Looking back now, I can see that my dad was a real fighter. A lot of people thought, 'Why don't you keep the Jewish stuff quiet?' They were anti-Semitic Jews. People who were afraid. People who came here and made it and anglicized themselves and didn't want to associate with their past.
I saw Lee J. Cobb in 'Death of a Salesman' when I was about 15, and I couldn't get up from my seat in the theater; I was so... I was weeping, and I was upset. And I find that people are still like that in a similar circumstance in a theater today, where they just can't get up. It's too heartbreaking.
There's a lot going on in the world that's very disturbing: rewriting the Holocaust; pseudo-historians rewriting history itself. And we're dealing with a terrorist mentality that involves whole nations.
I had begun my professional career when I was 9 years old at the Cleveland Play House, and it was a very specific, real theater sort of like, you know, in England and the Berliner Ensemble - very devoted people. And I thought the theater was the greatest place I had ever been, and that's what I wanted to do.
My daughter, Jennifer Grey, was in 'Dirty Dancing,' which was shot in the Catskill Mountains, where the great old Jewish entertainers used to appear. It was the first time she'd been to the Borscht Belt, and I don't think she's been back since.
I loved being in the theater. It was a place of enormous excitement and happiness and safety and respect and dignity. It was a place where, if you did your job, you weren't a kid - you were a full person worthy of respect from all the adults in the company.
I don't like to bad-mouth other shows, but I was very disturbed after seeing 'Starlight Express.' It had very little to do with musical comedy as I know it. It had to do with sound and spectacle and records and technology and amplification.
My dad was a really funny, really talented guy who had a great success in a limited audience. But from him, I learned that he always felt the audience was entitled to 150 per cent. If he was performing at an event, he'd keep playing until the last person had finished dancing.