Lana Condor, Michael J. Fox, Jack Black and more make appearances on the Merry and Bright Holiday Celebration benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and The Ronald McDonald Houses of New York and Los Angeles.
The fundraiser, which premieres Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET and will stream for free until Dec. 21 on Brightcove, includes musical performances and table readings of holiday classics from Jewel, Annaleigh Ashford, Chase Stokes and the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Merry and Bright Holiday Celebration features readings of the Dr. Seuss classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Black and “The Nutcracker” by Condor. Musical performances include Ashford’s rendition of “A Marshmallow World,” Boston Pops Orchestra’s take on holiday classics such as “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and “Let There Be Peace on Earth” under the direction of conductor Keith Lockhart, Tori Kelly’s stripped-down guitar performances of her song “25th” and other seasonal selections and Jewel’s rendering of hit holiday specials. Meanwhile, Stokes and Fox share personal holiday memories to spread much-needed holiday cheer.
“So much of the joy we feel during the holidays is through the eyes and hearts of children,” Lockhart said. “With the Merry and Bright Holiday Celebration, we are able to help bring the magic of the season to children who might be celebrating the holidays a little differently this year.”
The show also includes PSAs from each organization, such as one from St. Jude’s featuring Sofía Vergara, Jennifer Aniston, Yara Shahidi and Michael Strahan. The program also features personal testimonies from families describing the social support and medical treatment they received for their children’s cancer.
“What the Ronald McDonald House provides is the social support, for example housing, transportation to and from appointments, food, educational programs — those are the socioeconomic issues that really promote health and healing,” said Dr. Ruth Browne, president and CEO of the Ronald McDonald House of New York.