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Composer Melissa Manchester Talks Hamlisch, Sondheim and More with Seth Rudetsky on STARS IN THE HOUSE


Composer Melissa Manchester Talks Hamlisch, Sondheim and More with Seth Rudetsky on STARS IN THE HOUSE

The Actors Fund has teamed with SiriusXM Broadway host Seth Rudetsky and his husband, producer James Wesley, to produce a daily mini-online show, entitled Stars in The House, featuring stars of stage and screen singing and performing live (from home!) on social media to promote support for The Fund's services for those most vulnerable to the effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Stars In The House continued last night (8pm) with Composer Melissa Manchester. Manchester treated the viewers to "songs that speak to this moment" including A Better Rainbow, Midnight Blue and Come In From The Rain. She reminisced about her experiences on stage in the national tour of Song and Dance, taking over for Bernadette Peters; the 25th anniversary of Sweeney Todd; and the original production of Dancin', as well as sharing stories about Stephen Sondheim, and the late, great Marvin Hamlisch, whom Manchester was nominated for an Academy Award with, along with Carole Bayer Sager for "Through the Eyes of Love (Theme from Ice Castles)".

She shared that one day while Melissa was at lunch with Marvin Hamlisch, she asked, "So what was opening night of A Chorus Line actually like?" " He said, 'They kicked, and they all went back into that cinematic finale, and the place erupted, and we all went on stage. They took the curtain call, and then it was the third curtain call, and we all remembered who we had forgotten during the first and the second, and then it was the tenth curtain call. By the twenty-first curtain call we had lost the power of language, because the audience would just not leave.' I said, 'And what does twenty one curtain calls feel like?!' He said, 'It feels like the best 1000 years of your life.'"

Manchester also shared a story about her time with Stephen Sondheim while performing in Sweeney Todd:

"It was opening night of Sweeney Todd that I was in, the 25th anniversary...It was a wonderful cast, Kelsey Grammer was playing Sweeney, Christine Baranski was Mrs. Lovett... Mr. Sondheim of course came out for it... so I went to the party, and I was introduced to him and he didn't see my brain exploding, but nonetheless, it was lovely, but we had a matinee to do the next day. I don't know if you know who Lindsay Law is, he was the head of programming for PBS. I go up to Mr. Sondheim just to say goodnight to him and I see that he's in conversation with a gentleman and I tap him on the shoulder and say, 'It's been such an honor and I'm so thrilled to be part of this, and thank you, I don't mean to interrupt you, but I do have a matinee, so I'm going to go home now, thank you so much.' He turns to me and says, 'Melissa! This is Lindsay Law! He can get us work!'"

Seth Rudetsky chimed in in disbelief with, "Everybody underneath everything is a starving artist."

Even Sondheim!

Click HERE to watch Melissa Manchester on Seth Rudetsky's STARS IN THE HOUSE.

New shows will be produced DAILY at the traditional theater times of 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. ET. Each star will be singing a mix of their hit songs and/or something unexpected. Between each song, Seth will interview the star as he does on SiriusXM, leading them to give fun, inside stories about their careers. Both the star and Seth will encourage people watching to donate at and James will be giving updates from The Fund as well as giving shout-outs to people donating in real time.

Melissa Manchester a singer-songwriter and actress, who has appeared on television, in films, and on stage. She is an Academy Award nominee for "Through The Eyes of Love" from the Ice Castles original soundtrack, and "I'll Never Say Goodbye" from The Promise; a Grammy Award winner for "You Should Hear How She Talks About You"; and has received the Governor's Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences for her contributions to the music & recording arts.

Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff

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