I'm always interested in the challenge of doing something new.
I always wanted children, to be a dad. That was as important to me as being an actor.
My father was the one who used to stand up in the middle of a number to flutter his lips and make sputtering sounds into lyrics.
I love 'Cabaret' and 'George M!' They're both incredible as far as I'm concerned.
I don't like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I'm a gay man.
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'm essentially an actor. And the fact that I got away with singing and dancing for a long time is still a miracle to me.
I really didn't feel that my motion picture career was going the way I wanted it to go.
The subject matter of the show, 'Cabaret,' was more than risky. And the emcee I would be playing didn't have a single line of dialogue. Still, it was full of possibilities, and it was mine.
I worked with a lot of leading ladies: Bebe Neuwirth, Anne Rankin, Bernadette Peters, Liza Minnelli. They're all phenomenal talents.
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.
When my father came out on stage wearing a big cowboy hat and a shirt lettered 'Bar Mitzvah Ranch' to sing 'Home on the Range' in Yiddish, it was his way of saying, 'I want to be an American.'
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 never think about my age very much. I've always lived my life the same way, full of excitement and anticipation of wonderful things and the knowledge that some not-so-wonderful things come with it.
I did a benefit one night at Carnegie Hall with Bono and Lady Gaga and Rufus Wainwright.
Often, entertainment goes deeper, in terms of ideas, than the newspapers.
I am concerned about the musical theater, selfishly, because I love it.
I really did start a whole way of thinking about musical theater.
For a few years, there were three shows running on Broadway that I had all opened: 'Chicago,' 'Wicked' and 'Anything Goes.'
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.
Eight times a week, I got to be a gay man, a remarkable gay man, and every night, that felt as full, as true, as passionate, and as authentic as I ever felt in my life.
I was traumatized by a lot of childhood stuff. I felt that I was bad somewhere, starting with my birth.
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 was totally delighted, interested in, and amused by my stint on 'Voyager.'
My dad would take me downtown, and I'd stand backstage and watch him in the vaudeville pit band. I was 6 or 7. He was a musician, a band leader, a wonderful clarinetist and saxophone player.
I think everything that happens to you becomes a part of what you end up doing and being and standing for.
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.
I was so successful in Cleveland, and we moved to Los Angeles, and there was nothing for me to do. All of a sudden, from being a success, I was a has-been at 13.
I spent 15 years of not being able to get a job creating a role on Broadway.
I fell so hard for the theater. I knew it was a place where you can sort out your life.
You can be taking two steps forward as an actor, but if a movie doesn't make money, you might as well be taking two steps backwards. It's all about economics.
I'm about possibilities and about surprises and the life force.
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.
The Yiddish language is so rich and unusual that I've always been hooked on its sounds, although I don't speak it.
That's what people forget about, is that when things are very, very powerful in a sad way, they have that possibility of also being over-the-top, hysterically funny.
Satisfying as that 'Cabaret' role was, it is not the only thing I do. But Hollywood is somewhat limited in its perspective about what it is you do or don't do.
There was always this idea that I would work on Shakespeare and some of the other classics, but it never came to be.