Analise Scarpaci, Actor, Role of Lydia Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway, joins Yahoo Finance to discuss returning to the Broadway stage, a career in live theater, and the impact of covid shutdowns for child actors.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: From the screen to the stage, "Mrs. Doubtfire", the Broadway adaptation of the beloved movie starring Robin Williams is set to begin previews here on Broadway next month. It's going to officially open in December, or should I say reopen. Analise Scarpaci plays one of the kids, Lydia Hillard. So good to see you, Analise.
ANALISE SCARPACI: Nice to see you too. Thank you for having me.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: Absolutely. So just before the pandemic shut everything down, you were able to get through three performances of "Mrs. Doubtfire". What have you been doing for the past 18 months?
ANALISE SCARPACI: I've been doing a lot of things actually. At first, I was kind of like, this is the first time in about 10 years where I've had absolutely nothing to do. So I decided to find my guitar again. And I've been writing music. I actually have been working on an EP that's coming out this fall. So right around the time that we start previews, which is October 21. So I'm so excited. And I've gone back to school, which is another blessing in disguise.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: Right, because you've been a child actor on Broadway before "Mrs. Doubtfire". I know this is your first principal role on Broadway. But you were in "Matilda" and "A Christmas Story". So tell me what being in college has been like for you during this pandemic.
ANALISE SCARPACI: It's been a crazy experience. I actually am very grateful for all of my professors for welcoming me back to school. I had taken the year off to do "Mrs. Doubtfire". And school was kind of a very difficult time for me going back into it because I was, we're all mourning this loss of life that we had. So it was really, really a blessing in disguise honestly. I really enjoy it.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: Now talk to me about the children who are on Broadway. Because a lot of shows here employ young people. And there are a number of them who are under 12 years old and unable to get vaccinated. What has this return to Broadway been like for them?
ANALISE SCARPACI: It's been crazy. I mean, I have to tell you. It's not easy. And as a former child actor, I know how hard it is. Because you're constantly thinking about, am I too old for my role? Am I going to grow? Is puberty going to hit me tomorrow? There's all of these extra concerns that you have. When you're an adult, you have how am I paying the bills? All these things. These are the things that the kids are concerned about. And we are very lucky to have all of our children who are over 12.
And we are very fortunate to have all of our children come back. We left as a family and we're coming back as a family.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: That's great.
ANALISE SCARPACI: And that's what "Mrs. Doubtfire" is about.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: That's wonderful news. And you bring up a really good point. Sometimes, people outgrow their role. They get too tall, like you said, puberty takes hold. So I guess there's a segment of the population on Broadway where some children actors are not coming back to those roles. And that's got to be a huge disappointment for them.
ANALISE SCARPACI: It's awful. I mean, honestly. I can't even think about what that feels like because to not know that your last day was coming, it gives me the chills. I can't even fathom it.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: Well your last day is not coming. You're going to be going getting back on stage next month. What have rehearsals been like? And what are you most looking forward to?
ANALISE SCARPACI: I'm so excited. We start rehearsals next Monday. I cannot wait. We're a very, very close family. Our entire cast, our crew, from our producers, all the way to our wardrobe supervisors, we really have become this close family in such a short time. And we've really known each other longer on the internet than we have in person. And it's kind of insane to think about it. And I can't wait to see all of their faces and just give everybody hugs and to just stand there in a room with them and to sing and to create again. It's a gift. It really is.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: And to be in front of a live audience again and to have that interaction and that shared experience. What is that going to be like for you?
ANALISE SCARPACI: It's going to be unbelievable. I actually got to see "Waitress" last week with my mom. And being in the audience, absolutely unbelievable. I couldn't even believe it. And my friend Charity who was also in "Mrs. Doubtfire", was Becky in "Waitress". And she invited me. And she was in tears. And to watch her on stage, and I was just in tears thinking about when we're going to be on stage together. Unbelievable. I can't even wait.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: Now "Mrs. Doubtfire" of course, the beloved movie starring Robin Williams. A little before your time. But did you see the film before you did this on Broadway?
ANALISE SCARPACI: Oh yeah. It's actually one of my favorite movies. Ironically, the story of Lydia, my character, is surrounded by the relationship between herself and her father. And my dad was the first person to show me "Mrs. Doubtfire". So it's a really special moment that I have.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: That was very apropos. Well what's the one thing that you are hopeful for when the curtain rises on "Mrs. Doubtfire" next month?
ANALISE SCARPACI: That we stay open and that we keep continuing to make people happy, and that we share our story with the world. I want everyone to come see the story. Our story is about family and the things you will do for the people that you love.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: Analise Scarpaci, best of luck to you.
ANALISE SCARPACI: Thank you.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: I'm glad you were able to get a little college in there too.
ANALISE SCARPACI: Oh yeah.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: Best of luck to you and the whole company of "Mrs. Doubtfire".
ANALISE SCARPACI: Thank you so much.
ALEXIS CHRISTFOROUS: All right. And I do want to note, though, that some shows are actually not returning to Broadway this year, like Disney's "Frozen", also "West Side Story" will not be reopening. But there are six new shows coming to Broadway, including "Diana", "Tina Turner The Musical", and the Broadway show "Six". So as you've seen over these past two hours, the Broadway community is ready to go back to work. All they need now is you, the audience.