UPDATE: These days, the hottest ticket in town is to Richard Weitz's Zoom parties. On Saturday, the WME partner and his 17-year-old daughter Demi gathered 500 friends for a virtual concert to help raise money for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
To kick off the star-studded event, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to the group, offering positivity and encouragement amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, that was the theme throughout the three hour spectacular, which featured performances by Randy Newman, Tony Hadley, Weird Al Yankovic, Alfie Boe, Rick Astley and Marcus Mumford. Guests including David Foster, Katharine McPhee, Amy Adams and Clive Davis watched in awe as legendary composer—and eight-time Oscar winner—Alan Menken performed a jaw-dropping medley of his famous Disney hits alongside his daughter Anna Rose.
Another father-daughter duo captivating the audience: Curt Smith and his 21-year-old Diva, who played "Mad World" among other hits for the crowd. Later, James Bay sang "Hold Back the River" and "Let It Go" while Charlie Puth sang "Attention" and bantered with Liam Payne. Auliʻi Cravalho stunned the audience with "How Far I'll Go" and "Part Of Your World" before The Greatest Showman's Loren Allred closed out the event with the musical's hit "Never Enough."
Come the final bow, Weitz and his daughter, who had invited several nurses to enjoy the show, had raised more than $150,000 for the L.A. hospital. Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd even pledged $50,000 to the organization. The night before, Weitz had gathered another A-list crew of legacy musicians to bring a smile to his friends' faces. The set list included Cyndi Lauper, Taylor Dayne, LL Cool J, Rev Run, Florida Georgia Line, newcomer Jac Ross and Lauren Daigle.
"This has been an unimaginable hardship," Garcetti, whose daughter works at Cedars-Sinai said. "And helping out those responders who are on the line right now in our hospitals...is everything."
While you're Zooming with your family and friends, many celebs are doing the same with their famous friends. And, one Hollywood agent has turned these into concerts chock-full of nostalgia.
WME partner Richard Weitz has been hosting virtual parties with a slew of celebrities as they all hunker down at their homes amid the Coronavirus pandemic. In a recent one, LL Cool J performed his 1987 rap song, "I Need Love," telling viewers to "stick together, stay close, stay tight." Payne performed a cover of Sam Smith's "How Do You Sleep," much to the delight of Weitz's "fangirling" daughter.
Throughout the event, Thomas Rhett sang his uplifting ballad "Be a Light," while Billy Ray Cyrus performed his 1992 single "Achy Breaky Heart." Broadway's Adam Pascal performed "Seasons of Love (525,600 Minutes)" from the '90s musical Rent and Astley gave acoustic performances of his viral song, "Never Gonna Give You Up" and his other big hit single, "Together Forever."
Previously, more than 200 people took part in a Zoom "concert" hosted by Weitz, including Josh Groban—who performed a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "America"—Tina Fey, Fred Savage musician Chris Isaak. On another night, John Mayer performed "Your Body is a Wonderland" and "New Light" from his Montana home, Debbie Gibson sang songs like her '80s hit "Only in My Dreams," Rick Springfield performed "Jessie's Girl" and Boy George performed "Karma Chameleon," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
On his Instagram page, Weitz has described his Zoom gatherings as a "mini Live Aid," referring to the star-studded 1985 global concert aimed at raising funds to fight famine in Ethiopia.
"I want people to have a good time," Weitz told THR. "It's like comfort food — songs and artists that people have literally grown up with that make everyone happy and bring joy in this difficult time."
(This story was originally published on Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 4:13 p.m. PT)