- Crowd at actor Kevin Spacey's sold-out benefit concert includes members of Congress
- The event raised over $700,000 for the actor's foundation
Washingtonians from both sides of the aisle gathered this week to see actor Kevin Spacey in concert, a benefit for the Kevin Spacey Foundation.
"Good evening and welcome to an evening to benefit the Frank Underwood Super PAC," Spacey joked to the sold-out crowd, with a guest list including Dr. Jill Biden, several members of Congress and business leaders.
Underwood is the ruthless politician Spacey plays as the star of "House of Cards."
During his performance Monday night, at Washington's Sidney Harman Hall, he threw in Underwood impersonations among his set list, which ranged from Sinatra to "Piano Man," and an "All Night Long" duet with Jeff Goldblum. Yes, that Jeff Goldblum.
In between songs, Spacey shared lessons from what he dubbed "Frank Underwood's Guide to Philanthropy."
"Generosity is its own form of power," he said in his signature Underwoodian Southern drawl.
Spacey's foundation strives to "send the elevator back down" by training and mentoring emerging artists through scholarships and funding.
The actor's commitment to arts accessibility and paying it forward was front and center throughout the benefit, which raised over $700,000 for the foundation.
"The most important thing to me is not a financial or monetary thing. When I'm in a workshop and I see that kid in the corner who is really shy and wants to be involved but doesn't know how, maybe is a little scared. I was that kid," Spacey said. "I want that kid ... to have an experience of realizing something about themselves that they didn't know that they were capable of. That's the moment I live for."
Spacey said that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, both in attendance, were "instrumental" in developing the role of Frank Underwood, although McCarthy wasn't initially willing to work with him.
"When I first asked to meet (McCarthy), he refused to meet me," Spacey told reporters after the show. "Until he found out I was playing a Democrat."
Although both McCarthy and Hoyer came out publicly against the show's portrayal of Congress, Spacey said, "You've gotta thank Frank Underwood for getting both sides of the aisle to agree on something."
Spacey's next project will use his distinctive voice in a different way, starring alongside Alec Baldwin in Dreamworks' animated feature "Boss Baby."