×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tina Fey, Darren Criss, Megan Hilty Shine at Broadway Benefit For Foster Care Org

Darren Criss melted hearts in the audience at Broadway’s St. James Theater when he auctioned off a serenade as part of Monday night’s Voices for the Voiceless fundraiser benefitting a Gotham-based org that facilitates adoptions for older children in foster care.

The chance to be on stage while the “Glee” hearthrob, now on Broadway in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” crooned the Carpenters’ classic “Close to You” fetched $30,000 during the live auction from two women in the audience. One of the bidders sent her 7-year-old daughter Ella on to the stage to collect, to Criss’ obvious delight.

“Thank you,” he told Ella after finishing the tune. “That was for me.”

The fundraiser orchestrated by actor-musician Seth Rudetsky and his husband, James Wesley, put the spotlight on the work of You Gotta Believe, a non-profit that focuses on finding families for foster care kids ages 16 and above. Kids older than 8 are the hardest to place in permanent homes, which makes teenagers the toughest cases of all.

The emotional evening featured testimonials from industry notables who came through foster care as children, including director Antwone Fisher, actress Charlene Tilton and fashion maven Tony Shellman. Legit stars including Megan Hilty, Eden Espinosa and Tituss Burgess performed songs selected by youths who have been aided by You Gotta Believe.

Hilty soared on a rendition of “Second Hand White Baby Grande” from NBC’s “Smash,” with accompaniment from the song’s co-writer, Marc Shaiman. She also led a group of kids through “Do-Re-Mi.” Comedian Caroline Rhea handled the live auction duties.

But the highlight of the night was Jane Krakowski’s rendition of “Don’t Cry Out Loud” that was punctuated by a hilarious running commentary from her “30 Rock” co-star Tina Fey. “Don’t cry out loud? Terrible advice,” Fey said as Krakowski paused between lines. “I think Peter Allen and Carole Bayer Sager were day-drunk when they wrote this song.”

The evening raised more than $500,000 for You Gotta Believe and the Council on Adoptable Children.

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    Why the Television Academy Plans to Donate Furnishings From the 71st Emmys Governors Ball

    The Emmys’ official after party is set to impress — and to leave a permanent impression. At the annual press preview of the 71st Emmys Governors Ball, the Television Academy announced a partnership with Living Spaces, Habitat for Humanity and the Hollywood Community Housing Project that will provide more than 80 custom sofas, chairs and [...]

  • Gaby Hoffmann, Albert Cheng, Alexandra Billings,

    'Transparent' Team Reflects on Series Finale Without Jeffrey Tambor

    Friday night’s premiere of the series finale of “Transparent” at L.A. Live’s Regal theater felt like a family reunion for the Pfefferman clan. Matriarch Judith Light embraced each one of her TV children (Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass) and guest stars from previous seasons (Cherry Jones, Melora Hardin, Bradley Whitford) who also turned [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones,' 'Avengers' Win Big at 45th Annual Saturn Awards

    As Jamie Lee Curtis picked up her first trophy ever at the 45th Annual Saturn Awards Friday night, she had a good luck charm on her arm: former manager Chuck Binder, whom she said was the reason she became an actor. “I was in college and had no thought of being an actor,” Curtis told [...]

  • Pom Klementieff poses at the launch

    Marvel Cinematic Universe Star Pom Klementieff Talks Disney-Fox Merger, X-Men Dreams

    Pom Klementieff may have entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe playing Mantis in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” followed by appearances in the last two “Avengers” movies, but that wasn’t her original superhero plan. “My dream was to be in X-Men,” she told Variety on Thursday at the Chanel dinner for its new fragrance Gabrielle [...]

  • Gwyneth Paltrow

    Gwyneth Paltrow to Be Honored at amfAR Gala Los Angeles

    Gwyneth Paltrow and art dealer Larry Gagosian are set to be honored at the 2019 amfAR Gala Los Angeles. The American Foundation for AIDS Research announced that the two honorees will receive the Award of Courage for their commitment in the fight against HIV and AIDS as well as for their other humanitarian efforts. Christina [...]

  • David Mandel Sam Richardson

    'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Veep,' 'When They See Us' Writers Honored at Emmy Nominees Reception

    Ava DuVernay (“When They See Us”), David Mandel (“Veep”) and Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) were among those honored at the Television Academy’s Emmy nominees writers reception on Tuesday night in North Hollywood. There, ceremony hosts, “Escape at Dannemora” star Eric Lange and “Veep’s” Sam Richardson, kept the show moving by tossing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content