It’s the highest-grossing cabaret act in showbiz, and it all goes to the worthy cause of helping showbiz take care of its own.
The 5th annual “A Fine Romance: Hollywood Loves Broadway” song-and-dance fund-raiser for the Motion Picture & Television Fund is set for Saturday on a 20th Century Fox soundstage. Hugh Jackman hosts a lineup that includes Katie Holmes, Shirley MacLaine, Patti LuPone, Joel Grey, Christine Ebersol, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Hector Elizondo and Cheyenne Jackson.
This year’s show, produced by Dan Jinks and Laurence Mark and helmed by Adam Shankman, will mark the event’s biggest crowd to date with more than 600 attendees. In the past, they’ve turned away requests for tickets in order to maintain an intimate cabaret feel.
There’s no speeches, no pitches. It’s just one great song after another,” says Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment, who chairs the event with his wife, Ann.
Fine Romance” was born in 2005 out of a book penned by MGM exec Darcie Denkert about the long-standing connections between Hollywood and the Main Stem. The first event was held at the Holmby Hills digs of Frank Mancuso, but it was clear that bigger venues were in order after the success of the first year. Catherine Zeta-Jones has hosted the past four shows, but she’s busy on Broadway in “A Little Night Music” at the moment, so Jackman stepped in.
To date, “Fine Romance” has raised $4 million for the MPTF’s main fund. The money couldn’t be more needed by the org, given the ever-rising cost of health care services and the funding difficulties that forced the recent closure of its acute and long-term care hospitals in Woodland Hills.
To Gianopulos, the support from the industry and the performers involved in “Fine Romance” is a heartening sign of the biz’s commitment, even in tough times, to “the enormous amount of great work the (MPTF) does.”