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Michael Cerveris

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Cerveris
Sweeney Todd with Michael Cerveris cropped.jpg
Cerveris in 2007
Born (1960-11-06) November 6, 1960 (age 62)
EducationYale University
Occupation(s)Actor, singer, guitarist
Years active1983–present

Michael Cerveris (born November 6, 1960) is an American actor, singer, and guitarist. He has performed in many stage musicals and plays, including several Stephen Sondheim musicals: Assassins, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Road Show, and Passion. In 2004, Cerveris won the Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Assassins as John Wilkes Booth. In 2015, he won his second Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical for Fun Home as Bruce Bechdel.

He was called, by, "arguably the most versatile leading man on Broadway",[1] playing roles from "Shakespeare's Romeo to The Who's Tommy, from the German transsexual rock diva Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch to the homicidal title character of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd."[2]

Cerveris' most visible television role to date has been as the Observer code-named September in the FOX science fiction television series Fringe. His character, a mysterious man seen attending many unusual events, appeared regularly during the series and became one of the main characters to bring the story to its end.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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    3 308
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  • Michael Cerveris sings 'See Me, Feel Me, Listening to You' with the original cast of Tommy
  • Michael Cerveris: Marry Me a Little
  • Michael Cerveris Sings "Finishing the Hat" from SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE (Sondheim 90th)
  • Under Pressure - Jack Atlantis & Michael Cerveris
  • Michael Cerveris - Pinball Wizard (Opera Tommy) 1995


Early life

Cerveris was born in Bethesda, Maryland, and raised in Huntington, West Virginia. His mother, Marsha (née Laycock), was a dancer, and his father, Michael Cerveris, was an Italian American professor of music;[3] the two met while students at the Juilliard School.[4][5] He is a 1979 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and a 1983 cum laude graduate of Yale University, where he was a member of Skull and Bones. He majored in theater studies, and also studied voice.[2]



Broadway and Off-Broadway

Cerveris had roles in several Off-Broadway productions, starting with Macbeth in 1983 as Malcolm and including Total Eclipse in 1985 as Rimbaud at the Westside Theatre,[6] Abingdon Square in 1987 as Frank at the Women's Project,[7] and Blood Sports in 1987 as Nick at the New York Theatre Workshop.[8]

He made his Broadway debut in The Who's Tommy in 1993 as "18-20 year old Tommy/Narrator", receiving a Tony Award nomination as Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Drama League Award nomination, Theater World Award winner, and Original Cast Grammy winner.[9] He had appeared in Tommy in the La Jolla Playhouse prior to Broadway.[10] He next appeared in the Broadway musical Titanic in 1997 as Thomas Andrews. He played the role of John Wilkes Booth in the Broadway musical Assassins in 2004, and won the Tony Award, Best Featured Actor in a Musical[11] and the Outer Critics Circle Award.

In the 2005 Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Cerveris played the title role, and was nominated for the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award, and received a Drama Critics Circle citation. In this John Doyle production, the actors also played instruments, with Cerveris playing lyric guitar.[12][13] In the Broadway musical LoveMusik (2007) he appeared as Kurt Weill,[14] and received Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Drama League Award nominations. In 2007 he played Kent in King Lear at the Off-Broadway Public Theater,[15] receiving a Drama League Award nomination. Cerveris played Posthumus Leonatus in the Broadway revival of Cymbeline from December 2, 2007, to January 6, 2008.[16] He appeared Off-Broadway in the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical Road Show at the Public Theater in 2008 as Wilson Mizner.[17] Cerveris appeared opposite Mary-Louise Parker in the limited Roundabout Theatre Company production of Hedda Gabler from January 2009 to March 2009.[18] He next played Dr. Givings in the Broadway comedy by Sarah Ruhl, In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), starting in October 2009.[19] From March 2012 to January 2013, Cerveris played Perón in the Broadway revival of Evita.[20] Then, from 2015 to 2016, he played the role of Bruce Bechdel in the Broadway musical Fun Home winning the 2015 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical.[21]

Other venues

In 2000 Cerveris played the lead role of Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch in the West End. He had previously played the role Off-Broadway from July 8, 1998, to August 4, 1998[22] and again from February 1999.[23][24] He was a Garland Award winner, and Ovation Award nominee. During 2002, the Kennedy Center presented a "Sondheim Celebration"; Cerveris appeared in Passion as Giorgio.[25] Cerveris has appeared several times at the Ravinia Festival Concerts (Chicago), including: Passion (2003),[26] Sunday In The Park With George (2004),[27] and Anyone Can Whistle in 2005.[28] He performed in the New York City Center Encores! staged concert of The Apple Tree in 2005, with Kristin Chenoweth.[29]


