Tom Viola, Executive Director of Broadway Cares, was presented with the check Dec. 20 by Mitchell Bernard, a trustee of the Fred Ebb Foundation.
Each year, the Foundation — in association with the Roundabout Theatre Company — presents the Fred Ebb Award and a $50,000 check to an aspiring musical theatre songwriter. This year’s award was bestowed upon John Bucchino, whose songs have been recorded by Patti LuPone, Barbara Cook and the late Nancy LaMott.
Any remaining royalties from the last 12-month period are then donated to Broadway Cares, an organization that Ebb helped many times throughout the years. BC/EFA’s Viola said, “During his lifetime, Fred was a great friend to BC/EFA in many ways, large and small. Yes, he made donations and was an annual major donor. But he particularly enjoyed our Gypsy of the Year and Easter Bonnet events, so he often came with [many] friends. He served as a judge once, and I think had quite a good time.
“In 1997, BC/EFA decided to produce a special 25th Anniversary screening of the Oscar winning film, ‘Cabaret’ as a benefit. A new print was struck for the occasion, the big theatre at Sony Lincoln Center booked and sold out. In the weeks before Liza [Minnelli] agreed to appear and then just before the event had to have knee surgery. She called with regrets. We were going to have a theatre-full of ‘regrets.’ Through Tim [Pinckney], I spoke to Fred. ‘I'll take care of it,’ he said. That night, Liza showed up on Fred's arm on bright red crutches. It was a wonderful night.” For further information, visit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS on the web at http://www.bcefa.org.