Billy Joel Recruits Middleburg Heights Native “MICHAEL CAVANAUGH”


In anticipation of the April 1 Billy Joel concert at The Q, Plain Dealer reporter Chuck Yarborough spoke with Middleburg Heights native Michael Cavanaugh, an accomplished musician who himself is every bit the “Piano Man.”

Yarborough’s Friday Magazine article discusses Cavanaugh’s Tony Award-nominated success playing the “Piano Man” character in over a thousand performances of “Movin’ Out,” a Broadway musical based on Billy Joel’s music. (The show won two Tony Awards in 2003.) It was Joel himself who recruited Cavanaugh for the role after hearing him play in Las Vegas.

In the article, Cavanaugh also describes his early musical efforts in Cleveland, which paved the way for his future success.

Cavanaugh’s exceptional accomplishments and contributions to music obviously stretch back over several years. In 2005 Mayor Gary W. Starr named February 20 “Michael Cavanaugh Day” in Middleburg Heights to honor his achievements.

Cavanaugh, a 1990 Midpark High School graduate, spent his childhood and teen years here in Middleburg Heights, and grew up on Concord Trail in Indian Creek Estates.

A neighbor who works at Middleburg Heights City Hall fondly remembers walking to the school bus stop with Cavanaugh.

“When other kids were playing football and baseball, Michael was out playing gigs with his brothers,” she recalls.

The entire article can be accessed at the link below: