Life's now a laughing matter for Laurence O'Keefe. The childhood of the composer of Bat Boy and other musicals has been transformed into a new sitcom, "The O'Keefes," by his television writer brother, Mark.
"The O'Keefes" is set to become a mid-season replacement series on the WB network. Judge Reinhold stars.
"It's based on the true story of my family—my dad, my mom, my brothers and me," O'Keefe told Playbill On-Line. "I shudder to admit it."
The series concerns a father who has home-schooled his children from birth to age 14. Once they are released into the world, they find themselves spectacularly unprepared for normal life.
O'Keefe's father is a sociologist and scholar whom Laurence describes as "one of the smartest men that ever lived." While he and his brothers weren't exactly taught their ABC's by the hearth, he was subjected to additional teaching after school hours. "He taught us every language in the modern European group, then a little Chinese." While his brother Mark is mirrored in the series by a character named Mark, Laurence's identity is slightly altered. "In the show I'm played by a teenage girl," said the composer. "My character's name is Lauren O'Keefe. [My brother] probably wanted me to be angrier than I am about it."
Not only is the tunesmith not angry, he has written some incidental music for the show.
O'Keefe is currently in Seattle working with Fool Moon's David Shiner on the ACT Theatre production of David Shiner in the Round. The solo show features new songs written and performed by O'Keefe.
—By Robert Simonson