Stars from Broadway and Hollywood will take part in a one-night-only event to raise money to create the Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, which is estimated to cost $9 million.
The evening — organized by the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and Katie Couric, wife of the late Jay Monahan — is entitled 42nd & Vine . . . Hollywood Hits Broadway and will be held at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The many performers will offer selections from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's West Side Story.
As of press time, those scheduled to take part in the event include Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Kelsey Grammar, Josh Groban, Beyoncé Knowles, Kevin Kline, Bette Midler, Rita Moreno, Chita Rivera, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Tony Danza, Jesse L. Martin, Davis Gaines, Heather Headley, Rebecca Luker and Paul Stanley as well as "Sopranos" cast members Tony Sirico, John Ventimiglia, Steve Schirripa and Federico Castelluccio.
In a statement, Katie Couric said, "It's rare that I'm speechless, but that's how I feel about the incredible array of stars — from film, television, Broadway and the music industry —who will perform to benefit the Monahan Center. I can't begin to express how grateful and touched I am by the entertainment industry's generosity — both the Foundation's help and the personal commitment of each and every person who will participate in Hollywood Hits Broadway. November 12th is really going to be an amazing night. Knowing that all the proceeds will go to a great cause will make it even more so."
The "Today Show" co-host also spoke about her late husband — who died of colon cancer in 1998 — and the Center that will be named in his honor: "EIF has been an extraordinary partner in the work I've been doing to raise awareness and research dollars for the fight against colon cancer since losing my husband Jay to the disease in 1998. I am thrilled to have EIF's support as we establish the Monahan Center here in New York City. I know from personal experience what an enormous help the Center will be to families dealing with the devastating diagnoses of a variety of gastrointestinal cancers." The Jay Monahan Center — scheduled to open in early 2004 — will be located in the Stich building on the New York Weill Cornell campus of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Individual tickets for the Nov. 12 event begin at $2,500. For more information, call Event Associates at (212) 245-6570 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
—By Andrew Gans