Bebe Neuwirth on the Part of a Stage That Feels Like Home

“I love older theaters in particular,” said the actress, who is up for her third Tony for “Cabaret.” “The new ones don’t have as many ghosts.”

Even when Bebe Neuwirth isn’t dancing, she’s dancing.

“I am a dancer first,” she said in a phone interview from her apartment in Greenwich Village. “I’m a physical performer, and that impulse, that expression doesn’t go away even if I’m standing still and listening to someone.”

Neuwirth, 65, is a Tony Award nominee for her performance as Fräulein Schneider in “Cabaret” and is already a two-time winner for her roles in “Sweet Charity” in 1986 and “Chicago” in 1997. She has also gained fans for her television work on the Julia Child dramedy “Julia” and the long-running sitcom “Cheers.” But it’s theater that keeps calling her back.

“I’ve been onstage since I was 7,” she said. “It’s my home.”

On a rainy afternoon, Neuwirth discussed her love for the city’s Art Deco buildings, why the Jersey Shore is magical in winter and where to find the best softball in Manhattan. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.


Some of my first flea markets were at the Rose Bowl, and now I seek them out wherever I am. I go down to the one under the Brooklyn Bridge sometimes. Most of my house is filled with things I’ve collected from flea markets, but I’m always looking.


For the last four years, off and on, I’ve been going to ceramics studios and throwing clay, hand building clay. I love spending time there. Friendships get made just like they do in ballet class.


I don’t have one — though I do have three cats — so I love walking through a dog park and watching them play and interact. I love big dogs — German shepherds, Doberman pinschers, huskies, Weimaraners. And I like small dogs who are really big dogs at heart. I love Pomeranians because those tiny little fluff balls are actually huge dogs on the inside — they crack me up!

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Source: Theater -


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