Film and television

Cerveris has appeared in films such as Lulu on the Bridge (1998), The Mexican (2001),[37] Brief Interviews With Hideous Men (2009),[38] Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009), Stake Land (2010),[39] Detours (2016), and Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). His television roles include Ian Ware on Fame, Marvin Frey on Treme, State's Attorney James Castro on The Good Wife, Ramses IV on The Tick, Lazlo Valentin/Professor Pyg on Gotham, and September/The Observer on Fringe. Cerveris also appeared as The Observer at several real-life events covered by FOX as part of a viral marketing campaign for the series. These include appearing in the audience at a taping of American Idol, being shown in the stands at various football and NASCAR events, and a cameo in a commercial for Glee. Cerveris appeared as Ted Gunn, head of the Behavioral Science Unit in the second season of Mindhunter.

Music career

Cerveris played guitar as a member of Bob Mould's touring band supporting the album The Last Dog And Pony Show. A performance at The Forum in London was recorded and released as BobMouldBand: LiveDog98 (Granary Music 2002). His debut solo album, Dog Eared (Low Heat Records 2004), was co-produced with Adam Lasus and includes guest appearances from Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Corin Tucker and Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney), Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, R.E.M.), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Kevin March (Guided by Voices), Anders Parker (Varnaline), and Laura Cantrell. In 2011, Cerveris founded the Americana-Country band Loose Cattle with longtime collaborator Kimberly Kaye. Cerveris and Kaye share vocals in the style of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. Known for tongue-in-cheek mashups, country covers, and Cerveris' original songs, the group has gone on to appear at Lincoln Center, Joe's Pub, NPR's Mountain Stage, 54 Below, Chickie Wah Wah's, Siberia, Kajun's Pub, The Blue Note Cafe, Louisiana Music Factory, Rock'n'bowl, Rockwoof Music Hall, Webster Hall, and many others.

He has also contributed vocals to "My Other Phone Is a Boom Car" as part of a ringtone project by They Might Be Giants for Wired Magazine in March 2007. In They Might Be Giants' 2011 release, Join Us, Cerveris also provided vocals for the track, "Three Might Be Duende."

Other activities

Cerveris has performed at many events, to honor or celebrate notable performers and creatives. He performed at The Drama League gala, A Musical Celebration of Broadway on February 7, 2011, which also honored Patti LuPone.[40] In November 2010 he appeared at the Sonnet Repertory Theatre benefit, which honored director Jack O'Brien.[41] On April 27, 2009, he performed at the Signature Theatre gala, a benefit and to celebrate the first annual Sondheim Award.[42]

On December 8, 2010, he took part in the Symphony Space "Selected Shorts and Thalia Book Club" series of readings.[43]

His concert appearances include the Broadway Cabaret Festival, held in October 2010 at The Town Hall (New York).[44]

Personal life

Cerveris was once in a relationship with Beth Ostrosky, an actress who is now married to Howard Stern.[45]


Stage roles

Year Title Role Notes
1983 Macbeth Malcolm Off-Broadway
1984 Life is a Dream Astolfo
The Games Young Man
1985 Green Fields Levi-Yitshok
Total Eclipse Rimbaud
1986 Blood Sports Nick
Abingdon Square Frank
1988 Eastern Standard Peter Kidde
1993 The Who's Tommy Tommy / Narrator Broadway
1997 Titanic: A New Musical Thomas Andrews
1998 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Hedwig Off-Broadway
2000 Hedwig and the Angry Inch Hedwig West End
2003 Fifth of July Kenneth Talley Off-Broadway
2004 Assassins John Wilkes Booth Broadway
Sunday in the Park with George Georges Seurat / George Ravinia Festival
2005 The Apple Tree Snake Encores! staged concert
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Sweeney Todd Broadway
2007 King Lear Kent Off-Broadway
Lovemusik Kurt Weill Broadway
Cymbeline Posthumus
2008 Road Show Wilson Mizner Off-Broadway
2009 Hedda Gabler Jorgen Tesman Broadway
In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) Dr. Givings
2012 Evita General Juan Domingo Perón
Assassins John Wilkes Booth
2013 Nikolai and the Others George Balanchine Off-Broadway
Fun Home Bruce Bechdel
2015 Fun Home Bruce Bechdel Broadway

