Seth MacFarlane and Brianna Brown use their star power to preserve history for posterity.
What do Devious Maids and Family Guy have in common? Beyond the obvious hitmaking gene, the people behind these beloved brands just threw two of the most inspiring parties of the year.
Anytime you can mix a joke or two, with a drink or two and a good cause or two, if I'm allowed in, I'm there. Thankfully, this week I was fortunate enough to be on the list for An Evening with The John Wilson Orchestra and a cocktail fundraiser for The National Women's History Museum, thrown by Seth MacFarlane (creator of the hits Family Guy, American Dad!, Ted and more) and Brianna Brown (star of Devious Maids), respectively. These two celebrities, and the talented people in their inner circle, are creating far more than the best comedy on television. They are both reaching back into the past and resurrecting great stories and songs for us to enjoy today, which, without their efforts, might never be heard again.
John Wilson, maestro and conductor of The John Wilson Orchestra, loves old show tunes, but when he decided to put together a 100-piece orchestra to play them, he discovered that the scores were missing. Even Cole Porter's "You're Sensational," originally arranged by Nelson Riddle, had to be reconstructed. Thanks to John Wilson's arduous sifting through orchestra sheets and his astute ear, and Seth MacFarlane's passion and support of the project, the world can now enjoy That's Entertainment! A Celebration of the MGM Film Musical. The DVD features sing-along tracks to tunes like "I Got Rhythm," "Singing in the Rain," Love is Here to Stay" and much more. And yes, that is Seth MacFarlane crooning with the best of them on a number of the tracks.
Seth MacFarlane's Evening with the John Wilson Orchestra and the Moonshine Lounge celebration was the best party I've ever been to. Truly!
The National Women's History Museum is determined to exhume and display the stories that have been buried in the basement for centuries. As one example, Sacagawea was the guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition. History books acknowledge that, without her, the trek was doomed, so should her invaluable contribution earn her star billing in the name of the expedition? What about the woman who dressed up as a man to fight in the Revolutionary War? Shouldn't we know her name?
Why wasn't the statue of the three leaders of the Women's Suffragette Movement on display in the Rotunda in the 1990s? Newt Gingrich, then Speaker of the House, said there wasn't enough money to move the statue from the basement. Other Congressional leaders said the women were ugly, to which Congresswoman Pat Schroeder asked if anyone had taken a look at Abraham Lincoln lately! Joan Wages, president and CEO of the National Women's History Museum, stepped up with private funds to get the statue relocated, and then launched the National Women's History Museum. As NWHM founder Karen Staser says, "A better world awaits the generation that absorbs what women and men have to share about life from a joint perspective."
As an ambassador of the National Women's History Museum, Brianna Brown, star of Devious Maids and founder and CEO of "The New Hollywood", rallied her Devious Maids co-stars to join her at a cocktail party fundraiser for the museum. Amidst cursing, cupcakes, Cab and chardonnay, the mostly female crowd became educated on why half of the nation's story has never been told, and why it is so important to tell it now. Catherine Hardwick's PSA, "Don't Tell Me I Can't," illustrates why the true stories of female heroines should replace the age-old fairytales of damsels in distress.
Honored on October 24, 2013 at the Mr. C Hotel in Beverly Hills, were actress and Cancer Schmancer Foundation founder Fran Drescher, Girl Up, and the legendary Rita Moreno (who is one of only eleven people who have achieved the Grand Slam of acting, an EGOT -- Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). Rosie O'Donnell introduced Drescher, and used the stage to roast Moreno for being a scorching hot abuelita, who, together with Devious Maids star Susan Lucci, weigh as much as her thigh. (Not true. Rosie is looking rather svelte these days.)
All in all this week has been the most fun I've had this year. And thanks to the efforts of two forward-thinking superstars, who are using the stage for a good far greater than their own, many others in the years to come will have the opportunity to enjoy a Technicolor taste of swing, tap and swoon and the women, throughout history who have inspired (and written) the song and dance, carried the torch of wisdom and even fought the good fight.