High Flying Adored: Tony Winner Michael Cerveris Discusses Missing First Performance in Eight Years

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26 Jun 2012

Michael Cerveris
Michael Cerveris

Neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor a broken hand, torn muscle, bronchitis or the stomach flu could keep Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris, who received a fifth Tony nomination for his performance as Perón in the current Broadway revival of Evita, from missing a performance on Broadway (or off) in the last eight years.

In fact, the singing actor boasted a perfect attendance record in productions of Sweeney Todd, LoveMusik, Cymbeline, In the Next Room, Hedda Gabbler, King Lear and Road Show.

That impressive achievement was thwarted June 25 when the critically acclaimed performer missed the evening performance of the Tony-nominated revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita at the Marquis Theatre.

Cerveris was in New Orleans laying down vocals for a new solo recording and had plans to fly back to New York in time for Monday's performance. "I guess there was a big rainstorm in New York yesterday morning, and that shut down airports at various points," the actor told Playbill.com June 26. "It was a combination of that, and I guess Delta Airlines is not the most reliable one. I know there was a Jet Blue flight that took off right before we left that I couldn't seem to get on. When I found that our flight was delayed, I started immediately trying to find another airline and another way to get there [but I was unable to]. We took off two-and-a-half hours late, but I still thought that we might be able to [make it back in time]. I still would have made it at that point, and then somewhere around Virginia, I started feeling the plane doing that circling thing.

"I guess that was around three o'clock, and I still thought, 'Okay, well, there's still plenty of time to get there. It's going to be fine.' It was a flight that had wireless service on it, so I got on my iPad, and they have a flight tracker, so I was able to dial up our flight and just watch on the little map. Our plane just kept making circles over Virginia. And, eventually I started thinking, 'God, I wonder how long we're going to be doing this, and I wonder how much fuel they have!' And, sure enough, they came on the system and said, 'We're going to have to divert to DC because we can't get into LaGuardia now. They've shut it down again, and we don't have enough fuel to stay up here.' So then we had to land at Dulles-Washington."


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