Film roles

Year Title Role Notes
1988 Tokyo Pop Mike
1990 Strangers John Reece
1991 Steel and Lace Daniel Emerson
Rock 'n' Roll High School Forever Eaglebauer
1992 A Woman, Her Men, and Her Futon Paul
1998 Lulu on the Bridge Restaurant Man #3
2001 The Mexican Frank
Lunchtime Thomas Thomas Short film
2004 Temptation Pablo
2009 Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Subject #15
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Mr. Tiny
2010 Meskada Terrence Lindy
Stake Land Jebedia Loven
2011 Nine Lives: A Musical Adaptation Live John / Joann Guidos
2014 Russian Broadway Shut Down Vladimir Putin Short film
Leaving Circadia Reece
2016 Detours Bob O'Connor
2018 Ant-Man and the Wasp Elihas Starr

Television roles

Year Title Role Notes
1985 Doubletake Gary Prine Miniseries
1986–1987 Fame Ian Ware Main cast (season 6); 24 episodes
1987 The Tracey Ullman Show Episode #1.7
Leg Work Johnny Dark Episode: "The Best Couple I Know"
1988 The Equalizer Frank Fipps Episode: "Last Call"
1989 Nick Kaminsky Episode: "Race Traitors"
1990 Gabriel's Fire Culp Episode: "To Catch a Con: Part 2"
21 Jump Street Ray Episode: "Back to School"
1991 Quantum Leap Nick Episode: "Glitter Rock - April 12, 1974"
1993 Dream On Bobby Krull Episode: "And Bobby Makes Three"
2001 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Syd Booth Goggle Episode: "Strip Strangler"
2002 The American Embassy Gary Forbush Main cast; 6 episodes
2004 Dr. Vegas Nick Crowley Episode: "Lust for Life"
2005 Live from Lincoln Center Giorgio Episode: "American Songbook - Passion"
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Greg Stipe Episode: "Depths"
2008–2013 Fringe The Observer / September / Gemini Recurring; 40 episodes
2011 Person of Interest Jarek Koska Episode: "Judgment"
2011–2013 Treme Marvin Frey Recurring (season 2–4); 10 episodes
2014 The Knick Dr. William Halsted Episode: "Get the Rope"
2014–2015 The Good Wife James Castro Recurring; 10 episodes
2016–2019 Madam Secretary Congressman Jeff Pearson 2 episodes
2017 The Tick Ramses IV Recurring; 5 episodes
Gotham Lazlo Valentin / Professor Pyg 5 episodes
2018 Mosaic Tom Davis Interactive series; 6 episodes
Elementary Councilman Ledesma Episode: "How to Get a Head"
2019 Mindhunter Ted Gunn Main cast (Season 2)
Prodigal Son[46] Carter Burkehead Episode: "Pilot"
The Blacklist[47] Victor Skovic 3 episodes
2020 Evil Devil Therapist (voice) 2 episodes; uncredited
The Plot Against America Mr. Taylor Episode: "Part 3"
2022 The Gilded Age Watson


  • BobMouldBand: LiveDog98 (2002)
  • Dog Eared (2004)
  • Piety (2016)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Chh Nominated Work Result
1993 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical The Who's Tommy Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Theatre World Award Won
2004 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Assassins Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Won
2006 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
2007 Drama League Award Distinguished Performance King Lear Nominated
Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical LoveMusik Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
Drama League Award Distinguished Performance Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Nominated
2012 Tony Award Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Evita Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Nominated
2014 Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding Actor in a Musical Fun Home Won
2015 Tony Award Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Won


