Perhaps the box office failures of Big, The Goodbye Girl and My Favorite Year cooled off the urge to turn every Hollywood blockbuster into a Broadway musical, but that hasn't stopped Italian director and producer Pietro Garinei from acquiring the rights to Mrs. Doubtfire, a 1993 Robin Williams money-maker. According to Variety (June 17), Garinei intends to hire a composer and lyricist and turn Doubtfire into an Italian-language musical, set to open at Rome's Teatro Sistina in fall 1999.
The film comedy cast Williams as a divorced (and generally unemployed) man so desperate to keep custody of his kids, he dresses up as a woman to get a nanny job watching them. Sally Field and Pierce Brosnan also starred in the Chris Columbus flick.
Variety reports that this is a hot time for American musicals in Italy, what with Grease a smash and Hair, A Chorus Line and Rocky Horror also taking to the boards. Garinei told Variety< "There's a new generation of theatregoers in Italy that are also music lovers... People are rediscovering that musicals are complete entertainment and by far the best for of theatre in Italy for family audiences."
Garinei and his late partner, Sandro Giovannini have produced such shows as Ciao, Rudy and Rugantino, a 1962 hit slated for a revival in December.
-- By David Lefkowitz