The “Chrysalis Night In” virtual fundraiser paid tribute to Broadway star Nick Cordero on Thursday night.
It was just two days before that the Tony-nominated actor woke up from a medically induced coma after complications from his battle with COVID-19.
The Chrysalis benefit was co-hosted by Zach Braff, who got emotional while talking about his best friend Cordero’s journey, while introducing a performance by the Los Angeles cast of “Rock of Ages.”
“Some of the most heartwarming support has been from Nick’s company of ‘Rock of Ages’ [Cordero starred in the production as Dennis]. They come and they walk the baby, they come and drop off food, they drop off flowers, they drop off wine,” Braff said. “It’s been so hard because we’re not supposed to touch each other and all you want to do is hold your friend and give them love. But this group of people are the most amazing company, you can only hope that you have friends like the company of ‘Rock of Ages.’”
The cast sang “Don’t Stop Believin'” in front of backgrounds that read “#WakeUpNick,” a hashtag used by Cordero’s wife Amanda Kloots to inspire fans and loved ones to sing and dance on social media in support of Cordero.
Robert De Niro, Jamie Foxx, Max Greenfield, Ben Feldman, Seth MacFarlane, Jon Favreau and Jeff Ross also popped up during the fundraiser to support Chrysalis’ mission to help low-income individuals secure employment during the coronavirus pandemic.
Other performances included Anne Hathaway rocking virtual face filters and wigs as she sang “Wig in a Box” from “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” John Legend (with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from daughter Luna), Linda Perry & Willa Amai, Gavin Rossdale, Natasha Bedingfield, Wallows, Josh Whitehouse, The War and Treaty, and DJ Adam Bravin.
The big finale featured a performance by “The House Band,” a group of legendary musicians including Perry; Slash; Guns N’ Roses’ Gilby Clarke and Matt Sorum; Lzzy Hale (Halestorm); Jim Peterik (Survivor); Rob “Blasko” Nicholson; Jimmy “Z” Zavala; Bill Churchville; and Mike Garson. Peterik also performed “Eye of the Tiger,” which is one of the inspirational songs several hospitals have played through the loudspeakers when COVID patients are released after beating the virus.
The virtual event was held in lieu of the nonprofit’s annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball, with the event chairs (Kerry Brown, Rebecca Gayheart, Rick Hess, Josh Lieberman, Stacey Sher and Richard Weitz) regrouping to pull off the live party in just two weeks. Chrysalis president and CEO Mark Loranger told guests — who joined the bash via a private YouTube link after donating to the cause — that the organization has raised $350,000 for the cause.
Guests raised more than $25,000 while watching the four-hour program. The silent-auction raised an additional $30,000, with items including an autographed memorabilia package from James Taylor and private Zoom chats with Dave Bautista, Eddie Redmayne, Kit Harington and the cast of Netflix’s “Outer Banks,” which sold for $15,000.