Lorin Latarro. Photo courtesy LSG Public Relations.
Award-winning Broadway choreographer Lorin Latarro is seemingly unstoppable right now.
Not only is Lorin Latarro the dance creator behind one of Broadway’s most anticipated new musicals, ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’, but her movement is onstage once again at Lincoln Center in the Metropolitan Opera's re-staging of the 2018 success, ‘La Traviata’. On top of all that, Latarro has been announced as the choreographer for The Goodman’s upcoming production of ‘The Outsiders’, plus, she’s choreographing The Public Theatre’s new musical ‘The Visitor’ — which stars David Hyde Pierce and features music and lyrics from ‘Next To Normal’s Tom Kitt and Bryan Yorkey — and, she’s set to bring her choreography to New York City again later this fall when the movie-turned-musical ‘Almost Famous’ makes its way to the Big Apple for a developmental lab.
While Sara Bareilles' musical, 'Waitress' — which ended its almost four-year run last December — may have been one of Latarro's most successful representations as a choreographer on the Broadway boards, the Juilliard trained dancer is certainly no stranger to the Great White Way. Latarro, a veteran Broadway dancer in her own right, performed in 14 shows before she turned the corner to the other side of the table. Before her most recent solo choreographer duties, Latarro had danced for, assisted, or been the dance captain for nearly every major choreographer on Broadway. Names like Kathleen Marshall, Andy Blankenbuehler, Twyla Tharp, Sergio Trujillo, Steven Hoggett, and Rob Ashford are peppered throughout her resume — and, with almost every kind of genre of show, from golden-age style revivals like ‘Wonderful Town’ to pedestrian punk iterations like ‘American Idiot’.
And, since Latarro's transition to the choreographic side of the industry, her theatrical stock has continued its rise. In 2018, she was charged with choreographing The Public Theatre’s ‘Twelfth Night’ in Central Park through the company's Public Works program, and in 2019, Latarro choreographed Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of ‘Merrily We Roll Along’. Her work on the latter earned her nominations for both a Chita Rivera Award and a Lucille Lortel Award.
At the moment, though, even amid it all, Latarro seems laser-focused on ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’. The brand new musical, which features a book by John O'Farrell, book, music, and lyrics by Karey Kirkpatrick, music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick is based on the widely loved 1993 film starring the late Robin Williams and begins previews March 9th.
Rob McClure as Daniel Hillard in 'Mrs. Doubtfire'. Photo credit: Tracy Martin.
Latarro explained to Dance Network that choreographing this comedy classic adaptation for Broadway — with Tony-winning director Jerry Zaks no less — is truly a special experience.
“I’m thrilled to be part of this amazing creative team and cast. [And,] it is a dream to work with Jerry Zaks,” Latarro said. “He is an incredible technician and precise director, and he is FUNNY! He understands how to make a moment most funny.”
As far as the choreography for ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ is concerned, it seems Latarro's background in so many different styles and genres is working to her benefit, though, she says, the inventiveness of movement is always derived from storytelling.
“The inspiration always comes from what the characters want and what obstacles are in their way," Latarro said. But, she went on, "the show has some big dance numbers that run the gamut from tap-dancing, to partnering, to crumping."
"I have been taking Flamenco lessons, brushing up on hip hop skills, watching K-Pop videos, and dusting off my tap shoes. Each number in the show has its own style," Latarro said. "My favorite is the number called “Make Me A Woman” in which we do fun hustle with partnering and lifts. But, you [will also] see tap dancing sous-chefs who help Mrs. Doubtfire cook, and a number which culminates in a stage full of Mrs. Doubtfire doppelgängers.”
Production photos from 'Mrs. Doubtfire'. Photo credit: Tracy Martin.
During the musical’s record-breaking out-of-town tryout in Seattle last fall, the production was extremely well-received. Latarro explained that at its core level, what makes ‘Doubtfire’ special is that it tells a very universally understood story.
“‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ is about family. About divorce. About continuing to learn how to grow," Latarro said. "And ultimately, ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ shows us that there are all kinds of families and that as long as there is love present, the uniqueness of each family is wonderful. We have children of all ages come to us after seeing the show grateful to see themselves represented onstage.”
The cast for ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ includes Rob McClure as Daniel Hillard/Euphegenia Doubtfire, Jenn Gambatese as Miranda Hillard, Peter Bartlett as Mr. Jolly, Charity Angél Dawson as Wanda Sellner, Mark Evans as Stuart Dunmire, J. Harrison Ghee as Andre Mayem, Analise Scarpaci as Lydia Hillard, Jake Ryan Flynn as Christopher Hillard, Avery Sell as Natalie Hillard, and Brad Oscar as Frank Hillard, as well as Cameron Adams, Akilah Ayanna, Calvin L. Cooper, Kaleigh Cronin, Casey Garvin, Maria Dalanno, David Hibbard, KJ Hippensteel, Aaron Kaburick, Erica Mansfield, Brian Martin, Alexandra Matteo, Sam Middleton, Doreen Montalvo, LaQuet Sharnell Pringle, Jaquez André Sims, Lily Tamburo, Travis Waldschmidt, and Aléna Watters rounding out the ensemble.
‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ begins previews on March 9th at the Stephen Sondheim Theater on Broadway. It is set to open Sunday, April 5th. For more information and tickets visit, www.MrsDoubtfireBroadway.com.
Dance Network's Michael Mahany spoke with Lorin Latarro at the 2019 Chita Rivera Award ceremony in New York City.
Michael Mahany serves as Dance Network’s New York correspondent. He is also a professional actor, singer, dancer who appears nightly in the 10th Anniversary production of 'Rock Of Ages' in New York City as well as a co-host of the 'Pod De Deux' dance podcast.