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See all-Black cast re-create classic 'Friends' episode

Sterling K. Brown, Uzo Aduba, Gabrielle Union and more gathered to do a table read of a classic "Friends" episode to spotlight Michelle Obama's When We All Vote organization.
/ Source: TODAY

An all-Black cast of "Friends" came together for "The One With the Table Read for Charity" on Tuesday night.

A cast that included "This Is Us" star Sterling K. Brown, Emmy Award winner Uzo Aduba and actor Gabrielle Union gathered virtually to re-create an episode of "Friends" in a table read on Zoom to spotlight When We All Vote, the organization created by former first lady Michelle Obama.

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Brown played Ross, Aduba played Phoebe, Ryan Bathe portrayed Rachel, Aisha Hinds played Monica, Kendrick Sampson took the part of Joey, and Jeremy Pope was Chandler in a remake of the classic episode "The One Where No One's Ready" from season three of the '90s sitcom.

The episode was directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield and produced by Emmy nominee Stephanie Allain, with Union handling the narration.

Oscar nominee and "Harriet" star Cynthia Erivo also chipped in with a rousing version of the "Friends" theme song that had the rest of the cast members dancing on screen.

The table read comes as fans still await a much-anticipated reunion special involving the original "Friends" cast on HBO Max, which has been repeatedly postponed due to the pandemic. The unscripted reunion was scheduled to start filming in March with all the members of the original cast in front of a live audience but has remained in limbo.

The table read on Tuesday night was the latest installment of "Zoom Where It Happens," a live table-read series presented by Black women artists with a goal to mobilize voters. The series launched Sept. 8 with an all-Black cast doing a table read of "Golden Girls" led by award-winning actors Tracee Ellis Ross, Sanaa Lathan, Alfre Woodard and Regina King.

All the table reads are done live and one time only, with the performers and producers participating on a volunteer basis.

"Historically, artists and entertainers have played essential roles in amplifying urgent voter issues and mobilizing the masses to be civically engaged. This series is a continuance of that tradition, and a way to bring much-needed joy and laughter into people’s homes,” Richardson-Whitfield said in a news release.

The “Zoom Where It Happens” series continues with a rotating cast of actors every Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST until Election Day.