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The Stars Rain Down For The Rainforest

Revlon Concert For The Rainforest Fund At Carnegie Hall In New York City on April 3, 2012

Sir Elton John - Meryl Streep - Sting - James Taylor Performing
A Song From "The Wizard Of Oz"
Imagine The Wizard of Oz starring Meryl Streep as Dorothy, James Taylor as the Scarecrow, Sting as the Tin Man and Sir Elton John as the Cowardly Lion. Well, thanks to the Rainforest Fund benefit concert, you don’t have to anymore. The show’s surreal opening number featured that (non costumed) all-star cast warbling “If I Only Had a Brain,” and it was only the beginning.

These annual Carnegie Hall shows organized by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler always are a highlight of the musical year. They usually follow the concept of stars singing songs they’ve never done before and likely will never do again, thereby providing strong incentive for attendees to part with serious cash for the ultra-pricey tickets.

This year’s edition, Songs From The Silver Screen, was a typical delight. Along with the Oz team, it featured Jennifer Hudson, Bruno Mars, Vince Gill, Rosanne Cash, Bryn Terfel and Rita Wilson, with Channing and Jenna Dewan Tatum offering dance support.

The fun comes from seeing the performers step out of their comfort zones: Sir Elton warbling “Moon River,” Sting crooning “Singin’ in the Rain,” Taylor singing “Shall We Dance?” from The King and I before proceeding to do just that with Wilson, opera star Terfel bellowing an Argentine-flavored “Roxanne” in stentorian tones as the Tatums torridly tangoed on the sidelines.

Streep, whose musical credits range from Broadway to ABBA on the big screen, charmingly sang “When You Wish Upon a Star” and duetted with Sting on a playful “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”
Meryl Streep Performing A Duet With Sting

Jennifer Hudson reprised her signature Dreamgirls number “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”  
Jennifer Hudson Performing On Stage

Bruno Mars got some of the biggest cheers of the evening, first for his soaring duet with Sir Elton John on “Unchained Melody” and again for his hip-swiveling “Jailhouse Rock.”

Bruno Mars Performing "Jailhouse Rock"

Sir Elton John, informed the crowd that “It has become a custom at these shows for me to humiliate myself,” good-naturedly fulfilled his mandate by singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” while waving his rock-covered digits and bumping and grinding with Channing Tatum.

Sir Elton John Performing "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend"
With Some Help From Channing Tatum

President Clinton, a seemingly ubiquitous figure at such events, delivered a speech about the global environmental crisis. On a more lighthearted note, he pointed out, “I’m the only person in the audience old enough to remember the original version of every tune done here.” But that didn’t prevent him from misidentifying the composer of “Be-Bop-A-Lula” as Gene Pitney instead of Gene Vincent.

Meryl Streep Greeting President Bill Clinton

Jennifer Hudson Arriving On The Carnegie Hall Carpet
EXCLUSIVE Fashion Note & Photo

Jennifer Hudson Arriving On The Carnegie Hall Carpet Wearing An Ultra Luxurious Gown By Reem Acra And Accessorizing It With Jewelry By Kimberly McDonald

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