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Al Pacino is one of the stars adding their support to the Christmas Day Telethon and GoFundMe campaign for the West Bank Cafe and Laurie Beechman Theater on W42nd Street.
Oscar-winner Pacino told Page Six: “The West Bank Café has always meant a great deal to me. It’s right there in the middle of everything on 42nd and 9th and open to everyone. It’s very comforting to know that it’s there.”
He added: “The food is always fresh and good, the atmosphere warm and, believe it or not, every night downstairs different acts and mini-plays are performed. To lose a place like that would be a loss for our great city that we would feel. To me, it’s a landmark… part of the very few that gives our city identity — low-key, yet New York.
“The ambiance of it is just right with those windows open to 42nd. There were nights we would sit in there watching the snow falling outside. There are places that have vibes, the West Bank has a vibe, and the vibe is simple and alive. I hope it hangs in there.”
The Christmas Day Telethon starts at midday and is expected to continue until at least 9pm. More than 200 guests are appearing, including Pete Townshend, Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Alan Cumming, Debra Messing, and Alice Ripley. The event is being produced by Hell’s Kitchen local and “Be More Chill” composer Joe Iconis. (See full list at the bottom of the story).
West Bank Cafe owner Steve Olsen told us: “The outpouring of love and generosity we have received from our loyal customers, friends, relatives, and business associates is overwhelming. Over a thousand people have donated money to help us survive this catastrophic pandemic, and a couple of hundred artists are contributing to our Christmas Day telethon, which will be on Facebook from noon until 8 pm. I am forever grateful to, and appreciate, everyone who has ever patronized West Bank Cafe. Gratitude is the best Christmas gift one could ever receive. I wish everyone a healthy and safe Holiday season.”
The nine hour telethon will feature appearances by: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Pete Townshend, Debra Messing, Chita Rivera, Andre De Shields, Betty Buckley, Alan Cumming, Bobby Cannavale, Tony Shaloub, Kevin Chamberlin, Alice Ripley, Iain Armitage, Isaac Mizrahi, Martha Plimpton, Melissa Rivers, Andrea McArdle, Lewis Black, Dylan Baker, Becky Gelke, Randy Rainbow, Cheri Oteri, Laura Benanti, John Gallagher Jr., Cady Hoffman, David Eigenberg, Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Kerry Butler, Lois Smith, Norm Lewis, Anna Chlumsky, Telly Leung, Ryann Redmond, George Salazar, Joe Iconis, Lauren Marcus, Tim Guinee, Lauren Patten, Karl Heringer, David Auburn, Harris Yulin, Warren Leight, Laura Bell Bundy, Annie Golden, Megan Hilty, Brian Gallagher, Jakie Cox, Jinkx Monsoon, Brooke Adams, Judy Kuhn, Perez Hilton, Giancarlo Esposito, Megan Boone, Zak Orth, Patrick Breen, Linus Roache, Brad Oscar, Alison Arngrim, Alison Fraser, Mary Testa, Chip Zien, Debbie Gravitte, Kelli Barrett, Jarrod Spector, Justin Sargent, Tony Sheldon, Anson Mount, Gil Bellows, Rya Khlidstedt, Karen Mason, Christine Pedi, Lauren Molina, Nick Adams, Morgan Fairchild, Ilene Kristen, Kristen Alderson, Robert Newman, Ann Harada, Lori Singer, Geraldine Hughes, Michael West, Christina Bianco, Jason Tam, Jeff Harnar, Lee Wilkof, Julie Halston, Alysha Umphress, Molly Hager, Maya Days, Susie Mosher, Evan Handler,
Michael O’Keefe, Eric William Morris, Alyse Alan Louis, Michael Rayner, Michael
Gaston, Michael Longoria, John Hillner, Michelle Dowdy, Jordan Wolfe, Rick Crom,
Leon Addison Brown, Terry Kinney, Karen Ziemba, Lily Houghton, Lee Rodriguez,
Jennifer Ferrin, Jeff Perry, Kevin Smith Kirkwood, Laura Woyasz, Marissa Mulder,
Kristy Cates and Gracie, Marty Thomas, Amra Faye Wright, Jennifer Ashley Tepper
Marissa Rosen Jeanine Tesori Aaron Kaburick, Liz Lark Brown, Karen Mack-
Those Girls, Amy Hillner Larsen, Amy Toporek, Eric Michael Gillett, Jason Graae,
Stephanie Wilberding, Chelah Horsdal, David Friedman, Marie Gabrielle,
Tedi Marsh, Beckham Peterson, Carly Sakolove, Jim Caruso, Billy Stritch, Klea
Blackhurst, Mark Nadler, KT Sullivan, Gabrielle Stravelli, Leslie Carrera, Rudolph
Lardpop, Lolly Lardpop, Holly Ann Butler, L Kevin Steven Taylor, Jon Satrom, Sean Bernardi, Neil Martin West, Tracy Stark, Bill Zeffiro, Kevin Michael Murphy, Jennifer
Barnhart, Garry Dial, Terre Roche, Jordan Stanley, Amanda Huxtable, Latrice Royale,
David Auburn, Jimmy Larkin, Bradley Jones, Jennifer Mudge, Dina O’Brien, La Voix,
Sherry Vine, Tammie Brown, Paige Turner, Jackie Sanders, Michael Garin and Mardie
Millit, Lorenzo Pisoni, Coco Taylor, Jackie Beat, Neil Pepe, Chelsea Piers, Michael Hull,
Nicky Paraiso, Kate Pazakis, Natalie Douglas, Michael Kirk Lane, Ben Cameron, Dylan
Hartwell, Gregory Sullivan, Scott Coulter, Billy Recce, Emily McNamara, Scott Richard
Foster, Taylor Crousore, Tulis McCall, Gabrielle Lee, Lorinda Lisitza, Shakina Nayfack,
Badia Farha, Ray Leslee, Billy The Mime, Brandon Cutrell, Lennie Watts, Amy Wolk,
Maggie McDowell and Thomas, Tom D’Angora, Michael D’Angora, Momjian, Steve Olsen, Senator Brad Hoylman, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, District Leader
Marisa Redanty, a special message from Al Pacino, and Michael L. Walters as
Santa Claus *
*List is ever growing and subject to change