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Raconteur Malachy McCourt and singer-songwriter Gretchen Cryer are among the noted performers scheduled to appear at the Michael Cullen Recovery Fund benefit show Monday, May 3, 7:30 PM, at the Royal George Theatre. Originally slotted for April 19, the fundraiser was rescheduled to accommodate performers who wanted to participate. Veteran Chicago theater producer Cullen suffered a stroke in January. He's recovering at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, but lacks health insurance. Benefit organizers are suggesting a $25 donation, which will include one complimentary drink.
Both Cryer and McCourt have long-standing professional relationships with Cullen, who in the 1980s presented successful Chicago runs of I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road by Cryer and A Couple of Blaguards by McCourt and his Pulitzer Prize-winning brother Frank. Directed by Michael Weber, the benefit will also feature cast members from other Cullen-produced hits, including Steel Magnolias, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and The Irish and How They Got That Way.
As noted in a previous post, Cullen has an extensive track record of producing both crowd-pleasers and risky, off-beat fare. As owner of the Mercury Theater, he's been extraordinarily generous over the years, donating space for benefits, theater-community meetings, and other events.