Monk (2002–2009)
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Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater 

Monk attends a popular new play starring Sharona's sister Gail. But when Gail appears to stab and kill her costar during the live performance, Sharona calls Monk in to investigate.



(creator), (story) | 3 more credits »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Fleming
Jenna Ryan
Karl Sebastian
David Doty ...
Kane Ritchotte ...
Mark Phinney ...
Hal Duncan
Judge (as Gwen Mcgee)
Jorge Luis Abreu ...
Salon Manager


Sharona's actress sister, Gail, is suspected of murdering Hal Duncan, a fellow actor who dies onstage after Gail stabs him with what she insists is a retractable knife. When Sharona's mother (who thinks that Sharona is Monk's partner, not his assistant) arrives for a visit and Sharona tells her the bad news, Monk and Sharona promise to "do whatever it takes" to discover what really happened. "Whatever it takes" turns out to be a bit more than Monk bargained for, however. After talking with the props manager, he begins to suspect that Jenna Ryan, Gail's understudy, somehow killed Duncan and framed Gail, even though she was at a party on the other side of town when Duncan died. In order to talk with and observe Jenna, he endures a painful half hour at a speed dating service and even agrees to take the dead man's part in the play for two days until a new actor arrives. While Monk is on stage battling stage fright and fully aware that one of the knives on the stage is real, Sharona ... Written by WyattJones

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Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

1 August 2003 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Randy mentioned that he met Gail Fleming a year ago - which would have been in the episode Mr. Monk and the Earthquake. (Season 1 Episode 11) See more »


When the actor is stabbed onstage, the knife sticks out of his chest on its own, even though his costar used a prop blade that did not penetrate him. See more »


Benjy Fleming: Are you going to do any more acting, Mr. Monk?
Adrian Monk: Anything's possible, Benjy... except for that.
See more »

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User Reviews

Theatrical fun with Mr Monk
18 July 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'Monk' has always been one of my most watched shows when needing comfort, to relax after a hard day, a good laugh or a way to spend a lazy weekend.

"Mr Monk Goes to the Theater" is not quite one of the best episodes of Season 2 but also of the whole show. It too was one of the episodes that got me interested in 'Monk' in the first place, and one of the few to not have any noticeable deficits. Just as funny as "Mr Monk and the Very, Very Old Man", and with Monk's quirks and OCD even more obvious, Sharona having more screen time and again it was nice to see the two back in character.

One of the best things about 'Monk' has always been the acting of Tony Shalhoub in the title role. It was essential for him to work and be the glue of the show, and Shalhoub not only is that but also at his very best he IS the show. Have always loved the balance of the humour, which is often hilarious, and pathos, which is sincere and touching. It is remarkable here that right from the first episode to when the show ended that one likes him straight away, even with his quirks and deficiencies that could easily have been overplayed, and also that he is better developed than most titular characters of other shows at this particular stage. Who can't help love Monk's brilliant mind too?

He is very well supported by a sharp and no-nonsense but also sympathetic Bitty Schram, whose Sharona makes for a worthy and entertaining partner for Monk's sleuthing and somebody with a maternal side. There is always a debate at who's better between Sharona and Natalie, personally like both in their own way and consider them both attractive though as of now leaning towards Natalie as the better acted and more attentive of the two. The two are so enjoyable together and the best detective duo of any show in recent years from personal opinion.

Also by a very amusing, and sometimes even funnier than that, Ted Levine, what a difference from his Buffalo Bill in 'The Silence of the Lambs', the loyalty, friendship and annoyance towards Monk coming across wonderfully. Jason Gray-Stanford is growing in confidence and comic timing with each episode, as is the chemistry with the other three leads. Amy Sedaris does a great job as Sharona's sister Gail, whose innocence is never in doubt. Liked the involvement of Sharona's mother too, which sees Sharona getting more development.

It's not just the cast though. Another star is the writing, which is also essential to whether the show would be successful or not and succeed it does here. The mix of hilarious wry humour, lovable quirkiness and tender easy-to-relate-to drama is delicately done but extremely deft, of which some of the funniest writing of the whole show is in this episode. The character moments are such a joy with the principal cast are always.

The character moments make the episode, like Monk's awkwardness on stage, Sharona's role at the end, the stuff with the peanut oil and Monk's excellent memory.

Don't worry about the mystery not being as good, nothing could be further from the truth. It's compelling, entertaining and suspenseful, with nothing being what it seems, with a pricelessly ingenious final solution.

Visually, the episode is shot in a slick and stylish way, and the music is both understated and quirky. While there is a preference for the theme music for Season 1, Randy Newman's "It's a Jungle Out There" has grown on me overtime, found it annoying at first but appreciate its meaning and what it's trying to say much more now.

Overall, wonderful and one of the best episodes. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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