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Mrs. Doubtfire is coming to Broadway

Adam Feldman

Remember the 1993 movie Mrs. Doubtfire, in which Robin Williams dressed up as an elderly Scottish woman in order to fool his ex-wife into letting him spend time with their children? Remember how you liked it but thought it could be even better if, as in that other hit British-governess-themed film Mary Poppins, people kept bursting into song and dance? If so, your long-deferred dreams may soon come true. A Mrs. Doubtfire musical is now officially in the works, to be directed by musical-comedy king Jerry Zaks (Hello, Dolly!) and written by the Something Rotten! team of John O'Farrell and Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick. (Aside from this information, announced yesterday, nothing else about the project is known.)

"But wait," you may be saying, "Isn't there another musical based on a beloved film about a cross-dressing man already on its way to the Great White Way?" Why, yes, there is. You are probably thinking of Tootsie, which is set for an out-of-town tryout in Chicago in September before moving to Broadway's Marquis Theatre in the spring. (Previews begin March 29, 2019; opening night is slated for April 23.) That drag-movie-comedy musical has a score by David Yazbek (The Band's Visit), and stars Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) in the Dustin Hoffman role.

Then again, perhaps you are thinking of To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, which Douglas Carter Beane, who wrote the 1995 film, is currently adapting into a stage tuner. A workshop of To Wong Foo: The Musical, which has a score by Lewis Flinn, was held in February, starring Fontana in the Patrick Swayze role. Or then again again, the show you have in mind might be the new musical version of 1959's Some Like It Hot that playwright Matthew Lopez is now writing with the Hairspray team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.

But wait, your inner voice is now saying. Wasn't there already a musical version of Some Like It Hot? Indeed there was: Jule Styne and Bob Merrill's Sugar, which ran for more than 500 performances in 1972. But can you blame them for trying again? Drag musicals are all the rage, and there are only so many drag movies to adapt. La Cage Aux Folles, Victor/VictoriaKinky Boots, Hairspray and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert have all been taken already. The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Hedwig and the Angry Inch were stage musicals to begin with. What's left? MulanYentl? White Chicks? She's the ManJuwanna MannBig Momma's House? Big Momma's House 2?

We hate to say this, but we're nearing the point where someone might have to write an original script. 


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