Bill and Chelsea Clinton headlined a fundraiser on Monday in New York City with dozens of Broadway legends and comedians, many of whom roundly mocked Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Both Clintons thanked donors for attending the star studded event at the St. James Theatre, urging them to dig deeper to support the campaign in its last three weeks. But it was the former president who reflected on feelings Trump supporters were having, comparing them with groups of people who have felt left out in the past.
“They now feel like outsiders in a country they once felt like home,” Bill Clinton said, noting that those feelings were once shared with “gays immigrants, African-Americans, women, people with disabilities.”
“We don’t want to leave everyone behind,” said the former president. “We just want to tear down the social totem pole so we can rise together.”
Hillary Clinton did not appear in person, but taped a video for the 1,700 person event.
“We are in the final stretch of this campaign and we need your help to reach as many people as possible between now and Election Day,” Clinton said.
The former secretary of state joked that she auditioned for the star-studded show – which was produced by Harvey Weinstein and Jordan Roth – but that the producers said she “didn’t make the cut.”
Individual tickets for the event started at $45 and go to $2,700, but premium packages of seats went for as much as $100,000. Those who pay top prices were invited to attend a post-event reception with some of the performers.
Based on attendance figures and ticket prices provided by the campaign, the fundraiser raised more than $2.3 million.
Billy Crystal, who used his opening monologue to mock Trump, hosted the fundraiser.
Crystal said Trump was like a 7/11, “Open 24 hours and he is trying to sell us crap we don’t want.”
Later in the program, during after performance from “Cabaret,” Crystal remarked about how the musical was set in 1930s Germany.
“Or, as Trump and (Mike) Pence call it, the good old days,” he added.
The event included performances by Hugh Jackman, who sang “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ ” from “Oklahoma;” Anne Hathaway, who sang “Happy Days Are Here Again” and Neil Patrick Harris who sang “Origin of Love.”
Actresses Lena Dunham and Helen Mirren and actor Alan Cumming all spoke at the fundraiser, heralding Clinton and blasting Trump and his campaign.