They Adapted ‘Mrs. Doubtfire,’ and Their Personal Beliefs

With Rob McClure, who plays Daniel, seated next to her onstage, Miranda plays a personal piano ballad, named “Let Go,” about her unfulfilling marriage.

That highlight moment supplants a less sympathetic number, “I’m Done,” which was dropped after the 2019 Seattle tryout. Reviews for the show were divided, while McClure’s performance was roundly appreciated.

To properly contextualize the man-in-a-dress schtick, the costume designer Catherine Zuber helped construct the contrasting character of Andre, Daniel’s gender nonconforming brother-in-law (played by J. Harrison Ghee, who took over Billy Porter’s part in “Kinky Boots”).

They Adapted ‘Mrs. Doubtfire,’ and Their Personal Beliefs

Andre wears flowy caftans as fashion rather than a joke. And he saves the day by distracting a court-appointed social worker who shows up at Daniel’s shabby flat.

McClure, meanwhile, morphs in and out of his Doubtfire outfit and ending up with a pie in his face, replicating a classic image from the film. “This is all going to end badly. You do know that, right?” Andre deadpans after the ordeal.

Championing families and parenting is what drew the Kirkpatricks to the “Doubtfire” story.

Their debut Broadway musical, the 2015 play “Something Rotten!,” about an Elizabethan theater troupe attempting to compete with Shakespeare’s Globe, was wholly original.

They had hoped their second would be too, but McCollum persuaded them to choose from a library of 20th Century Fox pictures he’d been recruited to work on.

The crew chose on “Mrs. Doubtfire” because “we could relate to this story of a man who would do anything to be with his kids,” Karey added. (Collectively, the three writers and their producer are fathers to 10 children.)

The Kirkpatricks’ own father was a Southern Baptist music minister subsequently called to the pulpit himself. He moved the family from Alexandria, La. to Baton Rouge to lead a nondenominational church.

Could Spend Hours Discussing The Psychology

Having grown up as the sons of a Louisiana minister and winding up in show business, Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick “could spend hours debating the psychology” of their journey.

Wayne, the eldest brother, made this comment in complete seriousness, at the age of 60, as he was taking a break from rehearsing the musical adaptation of the 1993 comedy “Mrs. Doubtfire,” which opens on December 5 at the Stephen Sondheim Theater. About 21 months will have passed since the show’s cancellation after only three preview performances due to the epidemic.

Although Karey, 56, does most of the talking, his brother, 57, often finishes his sentences, and the three of them have the kind of comfortable familiarity that comes from having started recording mock radio shows together when they were children.

For two hours in a Manhattan hotel lobby, he and Karey talked about their religious upbringing in the South, their early professions, and their journey from singing in Southern Baptist churches to creating Broadway musicals.

But as they told funny stories, it was easy to see how their own career and personal growth paralleled the revisions they made to the original “Mrs. Doubtfire” script.

For example, “the sensibilities of the world we live in today are different than 1993,” as stated by Karey. Production assistant Kevin McCollum chimed in, “a man in a dress.”

With the help of prosthetic breasts and plaid miniskirts, Robin Williams hauled in millions of dollars at the movie office 30 years ago. Williams played Daniel Hillard, a recently divorced father who, in order to spend more time with his children, took on the garb of a Scottish nanny and moved in with his ex-family. wife’s

The book’s co-author, British humorist John O’Farrell, worked with the theatre team to make the adaptation of “Mrs. Doubtfire” more relevant to modern audiences by including elements like cellphones, racial diversity, and a more nuanced view of gender in the 21st century.

O’Farrell stated that the modification took seven years to complete and that additional revisions were required along the way as a result of the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements.

The film’s ex-wife, played by Sally Field, was an imposing interior designer who prattled on about Regency-style tables and Flemish tapestries. Jenn Gambatese plays Miranda, a fashion designer who creates chic orange and pink athleisure gear for ladies who “work hard and then work out” in the show.

Miranda performs a piano ballad called “Let Go” about her unfulfilling marriage with Rob McClure, who plays Daniel, seated at her side onstage. That highlight replaces “I’m Done,” a less sympathetic number that was dropped from the 2019 Seattle audition. While the show as a whole received mixed reviews, McClure’s performance was universally lauded.

Andre, Daniel’s gender nonconforming brother-in-law (played by J. Harrison Ghee, who replaced Billy Porter in “Kinky Boots”), is a striking contrast to the man-in-a-dress schtick and was designed by Catherine Zuber, who also designed the rest of the costumes.

Andre considers his loose, caftan-like attire to be a fashion statement, not a joke. Even more importantly, he rescues the situation by diverting a social worker sent to Daniel’s squalor by the court.

McClure, meanwhile, keeps donning and discarding his Doubtfire getup until he ends up with a pie in his face, recreating a memorable scene from the movie. I can see a nasty ending to all of this. You are aware of this, correct? After the ordeal, Andre’s humour is deadpan.

The Kirkpatricks were drawn to “Doubtfire” because of its celebration of fatherhood and the importance of families.

In 2015, they debuted on Broadway with the totally original musical “Something Rotten!,” which told the story of an Elizabethan theatre company that was having trouble competing with Shakespeare’s Globe.

They had hoped that the second would be as well, but McCollum convinced them to pick from a selection of 20th Century Fox movies instead. “We could relate to this story of a parent who would do anything to be with his kids,” Karey said, explaining why the crew chose on “Mrs. Doubtfire.” (The three authors and the producer have a combined total of ten kids.)

The patriarch of the Kirkpatrick family was a minister of music for the Southern Baptist church who was eventually called to the pulpit. His new position as pastor of an independent church in Baton Rouge required him to uproot his family from Alexandria.

Regular activities at home included playing hymns on the piano and refraining from using foul language. Even now, when she’s unhappy with a project her sons have worked on, she’ll simply say, “Language.”