  1. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Brief Encounter With Michael Cerveris" Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, November 19, 2009
  2. ^ a b "About Michael Cerveris", accessed March 13, 2011
  3. ^ "Michael Cerveris,di origini teggianesi, tra i protagonisti della quarta serie di "Gotham" sul canale Fox |". (in Italian). November 16, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  4. ^ Michael Cerveris, Star File: Buzz
  5. ^'SOLDIER'S+TALE'&pqatl=google[dead link]
  6. ^ "'Total Eclipse', 1985" Archived July 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, accessed March 11, 2011
  7. ^ "'Abingdon Square' listing" Archived July 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, accessed March 11, 2011
  8. ^ "'Blood Sports' listing" Archived July 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, accessed March 11, 2011
  9. ^ "'The Who's Tommy' listing", accessed March 11, 2011
  10. ^ Churnin, Nancy. From Angel to Devil : Stage: Michael Cerveris, star of 'Tommy,' sees parallels in his latest, villainous role Los Angeles Times, October 23, 1992
  11. ^ "'Assassins' listing", accessed March 11, 2011
  12. ^ "'Sweeney Todd' listing", accessed March 11, 2011
  13. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Review: Grand Guignol, Spare and Stark" The New York Times, November 4, 2005
  14. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Weill and Lenya Conjured in LoveMusik, Opening May 3" Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, May 3, 2007
  15. ^ Goodwin, Joy. Busy Actor’s Long, Long Day: Shakespeare, Weill and Rock" The New York Times, April 1, 2007
  16. ^ The Broadway League. "Michael Cerveris – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB". Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  17. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review: Brothers in Flimflammery on a Continental Sojourn". The New York Times, November 19, 2008.
  18. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Parker's 'Hedda Gabler' Takes Her Last Shot March 29" Archived December 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, March 29, 2009
  19. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Theater Review: 'In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play'" The New York Times, November 20, 2009
  20. ^ Evita, retrieved November 21, 2017
  21. ^ Fun Home, retrieved November 21, 2017
  22. ^ Simonson, Robert. Titanic's Michael Cerveris to Be Hedwig July 8-Aug. 4" Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, July 8, 1998
  23. ^ Gutman, Les. "Review, 'Hedwig', 1999", March 15, 1999, and in Los Angeles.
  24. ^ "Stars Line Up For Hedwig, the New Rocky Horror" The Independent, September 10, 2000
  25. ^ "'Passion', Kennedy Center", accessed March 11, 2011
  26. ^ "'Passion', Ravinia", accessed March 11, 2011
  27. ^ "'Sunday in the Park With George', Ravinia", accessed March 11, 2011
  28. ^ "'Anyone Can Whistle', Ravinia", accessed March 11, 2011
  29. ^ Simonson, Robert. "Chenoweth, Gets and Cerveris Shake 'The Apple Tree' at Encores! May 12-16" Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, May 12, 2005
  30. ^ Playbill bios, accessed March 11, 2011
  31. ^ Biography, Lincoln Center Archived September 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, accessed March 11, 2011
  32. ^ Biography, accessed March 11, 2011
  33. ^ Christiansen, Richard. "'Nothing Sacred` Adds A Twist To A Finely Woven, Well-worn Story", December 16, 1988
  34. ^ Rich, Frank. Review/Music; Seattle Grabs Spotlight: New Play, Renewed Musical" The New York Times, May 10, 1988
  35. ^ "'El Dorado' listing and review, accessed March 11, 2011
  36. ^ "'A Little Night Music', 2003 Chicago Shakespeare Theater Production", accessed March 12, 2011
  37. ^ "'The Mexican' see full acting credits" The New York Times, accessed March 12, 2011
  38. ^ Holden, Stephen. "Movie review: 'Brief Interviews With Hideous Men'" The New York Times, September 25, 2009
  39. ^ Gans, Andrew. Michael Cerveris and Kelly McGillis Star in New Vampire-Themed Film "Stake Land" Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, September 20, 2010
  40. ^ Andrew Gans "Audra McDonald, Justin Guarini, Michael Cerveris Join Drama League Celebration of Patti LuPone" Archived March 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, January 18, 2011
  41. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Kerry Butler, Michael Cerveris, Victor Garber, Ethan Hawke Will Be Part of Jack O'Brien Tribute" Archived December 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, October 27, 2010
  42. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Peters and Cerveris Celebrate Sondheim at DC Sondheim Award Gala April 27" Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, April 27, 2009
  43. ^ Peter, Thomas. "Mary-Louise Parker, Michael Cerveris, Amy Ryan, Lois Smith and More to Read at Symphony Space" Archived December 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, November 5, 2010
  44. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Alice Ripley and Michael Cerveris Join Lineup for Broadway Cabaret Festival" Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, September 21, 2010
  45. ^ Chumsky, Susan (June 29, 2015). "Michael Cerveris, My Tony-Winning Landlord". The New York Times. Retrieved February 9, 2022.
  46. ^ ""Prodigal Son" Pilot (TV Episode 2019)". IMDB. 2019.
  47. ^ ""The Blacklist" Orion Relocation Services (TV Episode 2020)". IMDB. 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 28 April 2023, at 03:16
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