarantunes Zoom stream.
The stream for more than 600 virtual attendees featured once-in-lifetime performances by Broadway veterans Deborah Cox, Taylor Dayne, Deborah Gibson, Jennifer Hudson, Cyndi Lauper, Idina Menzel and Phillipa Soo and music industry icons Air Supply, Gregg Alexander, George Benson, Wyclef Jean, Carlos Santana and Rufus Wainwright. West End star Matt Lucas even joined the fun from London.
Broadway luminaries Nathan Lane, Judith Light and Bernadette Peters spoke eloquently about their long connections to Broadway Cares and the impact every donation would make for those in need. Peters was even coaxed into a surprise a cappella performance of “There’s No Business Like Show Business” from Annie Get Your Gun. Broadway favorite Norm Lewis beautifully sang “Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera and, by request from Les Misérables megafan Richard Weitz, surprised the audience with a stirring performance of “Stars.”
Quarantunes is the hottest online house party in Hollywood and viewers never have to leave their couch. It’s a low-key and wildly fabulous insider party where anyone might drop by to perform from their living room, at-home recording studio or desk for the scores of VIPS also on the video call.
Dedicated Broadway Cares donors Phill Gross and Elizabeth Cochary Gross matched all donations during the stream up to $400,000.
“We are so grateful for Richard and Demi including Broadway Cares in this exceptional series, as well as the incredible roster of stars that shared their talent, the endless support from Phill and Liz and producer and friend Jeffrey Seller for making our connection to Quarantunes,” said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “This remarkable team effort will help countless people in need and in crisis during this devastating COVID-19 pandemic and these troubling economic times.”
In its 17 editions so far, the Weitzs and their Quarantunes have raised $6.7 million for nonprofits nationwide including the Equal Justice Initiative, United Way Los Angeles and more.
Every dollar donated to Broadway Cares during the evening is now helping provide healthy meals, lifesaving medication, emergency financial assistance, housing, counseling and more to people across the country, including those in the entertainment industry, whose health and financial needs are heightened by the COVID-19 crisis. The donations also support and champion organizations working toward social justice and anti-racism.
Thus far in response to the pandemic, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has given $6 million to The Actors Fund, ensuring thousands who work in theater and the performing arts receive help getting essential medications, housing, food and utilities, as well as expanded health insurance counseling and enrollment support. Broadway Cares provided another $2 million to vital organizations across the country facing unprecedented challenges from the pandemic. And on behalf of Broadway and the entire theater community, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, Broadway Cares provided $125,000 in now-annual grants to The Bail Project, the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Color of Change.