It's been about a month since global concerns over the coronavirus pandemic began to dominate the news cycle. The virus has affect every aspect of daily life, and infected a number of high profile names. While Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were able to recover safely, songwriter Adam Schlesinger passed away last week as a result of his symptoms. Schlesinger wrote the title track for That Thing You Do!, which was directed by Hanks himself. And now the fictional band from the movie is reuniting to raise money in the late songwriter's name.
That Thing You Do! focuses on a fictional band called The Oneders. Tom Hanks had a major role in the movie, in addition to directing the project. The title is the name of the hit single from the band, which was written by Fountains of Wayne songwriter Adam Schlesinger for the film. Shlesinger's death last week was another warning of the seriousness of COVID-19, and now the cast of That Thing You Do! is doing a benefit to raise money and honor his memory.
The benefit will be a watch party of That Thing You Do!, which will be available on The Wonders' new YouTube page. Said watch party will raise money for a COVID-19 relief fund from MusiCares, and pay tribute to Adam Schlesinger's memory. Actors Tom Everett Scott, Johnathon Schaech, Steve Zahn, and Ethan Embry are all set to appear for the watch party, reuniting the band decades later.
Adam Schlesinger's contributions to pop culture extend further than his work on That Thing You Do!, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Song in 1997. In film, he also wrote the music for Josie and the Pussycats, Music and Lyrics, There's Something About Mary, and Ice Age: Continental Drift. But his music also extends to theater, television, and live awards shows.
Throughout his career, Adam Schlesinger actually won three Emmy Awards, in addition to being nominated many other times. His first two win was for writing Neil Patrick Harris' songs for the 65th and 66th Tony Awards. He also wrote all the music for The CW's musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, eventually winning an Emmy for his work on La La Land spoof track "Antidepressants Are So Not a Big Deal."
Additionally, Adam Schlesinger is known for his work on the band Fountains of Wayne, which is known for their hit song "Stacy's Mom." The band was nominated for two Grammy awards in 2003 with its debut album. Additionally, he wrote music for the the Broadway adaptation of Cry-Baby, which earned him a Tony nomination.
Adam Schlesinger isn't the only celebrity to have lost their life due to complications from COVID-19, but it was one that was felt within the entertainment world. Clearly his work as a songwriter has affected audiences across all mediums. As such, the That Thing You Do! watch party is a great opportunity to raise money and make a difference, while also honoring his memory.
Our thoughts continue to be with Adam Schlesinger's loved ones in this difficult time.