The creative team for “Mrs. Doubtfire” has been accepting feedback on its subject matter as the musical makes its world premiere in Seattle.
Earlier reports suggested that representatives from GLAAD, an L.G.B.T. advocacy organization, had visited the show. However, producer Kevin McCollum said the feedback has been primarily from friends of the show who happened to have affiliations with GLAAD and the Actors’ Fund, rather than representatives working in an official capacity.
“The producers along with everyone connected with the show want to tell the story in a way that is sensitive and doesn’t misrepresent or denigrate anyone, even unintentionally,” the production said in a statement to Broadway News. “They have taken feedback and notes from people representing different constituencies who have seen rehearsals as part of the process of making the show.”
Part of the feedback includes the treatment of the main character, a father who dresses as a woman in order to nanny for his children. This character is set to come to Broadway following last season’s production of “Tootsie,” which also depicted a man dressing as a woman. That production received some backlash for its treatment of gender and perceived insensitivity to the transgender community.
In “Mrs. Doubtfire,” the female character portrayed by the father, played by Rob McClure, acts purely as a function of the storyline, rather than a representative of a community, McCollum said.
“It is a facade as part of the storytelling. It’s not about identity,” he said. “It’s about trying to see your kids.”
The feedback also includes suggestions on updating the material, which harkens back to the 1993 film, in order to set the musical in modern day San Francisco.
“Mrs. Doubtfire,” which features a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, a score by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick and direction by Jerry Zaks, is currently playing the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle through Jan. 4. After that, the show has a planned Broadway run, with previews beginning March 9, 2020 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.