A highly trained psychiatrist, Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) knows just how to deal with the travail of divorce: He stands in a third-floor window above the Cheers bar threatening suicide while his wife, Lillith (Bebe Neuwirth), harangues him through a bullhorn in front of 2,000 rubbernecking spectators. Inside, in the wardrobe room, sits a young redhead with remarkably long fingernails painted black. ”Who’s that?” whispers one Cheers technician. ”Kelsey’s wife,” answers another. While Leigh-Anne Csuhany, whom he married on Sept. 11, watches nervously, Grammer continues rehearsals above Boston’s Bull & Finch Pub for the two-episode November-sweeps break-up with Neuwirth (Green Card), who is quitting to do more movies.
Between takes, Grammer, 37, hops off the ledge — indoors — and walks over to smooch and soothe Csuhany, 22. ”I know they’ve got him harnessed, but what if he slips?” frets the bride. ”I know it’s just acting, but it’s hard for me to separate it because I’m not in the business.”
The tabloid press has been gleefully giving Csuhany the business about her former line of work, back home in Canada. ”I was in advertising, but I got bored sitting in an office 9 to 5, so I became an exotic dancer,” she explains. ”I guess dancing is advertising, in a way!” Her husky chortle nicely counterpoints Grammer’s Juilliard-trained guffaw (his commanding voice held an audience spellbound right through a 6.1-on-the-Richter quake during his acclaimed performance at L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum last April as Shakespeare’s Richard II).
”They make dancing sound a lot worse than it is,” continues Csuhany, bitterly. ”It’s scummier down here, but in Canada it’s more of an art.” In her eyes, the real scum down here are at the tabloids: ”They say nasty things, like that we met at a strip club, and he was throwing money at me. A big crock of caca!” Adds Grammer, ”Actually, we met at Pelican’s Retreat, a restaurant in Calabasas, Calif.; five months later I proposed.” He says he hates the tabloids too: ”They go through our gar-bage — we’d love to catch them in the act.”
The tabs, however, love Grammer for his two marriages, playboy reputation, and sentences of 10 days’ collecting highway trash, 30 days in jail, and 90 days’ house arrest with an electronic transmitter for driving drunk, possessing $25 worth of cocaine, and forgetting to show up in court. ”Certainly not capital crimes,” he says. ”There will always be an element in me of the wild man, but now I have a wild woman to share it with.” He serenades Leigh-Anne with a lounge-singer routine like Bill Murray’s, only better: ”You and I are just a couple of…CUCKOO TOTS! Runnin’ through the meadow!”
As for his TV alter ego, look out for a shrink’s id on a major rampage. Nobody on the set will divulge any priapic particulars, but hints abound that the good doctor will chase a famous skirt or two around the bar. ”We’re gonna see a new Frasier,” says Ron Long, a Cheers co-executive producer. Says Grammer, ”At first he was a geeky guy Diane (Shelley Long) went out with; then he got jilted, and a little cooler, with a good married sex life. Now he’s going to another level. He’s going to find the next Frasier.” An older and psychiatrically wiser one? Forget it, says Cheers co-creator James Burrows. ”Psychiatry never stands a chance against love.”