Barbra, Billy, Whoopi Stump for Kerry
The stars will be singing the praises of Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry next week in two separate fund-raising concerts: one on Monday at Los Angeles's Walt Disney Concert Hall and one Thursday at New York's Radio City Music Hall.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the West Coast gathering will include such headliners as Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Willie Nelson and Billy Crystal, while the East Coast Kerry camp includes Bette Midler, James Taylor, John Mellencamp, Jon Bon Jovi, Wyclef Jean, Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg.
"It's very ambitious. I don't think the artistic community has gotten together to raise this much money in one effort in my recollection," Rolling Stone editor and publisher Jann Wenner, who is executive-producing both events with Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein, tells the trade paper.
Wenner, who first met Kerry during the Vietnam era in the '70s (Kerry was awarded a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts), goes on to say: "The artist community is united on this because of the kinds of values that the artist community shares and feels deeply are very threatened by the current administration."
The host committee for Los Angeles includes Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito, Laurie and Larry David, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Rita Wilson.
For the New York event, Wenner and Weinstein have a host committee that includes Chevy Chase, Jimmy Fallon, Richard Gere, Jessica Lange and Uma Thurman.
Kerry will speak at both galas.
The concert also will mark the first time Streisand and Diamond – who attended the same Brooklyn school – have performed together in 24 years. They are set to perform their hit duet "You Don't Bring Me Flowers."