Twelve years after Anthony LaPaglia's Tony Award–winning performance in the Broadway revival of A View from the Bridge, the Australian actor is back, in the first revival of Ken Ludwig's door-slamming, operatic farce Lend Me a Tenor.
Early morning madness:
My day starts in a completely disorganized mad scramble. It's horrible. Generally I try to get a phone call in to talk to my wife and look at my lines for the day (but that doesn't mean they're gonna stick).
Even for a seasoned pro, rehearsals still begin with:
Dread, mainly. Dread, fear and loathing. Basically, I try to take the notes from the day before and incorporate them in what I'm doing that day.
Time to get to work with director Stanley Tucci and co-stars Tony Shalhoub, Justin Bartha and Jan Maxwell:
I love Stanley. I've known him for a long time. He says stuff that you have to say when you're a director — it's hard but to the point, and he manages to deliver it in a way that doesn't upset people. I mean, now I've been slammed by the best! Lunch, what's that?
We just work through and grab. [Usually] we get peanuts and Goldfish. This is what's provided for us, as actors, just like we're in the zoo. Actually, I don't think you're even allowed to feed the animals in the zoo this stuff, 'cause it's bad for them. This is the food of show business!
Don't you love farce?
This play is really hard, it's actually deceptive. Stanley made a point today of saying, "If you hesitate for a second on your line, which could be a lead-in for a gag, it kills the next five beats." It takes that long to recover, so you have to be so on top of it.
After notes, costume fittings and interviews, it's time to head home:
I'm wasted. I don't have the energy I used to have. I get something to eat and then I try to take a break from the day. Around 9:30 PM I Skype with my daughter in L.A. She's seven. I talk to my wife and then — I'm a terrible insomniac, and here in New York I'm even worse.