Songs For Mike 2011

Musical Tribute Honoring the Life of Theater Critic Michael
Kuchwara, Benefiting the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, Hit High
Notes with Liza Minnelli and Broadway Stars

February 28, 2011
Birdland Jazz Club

Photos by Chris Owyoung

Directed by: Carl Andress
Written by: D. Michael Dvorchak and Julie Halston
Music Director: Patrick Vaccariell
Music Supervisor: Ed Windels
Press: Charlie Seidenburg

Nancy Anderson
Klea Blackhurst
Kevin Chamberlin
Alison Fraser
Montego Glover
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka
Marc Kudisch
Michael McCormick
Lindsay Mendez
Noah Racey
Sherie Rene Scott
Mary Testa
Betsy Wolfe

With: Ralph Howard

Hosted by: Julie Halston

Surprise Appearance by: Liza Minnelli, accompanied by Billy Stritch

View the Press Release

On February 28, 2011, the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation was the proud beneficiary of "Songs for Mike: A Benefit Evening Honoring Michael Kuchwara," an event held in memory of well-known and beloved Associated Press theater critic Michael Kuchwara. In May of 2010 Kuchwara passed away from complications of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).To honor both him and his work in the Broadway community a musical tribute of Kuchwara’s favorite Broadway show tunes, directed by Carl Andress and featuring the Musical Direction of Patrick Vaccariell, was held at Birdland, the historic New York jazz club.

Hosted with impeccable wit and comedic prowess by actress Julie Halston Birdland’s stage was graced by Broadway stars Liza Minnelli, Nancy Anderson, Klea Blackhurst, Kevin Chamberlin, Alison Fraser, Montego Glover, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, Marc Kudisch, Michael McCormick, Lindsay Mendez, Noah Racey, Sherie Rene Scott, Mary Testa, and Betsy Wolfe.

Photo by Chris Owyoung

The delightful evening concluded with a special performance by the renowned Liza Minnelli, accompanied by Billy Stritch, award-winning composer, arranger, vocalist and jazz pianist. Liza captivated the audience with past memories of Kuchwara and sang three songs to the delight of the audience and other cast members.

Organized by Adrian Bryan-Brown, D. Michael Dvorchak, Sue Frost, Julie Halston, Charlie Siedenburg, and Ed Windels, the event was an excellent success and helped to raise over $40,000 to benefit Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s Michael Kuchwara Fund for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research, Education, and Advocacy.