Won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of John Wilkes Booth in Stephen Sondheim's "Assassins."
Won Broadway's 2004 Tony Award as Best Actor (Featured Role - Musical) for his portrayal of John Wilkes Booth in Stephen Sondheim's "Assassins." He had previously been Tony-nominated in 1994 as Best Actor (Musical) for his role as 'Tommy' in "The Who's Tommy.".
Saw his first Broadway musical, "Sweeney Todd" , at age 18 and he attributes his desire to become an actor to seeing that show. He enjoyed it so much that he saw the show 6 more times.
Has a dog named Gibson (after the guitar).
Attended Yale as an undergraduate. Majored in theater studies in the humanities department.
His father told Michael and his siblings when they were young that they each had to play an instrument for at least a year. Michael chose the violin, played it for a few months, then quit in favor of the "cooler" guitar.
Released his band Cerveris' debut album, "Dog Eared" , in February of 2004.
Grew up in Huntington, West Virginia. His parents still reside in West Virginia.
Brother is actor Todd Cerveris. They appeared on stage together in 2004's Off-Broadway play, 'The Booth Variations'.
He is a 1979 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and a 1983 graduate of Yale University.
He was nominated for a 2004 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for "A Little Night Music" at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater in Chicago, Illinois.
Has been shaving his head since 1993.
Starred as the title role in the off-Broadway smash, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." Also performed as Hedwig in Los Angeles and London. Closed in New York on April 9, 2000. [July 1998]
Toured across America and the U.K. as a guitarist with legendary musician Bob Mould. [January 1998]
Originated the role of Tommy in "The Who's Tommy" (which garnered him his first Tony award nomination) on Broadway, as well as in San Diego and Germany. He went on stage as Tommy a total of 1,304 times. 
Played 'The Earl of Kent' and won critical acclaim in Shakespeare's 'King Lear', costarring Kevin Kline. Performed at the Public Theatre in New York City. Closed after an extended run on March 25, 2007. [February 2007]
Starred opposite Patti LuPone in the title role of Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" on Broadway (the role garnered him a third Tony award nomination). Closed on September 3, 2006. [October 2005]
Began rehearsals for a new musical entitled 'LoveMusik', in which he will be portraying German playwright and songwriter, Kurt Weill. Lovemusik, co-starring fellow Tony award winner Donna Murphy and produced by Hal Prince, is scheduled to open on Broadway on May 3, 2007. [March 2007]
Originated the role of 'Thomas Andrews' in the Tony-award winning Broadway Musical "Titanic: The New Musical". 
His father is of Italian descent. His mother has English ancestry. The family surname was originally "Cerverizzo".
Personal Quotes (12)
My father is a university professor so when the schools needed a little kid for their productions I was often the kid they used. The first time I was ever on stage was about 2nd grade. As one of the prince's little friends in The Caucasian Chalk Circle. So when you start out your theatrical career with Brecht at the age of 7 or 8 you know you are in for the long run.
[The original cast of "Tommy"] had to re-audition for the Broadway company after doing the show 110 times in La Jolla. But when my turn came to audition I had to fly to NY and unfortunately, I was just getting over a cold. I was put up in a Times Square Hotel where they initially put me in a room next to one sealed off with NYPD crime scene tape. And the next morning I warmed up in an apartment full of cats (the animals, not the actors) and I'm allergic. So... by the time I got to the audition, my voice was pretty much dried up and gone. So, I plowed through a couple of songs before it disappeared altogether. The good thing is that it forced them to judge me on the basis of the work that I had done since I couldn't really have done anything better in an audition room that I hadn't done on stage. It also taught me that even your worst nightmares coming true are not always the end of the world. And most importantly, it gave me a good story to use on the Tonight Show when I met Jay Leno. I'm not sure the producers thought it was as funny a story as Jay seemed to.
My life/career is more filled with left-field thrills than I could ever have hoped for.
I've never been good at making smart career decisions or doing the right strategic thing, and yet somehow it's all led me to exactly the kind of career that I would have dreamed of having - if only I'd been smart enough to dream something like that.
Anyone who finds a murdering barber sexy is someone you gotta be kinda nervous about, but I'm grateful for any attention.
I guess it's good advertising for my barber skills if I shave myself well. I've been shaving my head since 'Tommy' [in 1993] because I wore a wig all the time; it was so much more comfortable to have it shaved.
I've thought of quitting acting at least a dozen times. And that's matched by the other dozen of times when I think, 'They'll figure out that I really don't have any talent. My career's over.' Even after winning the Tony for 'Assassins', I wondered, 'Maybe this is it.'
I do feel pressure. I have always been able to surprise people because they didn't know to expect anything from me. And now people are starting to have expectations. They're not necessarily expectations that I plan to satisfy.
I told my agents, This time I'm serious, I don't want to do another musical for a long time. Though I would do Sondheim, I never expected I would get to.
[on 'Sweeney Todd'] They are actually taking human lives and grinding up people to serve to other people. We can watch stories about it on Court TV until we're nauseous, but you don't usually go to the musical theater to confront those things.
[on working with the legendary Patti Lupone] "There's a real comfort zone, a kind of shorthand between us, and we know we can count on each other. That comes in handy when you're trying to create such complex characters in a short time."
Sweeney was the first Broadway show I ever saw, and I saw it six or seven times. It was definitely a formative experience, so much so that I was afraid to think I might ever do this part. Len Cariou's performance is indelibly etched in my mind. And I would have expected that, if the part were ever to come up for me, it would have been years from now. They usually cast the role older, even though, in reality, Sweeney would probably be about my age. Playing a father is bringing up some interesting issues for me. Right now, it's just me and my dog. But before I start thinking about kids, I'd better find a serious girlfriend!