Wanzie’s 2008 Fringe hit “When Pigs Fly!” screening to raise funds for sick family member

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Michael Wanzie will be screening his 2008 Orlando Fringe hit When Pigs Fly! at The Abbey Sept. 18 to help raise funds for his nephew, whose daughter is battling leukemia.

Devin Miko, who is 11 years old, was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia last May.

“Her parents were told her white blood cell count was almost nonexistent, so they would treat her fast and very aggressively,” said Judy Wanzie, Devin’s grandmother and sister to Michael Wanzie.

Within three days, Devin was surgically implanted with a portal in her chest and was administered chemotherapy. Two weeks later, Devon developed a near fatal infection from the chemo treatments.

Devin was airlifted from her hometown of Colorado Springs to Denver Children’s Hospital and placed in the pediatric intensive care unit where she was incubated and kept unconscious. A procedure to save her life left her with permanent damage to her vocal cords and nerve damage to one of her legs. Devin is back home but by no means out of the woods yet. She is on a feeding tube and will have to undergo more chemo treatments.

“Her mother had to give up a very good job that she had just acquired, so they are down an income for their family of six,” Judy Wanzie said. ”The engine blew on one of their cars during a trip to Denver hospital. They’ve had constant motel bills and will continue to have travel and lodging expenses every time she needs to go back to the hospital in Denver.”

Michael Wanzie was grappling with how he could help his family thousands of miles away in Colorado.

“Kenny Howard called to my attention that we had a professional, three-camera video recording of our 2008 Orlando Fringe show, the hi-camp, hilarious, gay-centric costume comedy, When Pigs Fly! that had been created by our friends at EdgeFactory,” Michael Wanzie said. “I questioned whether anyone would pay to see a video of a stage show but Kenny insisted they would.”

Within 24 hours of tickets going on sale more than 50 VIP seats were sold.

Howard has also donated space at The Abbey to screen the show and original cast members — Sam Singhaus, Frank McClain, David Dorman, David Lee and Michael Wanzie himself —will be on-hand for photo ops.

“There were royalties and licensing issues that were of particular concern since a New York revival of When Pigs Fly! is currently in previews,” Michael Wanzie said. “So of course I call our local Broadway legend Miss Sammy Singhaus, who I know is personal friends with Marc Waldrop, the writer and lyricist of When Pigs Fly!, to explain how we wanted re-use his intellectual property to raise funds.”

Waldrop gave his blessing for the screening at no charge.

The screening will also feature an auction and raffle prizes donated from businesses across Central Florida. Everything being raised will go to the Devin Miko Fund.

“I have always said I love living in Orlando and I have often lauded our sense of community,” Michael Wanzie said. ”The immediate and generous response to this fundraising effort proves why Orlando is so special. I could not be any more humbled and grateful for the response. I hope to see many of you at the screening.”

When Pigs Fly! for Devin Miko be play at The Abbey on Monday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for VIP reserved table seating and $10 for general admission. To donate directly to Devin go to GoFundMe.com/Devins-Leukemia-Cure.

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