Home Features Neil Starkenberg Talks ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ at Broward Center

Neil Starkenberg Talks ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ at Broward Center

The Broard Center for the Performing Arts is proud to present Mrs. Doubtfire, the smash hit musical in its first North American Tour, and coming to Fort Lauderdale on April 9 – 21.

The critically-acclaimed production features beloved, Tony-nominated Broadway leading man Rob McClure, reprising his “exhilarating, star-making performance” (The Telegraph) as Daniel Hillard/Euphegenia Doubtfire (everybody’s favorite Scottish nanny). McClure is joined by renowned actress and real-life wife, Maggie Lakis as Miranda Hillard. 

Joining McClure and Lakis are Giselle Gutierrez as Lydia Hillard, Aaron Kaburick as Frank Hillard, Nik Alexander as Andre Mayem, Leo Roberts as Stuart Dunmire, Romelda Teron Benjamin as Wanda Sellner, Cody Braverman and Axel Bernard Rimmele as Christopher Hillard, and Emerson Mae Chan and Kennedy Pitney as Natalie Hillard.

The cast also includes David Hibbard, Jodi Kimura, Alex Branton, Jonathan Hoover, Sheila Jones, Julie Kavanagh, Ian Liberto, Marquez Linder, Alex Ringler, Bianca Rivera-Irions, Lannie Rubio, Neil Starkenberg, Joey Stone, Gina Ward, Lauryn Withnell, and Julia Yameen. 

Along with Rob McClure, Aaron Kaburick, David Hibbard, and Jodi Kimura were also members of the Broadway company. 

The Chicago Tribune declares Mrs. Doubtfire is “the lovable, big-hearted musical comedy Broadway needs right now” and the Hollywood Reporter calls this “a feel-good, family-friendly musical comedy that delivers.”

Out-of-work actor Daniel Hillard will do anything for his kids. After losing custody in a messy divorce, he creates the kindly alter ego of Scottish nanny Euphegenia Doubtfire in a desperate attempt to stay in their lives. As his new character takes on a life of its own, Mrs. Doubtfire teaches Daniel more than he bargained for about how to be a father. A hysterical and heartfelt story about holding onto your loved ones against all odds, Mrs. Doubtfire is the musical comedy we need right now – one that proves we’re better together.

It was a pleasure to sit down with Neil Starkenberg who is the Dance Captain and is in the ensemble for this exclusive Hotspots interview: 

At what age did you begin performing?

I want to say I started in 6th grade and my first musical was “The Music Man,” and I had a solo. I was in love ever since. I was also a big band geek where I played the saxophone and piano. 

What was your first professional gig and how much did you get paid?

I want to say I got a stipend of $250 for a 5-week run doing “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum.” 

When did you know performing would be your career?

I think when I did “Miss Saigon” in my senior year in high school. It was the first time I was recognized for my voice, and I got an award for it. At that point I thought to myself, I think I can make this a career. 

Other than this show, what has been your favorite role so far?

I have to say Pepper in “Mamma Mia” as it gave me my Broadway Debut. The role let me be me as I am a big goober. My other favorite leading role was Burt in Mary Poppins as it was such a rewarding role, as it brought good Disney magic to such a huge stage. It felt like I was living a childhood dream. 

What’s your fantasy role (a role you haven’t played but would die to play)?

I would love to play Buddy in “Side Show.” Vocally its one of the best shows I have ever heard.  

Is it intimidating or is there extra pressure being in this show since the movie was so iconic?

It does give it a little extra pressure, but we give you the exact soundbites you love from the movie, but give it a fresh spin. Everything is done with energy, so you feel engaged. 

Is it hard being on the road all the time?

Its wonderful actually, as I get to see the different cities and how the different audiences in different states react to the show. Its amazing how we get a standing ovation every night. 

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Goober, energetic, and compassionate. 

What do you do for fun?

I love to be outdoors, anything with the water or a beach is what I crave so I can’t wait for Florida. I also love watching my reality TV Shows; one can’t get enough. 

What should our readers expect from this touring company of, “Mrs. Doubtfire”? 

Your going to expect to laugh, cry, and have your heart strings tugged at. You are going to get everything you want from the movie and more. Its heartfelt and the cast is incredibly talented. I don’t know when the last time I worked with such a talented cast. I feel bleseed to work with such talented people and I promise the South Florida audiences will love this show!

For more information on Neil you can follow him on all socials @NjStarkenberg or go to his website: Neilstarkenberg.com.

For more information on the show, please go to: DoubtfireBroadway.com.

For tickets for the Broward Center’s performances of Mrs Doubtfire, which start at $45 are available at BrowardCenter.org, by phone at 954.468.0222 or at the Broward Center’s AutoNation Box Office located at 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale.

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