Not everyone could say they've been in the arms of both a princess and a 19th-century clergyman by the time they were two, but that will be true for Henry Monley, the one-and-a-half year old son of Adam Monley and Paige Faure. Monley and Faure currently star as the Bishop of Digne and Combeferre in Les Misérables and Ella in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella on Broadway, respectively, and their son is a frequent guest backstage at the Imperial and the Broadway Theatres.
This fall little Henry will also become a seasoned traveler when he joins his mom for periods of time on the first national tour of Cinderella, while Monley holds down the fort at their South Harlem apartment. It will be a hard but exciting year for the couple who met in a rehearsal room in 2011, but after the stress of opening two shows this spring (Monley with Les Misérables and Faure in the ensemble of Bullets Over Broadway) including overlapping tech rehearsals, they are ready for the challenges ahead. Playbill recently caught up with the couple to chat about date nights, performing for Henry and being a family on Broadway.
We'll start off easy. How exactly did you guys meet?
Paige Faure: Well it's a very full-circle thing for us. We actually met helping Josh Rhodes audition to become the choreographer of Cinderella in 2011. He had to audition a couple of pieces for the producers and the director Mark Brokaw, so I played Cinderella and Adam played Jean-Michel, which meant that we didn't have to dance a whole lot, so we just hid behind the piano and talked and eventually made a date.
Did you arrange the date right there in the rehearsal room?
Adam Monley: No. It wasn't until after the presentation was over and I asked Josh for Paige's email. I was far too chicken to ask her in person.
PF: I can be really menacing, can't you tell? He's a great writer, so it worked.
AM: We had one really good mutual friend, Christopher Hanke, who's also an actor, so I think we both kind of got the backstory from him.
PF: I remember very specifically; I was in How to Succeed [in Business Without Really Trying] on Broadway at the time with Christopher, and I was trying to get a feeler for what he thought about Adam right as he was about to make an entrance. We were in the wings and I was like, "You know I met your friend Adam today. He seems really nice…" and Christopher was like, "Ohh yeah, he's really great and he goes to Redeemer, which is the same church that I go to and... oh, he's single!" And then he had to go on stage and I was like, "Nooo! Wait, finish!"
That's funny. Where was your first date?
PF: This restaurant called Fishtag on the Upper West Side. I think about it sometimes. That place is so good.
And now fast forward three years and you're married with a one-and-a-half year old! Do you guys perform for him at home?
PF: We have songs for everything, every possible thing.
AM: We have songs for changing diapers, for going outside, for playing with the puppy... everything has a song.
You guys should write a musical!
PF: I know, A Day in the Life of Henry Monley: the Musical. It'll come out in 2048 when we've finally gotten some sleep.
You both opened shows this past spring. How do you work out your schedules with Henry?
PF: You know it was pretty crazy. We both started rehearsals and tech for our shows within a week of each other, but we have the best friends and nanny figures in the world, so they stepped up to help us take care of him. And both of our mothers came up to help out during that process. During tech, you're in the theatre for 12-15 hours a day, so it was definitely rough, and nobody slept. But we got through it and we produced two great Broadway shows, and Henry is healthy and thriving.
When do you guys get to spend time together?
AM: We get the mornings together as a family, and then our different show schedules come into effect with my two shows on Wednesdays and Paige has two shows on Thursdays, so it starts to get a little dicey then. But we always have our days off together, and Paige and I get the evenings after our shows.
PF: Yeah, we get to have some husband-wife time when we get home with a glass of wine and "Flip or Flop." Our current obsession is watching every single episode of "Flip or Flop."
AM: It's the best. It's all about house renovations, and we're starting to think about getting a house.
PF: We're learning so much, so that's our wind down when we get home.
You had two opening nights this past spring, which means two opening night parties! Is it fun to go to the events like that together?
PF: Absolutely. Opening night of Bullets was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and it was definitely one of those unforgettable experiences. We were hobnobbing with Woody Allen and taking pictures in front of the Temple of Dendur. It's so great to share that together. We take a lot of pictures, because at this point Hank is not going to remember any of it, and I hope I get it together enough to make a photo album so he can look back and be like, "Wow. My mom and dad were really cool back then."
What do you like to do on a more typical date night?
AM: We go out to dinner. Paige is an amateur sommelier.
PF: I really have come to enjoy the art of wine, and, of course, the drinking of wine goes along with that! We both love good food and not just good food, but a good experience in a restaurant. We want to go some place where we're going to be treated well and the service is part of the experience and the wine is part of the experience. When we get a night off and a babysitter, that's where we're going.
Paige, you're starring in the first national tour of Cinderella in October. How is that going to work?
PF: That is the question, isn't it? You know, it's just going to take a lot of pre-planning, which we've already done. It's just about finding the balance between having Hank here in New York with Adam and then having Hank out with me on the road, getting him back and forth. Then when Adam can take off from his show to come out and see me or when do I have a day or two off to come back. It's going to be a pretty crazy year, but for this opportunity we just agreed that we would do it and make the best of it. We're going to use it as an opportunity to take a lot of working vacations and see the country. I've never played Seattle before and Adam and I have always talked about going to Seattle, so we'll take that as an opportunity to go hang out in Seattle for a week. Again, I'll take tons of pictures so that Hank one day will look back and be like, "Well that was a cool year! I saw the Grand Canyon!" We just look at it a couple of months at a time so it doesn't look so overwhelming.
Do you guys find it hard to be a family in the Broadway community?
AM: We have an incredible support group: friends and actors between shows who are more than willing to help out, and that's a real gift. People are so excited because there aren't a whole lot of Broadway families, so people get excited to see Henry and be with us.
PF: Yeah, and our casts are really supportive and the stage managers understand if a babysitter shows up late. We have so many balls in the air to make our schedules work, and people are pretty understanding.
Is Henry a backstage baby?
PF: Oh yeah.
AM: When he gets off the subway, he points and says, "Broadway Broadway!" He knows exactly where we are and where we're going.