In this installment of “22 Minutes,” 1010 WINS anchor Brigitte Quinn sits down with two-time Tony winner and Broadway actor Michael Cerveris.
The current star of the Broadway hit “Fun Home” talked everything from a day in the life of a stage actor to how the musical dives into breaking the mold of traditional theater.
BQ: You work such a crazy schedule when you’re on Broadway, does it feel that way?
MC: Sometimes it seems to take up every bit of my waking day. You wake up in the morning, especially when you’re doing a musical, and the first thing I do is vocalize, even sometimes before I’ve open my eyes and gotten out of bed. Everything you do during the day you sort of think, ‘Can I do this and still have everything I need for the show that night?’ You learn to know your body well, you learn to know your voice well.
BQ: Tell us a little bit about “Fun Home.” I read that this was the first Broadway show to have a lesbian as a protagonist, is that correct?
MC: There have been lesbian characters in musicals before, but they’re generally the quirky sidekick or they’re sort of the butt of the joke in a lot of musicals. There hasn’t been a lesbian protagonist at the center of a musical ever and you don’t find a lot of examples in even film or television.
BQ: I understand that P. Diddy was the presenter of your Tony Award? Tell us about that.
MC: It’s such a surreal thing the whole night, then when you actually hear your name called. I remember very specifically there were two Michaels in my category. I just kept telling myself whatever you do don’t stand up when you hear Michael, cause if it’s the other one that’s going to be really embarrassing. You have 90 seconds to speak, but the first thing that went through my head was here’s P. Diddy giving me an award. This is the weirdest thing ever.
BQ: How do you play a complex character like the father in “Fun Home,” how do you get into his head?
MC: It’s interesting because I’ve played a lot of historic characters and people who’ve actually existed before. In those cases, there’s a lot to draw from. There may have been books written about them or they may have written books themselves. I really like immersing myself in all that material. But, at the end of the day you sort of have to put all that aside because you’re not really doing a documentary about the person, you’re doing a fiction based on their real life. You do need to ultimately take all that detail and make it personal.
Check out the full interview in the video above.
About Michael Cerveris:
Four-time Tony nominee Michael Cerveris made his Broadway debut as the title character in “The Who’s Tommy.” He won a 2004 Tony for his portrayal of John Wilkes Booth in Assassins and has starred on Broadway in “Sweeney Todd,” “LoveMusik,” “Hedda Gabler” and “In The Next Room, or the Vibrator Play.” He currently stars in the Broadway hit “Fun Home.”
About Brigitte Quinn:
Brigitte anchors mornings at 1010 WINS radio and has worked in broadcasting for more than thirty years. She was a TV anchor at the Fox News Channel, MSNBC and NBC. She holds an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BS from Cornell University. Her first novel, “Anchored” was published in 2015.
Follow Brigitte Quinn @BrigitteQuinn11