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‘Fun Home’ Michael Cerveris Talks Rock Lessons from Pete Townshend for The Who’s ‘Tommy’

By James Knight J.knight@classicalite.com on Mar 29, 2016 11:21 PM EDT

Michael Cerveris is known to many for his roles in Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins and Sweeney Todd, and for his role in Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori’s musical stage adaptation of Alison Bechdel's Fun Home. Cerveris even fronts a country band, called Loose Cattle. However, Cerveris will forever hold place in annals of rock n roll history for his role in 1993 Broadway run of The Who’s Tommy. Recently, Cerveris opened up about how Pete Townshend taught him how to rock.

Recently, Michael Cerveris sat down with Rolling Stone where he discussed his 1993 leading role in Tommy, saying:

"I loved Robert Plant, but I couldn't sing like him. When Bowie came around, it was the first time I heard a baritone singing rock music that I could keep up with."

Pete Townshend himself would teach Cerveris how to be a rockstar, as the actor added:

"He invited me over to London and said, 'I want to take you around to places where we played our first gigs and the guys I grew up around. Then he told me, 'I can't teach you how to act, but I can show you how to be a rock star.' The secret was largely that you have the right to stand on stage and sing. I think he smartly recognized that it would be paralyzing to try to stand up there and fill Roger's shoes. But that was the gift he gave me: that I had the right to be there as much as anybody did."

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Tagsfun home, Michael Cerveris, Rock, Lessons, Pete Townshend, The Who, Tommy

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