Robert Horn has been in love with the theatre since he was a small child.
“We did a bad kindergarten-y production of Mary Poppins, and I played Bert and I got chicken pox and I couldn’t go on and I made my mother take me anyway,” Horn remembers, ”and I said, ‘Don’t tell them I have chicken pox,’ and made her take me to school—and she did it.”
So it should come as no surprise that when Horn decided to adapt the hit film Tootsie for the stage, he made the entire musical theatre-centric. Michael Dorsey is still a pain-in-the-neck actor who decides to disguise himself as a woman to book a job, but, for Broadway, Horn decided that the soap opera Dorsey auditioned for in the film would now be a Broadway musical.
And Horn packs his script with a laugh a minute—so much so Tootsie’s tagline is “a comedy musical.” But jokes aside, Horn simply loves to write.
“Writing is a cathartic thing for anybody who does it,” he says. “It’s a way to reveal your soul. As corny as that sounds, it really is true.”
Here, Horn talks about the one thing he would be if he weren’t a writer and why he loves collaborating with David Yazbek.