This week, Ira spoke with Michael Cavanaugh.
Michael Cavanaugh, starring in “The Songs of Billy Joel & More” at The South Point Casino, June 19-21, was handpicked by Billy Joel to star in title role of the Broadway Musical “Movin’ Out.” Cavanaugh appeared in the show for three years and more than 1200 performances, culminating in 2003 with both Grammy and Tony award nominations.
Cavanaugh began playing at age 7, when his parents bought their first piano. Encouraged by family and friends, and inspired by his hero Billy Joel, he formed his first band at age 10 and began playing local functions, fine-tuning the craft that would become his chosen career.
His first full time gig as a musician was an extended engagement in Orlando Florida at a piano bar called Blazing Pianos. In January of 1999, Michael received an offer that would unknowingly change his life, with an opportunity to play Las Vegas at the famed New York, New York Hotel and Casino.
It was there that Billy Joel spotted Cavanaugh and joined him on stage one fateful night of February 2001. It only took two songs before Joel was convinced that he had found his new Piano Man. Cavanaugh closed up shop at New York, New York and moved to New York City to work alongside Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp, to shape the Broadway Musical that would be called “Movin’ Out.”
With the close of “Movin’ Out” at the end of 2005, Cavanaugh began touring in his own right, creating a show that reinterprets the modern pop/rock songbook.