HONOLULU (KHON) – Most people have to finish college before landing their dream job — not Pili Fronda.
The Kamehameha graduate is not only juggling his senior year at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, but he is touring the country with one of his favorite all-time movies turned musical: Mrs. Doubtfire, The New Musical Comedy.
“I’m at a loss for words when thinking about it,” said the 21-year-old.
Fronda is majoring in Percussion Performance, and getting real-world experience as the drummer for the Broadway show, which just launched a nationwide tour on September 24.
The musical is based on the beloved comedy film about a divorced dad, played by the late actor Robin Williams, who disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his kids.
“When Robin Williams did this famous role, it was all of a sudden, like, ‘It’s okay for parents to not get back together.’ Personally, I had gone through that. So it became one of my favorite movies. To be able to now go out and share this same message and see parents with their kids. To be able to take that in, in real time is just really a full circle moment.”Pili Fronda, musician with Mrs. Doubtfire the musical
Fronda got the job through a contact he made through a mentorship called MUSE: Musicians United for Social Equity.
“Our conversation turned into a two-hour conversation,” explained Fronda. “At the end of it, he said, ‘Hey, this is really awesome that eventually you want to do this Let’s cut out that word eventually. And just do it now!'”
Fronda said the show takes the story further than the movie, with songs sung through the children’s perspective.
“We get to see the effects of what it means to have your parents separate,” Fronda said. “In the meantime, we have our star, Rob McClure, who is so incredible with the amount of impressions and jokes he’s able to do, but then turn around and remind us of what it means to love, because families look so different today.”
While Mrs. Doubtfire is based on a fictional character from San Francisco, Fronda said the musical will resonate with families from across the country.
Mrs. Doubtfire: A New Musical Comedy, will make stops at multiple cities across the country into 2024, including Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.
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Sadly, the Broadway show will not make a stop in Hawaii, though Fronda saud the cast “really wants to!”