Cross-dressing “Tootsie” will have some competition on Broadway next year.
“Mrs. Doubtfire” — the beloved 1993 film about a struggling divorcé, played by the late Robin Williams, who pretends to be an elderly female nanny to get closer to his kids — is being adapted into a Broadway musical.
The production will kick off with a Seattle tryout starting next month, according to The Hollywood Reporter, before heading to New York for previews starting March 9, 2020, and opening night on April 5.
Rob McClure (“Beetlejuice”) will take on Williams’ role as Daniel Hillard, the desperate father who dons a gray wig, matronly attire and a Scottish accent to worm his way into babysitting his three children.
Along the way, his Mrs. Doubtfire persona winds up landing a job as a children’s TV show host, fends off the advances of a smitten (male) colleague and deals with his ex-wife’s (Sally Field in the movie) new love interest (Pierce Brosnan in the movie). Jenn Gambatese will take on Field’s role.
Williams’ shoes will be hard to fill, though. The original cast of the film celebrated its 25th anniversary last year by remembering the comedic charm Williams brought to the role. The comedian died by suicide in 2014.
“To work with Robin was just sheer heaven,” said Brosnan during a “Today” show reunion. “To watch his artistry, his commitment, his passion, his humanity and just his hard work and commitment to the role, and to everyone on the set, it permeated all our lives.”
“He would make his carpet bag bark like a dog under the table,” said Mara Wilson, who played the youngest child, Natalie, in the film. “There were so many times, just innumerable times that he made us laugh.”
The Broadway show will be directed by Jerry Zaks and produced by Kevin McCollum (“Avenue Q,” “Rent”), who is also helping to develop a musical adaption of “The Devil Wears Prada.” “Mrs. Doubtfire” will take over the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, where “Beautiful” — the musical about the life of singer and songwriter Carole King — will close later this month.
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