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The Schmooze

‘SURPRISE!’ ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ Will Head To Broadway

Appearances can be deceiving. For example, an elderly woman with a hard-to-place accent may really be your estranged father. And a musical based on a beloved family comedy classic may sound like a foolish idea, when in fact most great musicals are based on beloved works from other mediums! (See: Les Miserables, Oklahoma, Cats, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls, Rent, My Fair Lady, and most others.)

“Mrs. Doubtfire” is going to be a Broadway musical. We’re so excited, we could do a dance routine with a broom.


The great news: Robin Williams’ brilliant legacy will be safe in the hands of director Jerry Zaks, a Broadway veteran and four-time Tony winner whose parents were both Holocaust survivors.

The dull news: Virtually everyone else developing this musical is a man. Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick, the brothers behind the hit musical “Something Rotten” are on music and lyrics, and Karey Kirkpatrick will co-write the book of the musical with John O’Farrell.

Given that creating an original Broadway musical (even as an adaptation of a major movie) is a mammoth financial risk that hinges on every element of production offering mass appeal, mounting a musical helmed exclusively by men and starring a man is just bad business. It almost makes you wish them a random fruit-to-the-head. A run-by-fruiting, if you will.

Good luck, men! May your production team be diverse and your script devoid of jokes that mock transgender people.

Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

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