Fey, Tony-nominated for her musical Mean Girls, will welcome the casts of Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, Chicago, Jagged Little Pill, Diana: The Musical, Jersey Boys, Mean Girls, Rent and an appearance by the cast of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The special also will offer sneak peaks at some Broadway shows planned for 2021.
The NBC special arrives in a year when Broadway has been deprived both of audiences and of its single most important TV presence: The Tony Awards, a CBS network tradition canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic shutdown. A digital Tony Awards event is expected at some point in 2021, but details haven’t been announced.
Four Broadway productions are expected to participate in NBC’s coverage of the slimmed-down and crowd-free Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade event.
Donations raised during the One Night Only special will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, helping to provide groceries and medication, health care and emergency financial assistance to those in the Broadway community struggling through the pandemic shutdown. (In addition to the telecast, NBCUniversal is making a donation to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.)
The line-up of performers also includes Kelly Clarkson, Brett Eldredge, Patti LaBelle and appearances from Annaleigh Ashford, Lance Bass, Kristen Bell, Ron Cephas Jones, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Peter Gallagher, Josh Groban, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sean Hayes, Nathan Lane, Camryn Manheim, Alanis Morissette, Jerry O’Connell, Leslie Odom Jr., Billy Porter, John Stamos, Aaron Tveit, Blair Underwood, Vanessa Williams, Susan Kelechi Watson, among others.
“I’m so happy to be a part of this night, raising money for Broadway Cares, and to watch these mega talented people do what they do best,” Fey said.
“With Broadway being crippled by current events, it’s never been more vital to showcase these incredible performers and remind audiences of their extraordinary talents for when they return to the stage,” said Doug Vaughan, Executive Vice President, Special Programs, NBC Entertainment. “We’re proud to partner with Broadway Cares and do our part to help those in that tight-knit community during these difficult times.”
Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, said, “We are deeply grateful to NBC for making this special evening possible and to the spectacular lineup of Broadway’s best who are so generously sharing their time and talent. The joy that this special will create will translate into meals and medication, health and hope for those within our Broadway community who are struggling during this pandemic and extraordinary work shutdown.”
Fey’s 2018 musical adaptation of her 2004 film Mean Girls received 12 Tony Award nominations, including Fey for best book. Fey currently is in production on NBC’s Mr. Mayor, which she is writing and executive producing with Robert Carlock. Fey and Carlock are also executive producing Girls5Eva, a comedy series for NBCU’s upcoming streaming platform, Peacock.
One Night Only: The Best of Broadway telecast is a production of Brad Lachman Productions with Lachman serving as executive producer. Bill Bracken is co-executive producer.
The two-hour special is set to air Thursday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.