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No, because I knew for two years that it was going to end then, so I was ready.
The writers and I mutually decided to wrap it up while the audience was still interested and while it still had a following.
My character is sort of a manic-depressive maniac who either thinks things are falling apart or is on top of the world. You’ve been friends with [Tenor director] Stanley Tucci for years.
Did he have the idea of casting you and your wife [Brooke Adams, who plays a wealthy matron] together?
She’s used to playing leads, but she really loved the material, and it just felt right.
I read the sweetest quote from you—that you love knowing that Brooke is standing on the other side of the door before her entrance in Act One. Here I am onstage, going crazy—I’m sweating like madman, breathing really hard—and when I get to the moment when I know she’s there and I’m going to open the door and see her, I get a resurgence of energy.
It was the right time, and now I want to move into whatever the next chapter will be.
You’ve done some interesting, little-known things off-Broadway—for instance, a play in 1988 co-starring Jennifer Aniston! She only had one or two scenes, but I remember her being adorable, and a very strong presence on the stage. I had always dreamed of doing Shakespeare in the Park, but it was a challenge on nights when it was humid and raining, but not raining enough to call the show off.These plays become part of you for the time that you’re doing them, and I love that.Was it a difficult transition to give up Monk after eight seasons?I say that now, but talk to me in three or four months and I might be crawling on my knees!
[Laughs.] Maybe we’ll see you onstage with your daughter! People say, “Don’t you worry about her going into the business?
This experience brings you full circle, since you and Brooke got together on Broadway 20 years ago [in The Heidi Chronicles]. Yes, she adopted Josie on her own—in fact, she was in the room when Josie was born—and when I met them, Josie was 13 months old. [Two years later, Shalhoub and Adams adopted daughter Sophie.] Now Josie is starting her own career—she just graduated from the acting program at Cal Arts. As with all happily married couples, there’s a mutual respect and a desire to be there for the other person and to give more than you receive. People get into trouble in relationships when their expectations are distorted and when they stop giving. Audiences have loved Lend Me a Tenor, and most reviewers did, too, with one notable exception [Charles Isherwood in The New York Times]. Certainly not mine, because I haven’t read reviews for 25 years.