All Star Cast Set To Honor The Late Craig Zadan At ‘Thespians Go Hollywood’ Event

Kristin Chenoweth, Harry Connick Jr., Sean Hayes and Debra Messing are among the artists announced today as participants in the upcoming benefit honoring the late producer Craig Zadan.

Also included in the line-up: Bernadette Peters, Martin Short, Jennifer Hudson, Audra McDonald, and Renee Zellweger.

Called “Thespians Go Hollywood: Honoring The Life And Work Of Craig Zadan,” the invitation-only event is set for Sunday November 11, 5-7pm, at the Television Academy in North Hollywood. 

The event will benefit the Educational Theatre Foundation, which originally had planned to honor Zadan and producing partner Neil Meron with its first annual Theatre For Life award. With Zadan’s unexpected death on August 21, the event has now also become the official memorial and celebration of his legacy. 

Among other participants on stage will be Megan Hilty, Kenny Leon, Amber Riley, John Stamos, Nia Vardalos, and former NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt who, with ETF President Julie Cohen Theobald, announced the event in late August.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that we will celebrate Craig’s life in a way that he, the consummate producer, would have liked,” said Greenblatt at the time. “And at the same time I know nothing would give him more satisfaction than raising money for the work of the Educational Theatre Foundation. We already miss Craig terribly, but his spirit and his joy for the theater lives on in the dozens of movies and television projects we’re fortunate to have which will remain with us always.”

In that statement, Zadan’s life partner Elwood Hopkins, who joins Meron and the Foundation in extending invitations to the event, said, “I can’t think of a better way to honor Craig since his entire life was devoted to theatre and the performing arts. He also knew the transformative power of the arts, especially for young people, and I’m certain Craig would have loved to raise a great deal of money for ETF and their important work.”

Last month, Zadan and Meron won their first Emmy (in 16 nominations) for the NBC musical Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert. 

Donations in Zadan’s memory can be made at

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