12 Broadway Fathers We Love
As Father’s Day approaches, we turn to the stage fathers — and father figures — who show their fierce love and strong bonds for their children, blood relation or not. Some teach a surrogate child how to break in a baseball glove, while others give a young lion the courage to seize back his kingdom.
No matter how they show their affection, these stage dads prove there are all kinds of patriarchs and the love they give and lessons they teach make us want to hug our own dads. Here’s some of our favorite Broadway fathers.
Timon and Pumbaa in “The Lion King”
In the long running Disney musical, devastation comes early for lion cub Simba, after he blames himself for his father’s untimely death. But the unlikely pairing of Pubmaa, a warthog, and Timon, a meerkat, find Simba at just the right time. They raise him until Simba is ready to leave his worries behind and claim the throne from his evil uncle Scar.
Mr. Heere in “Be More Chill”
In Joe Iconis’ wildly popular new musical, Jeremy Heere’s father is tasked with raising his son on his own. But he’s too depressed to put on pants. That is, until he discovers Jeremy is in deep trouble. And he loves his son, so he puts his pants on for him — and sings about it.
Alexander Hamilton in “Hamilton”
In Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash musical, Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton experiences the deep joy of becoming the father to Philip. Alexander watches Philip grow and woo ladies just like his dad. But he also feels the profound loss of losing a child way too soon. With the support of his wife, Eliza, Alexander survives every parent’s worst nightmare and even jumps back into politics.
Larry Murphy in “Dear Evan Hansen”
Although Evan Hansen’s father left him at a young age, Evan finds the paternal love he longs for in Larry Murphy, the father of his crush. In Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Larry teaches Evan the best way to break in a baseball glove (shaving cream, rubber bands, mattress, repeat) and gives Evan the affection he’s been lacking.
Steve Healy in “Jagged Little Pill”
It’s fair to say that Steve Healy’s role as a father isn’t all that easy. Attending marriage counseling sessions with his wife, Mary Jane, the pair try to salvage their relationship. But, when Steve discovers MJ’s addiction and eventual drug overdose, he promises to be there for his wife and children as the father figure they deserve.
Quinn Carney in “The Ferryman”
In Jez Butterworth’s “The Ferryman,” the Carney patriarch has as many as 20 people under his roof at one time. That’s not counting his newborn baby, a bunny and the uncooked (and very much alive) goose for the harvest dinner. But, despite the chaos and deep political trouble he is entangled in, Quinn fiercely supports and protects his large family and a handful of visitors.
Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird”
In the courtroom, lawyer Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel nobly stands against racism in a small town in mid-30s Alabama. At home, and as a widower, he teaches his two young children how to stand up for their beliefs even if they might be the lone voice against a heated mob.
Alfred P. Doolittle in “My Fair Lady”
He doesn’t have a tuppence in his pocket. And sure, he frequently bums off his also broke daughter, Eliza. But Alfred P. Doolittle definitely holds the title of most fun father on Broadway. In the revival of Lerner and Lowe’s classic musical now at Lincoln Center, Alfred celebrates the eve of his wedding with can-can dancers, men in drag, and overflowing beer steins. We want an invite to that party.
Harry Potter and Ron Weasley in “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
Growing up as students at Hogwarts, this inseparable pair constantly tested the patience of their parents and mentors as they found themselves in one harrowing incident after another. Remember the encounter with the whomping willow? But as the much wiser fathers of children now attending Hogwarts in this two-part epic Broadway play, Harry and Ron are in the reversed roles of adults tasked with monitoring their own rule breaking children. Through this, they are reminded of the power and courage of youth.
Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof”
Tevye’s traditional values are tested when his daughters go against the norm and follow their hearts. While he’s tempted to turn his back on his daughters and obey the religious values on which he’s based his life, Tevye’s love is too strong to walk away from his children.
Andrew Carnes in “Oklahoma!”
In the new, dark Broadway revival of “Oklahoma!” Ado Annie’s father, Andrew Carnes, just wants his daughter in an honorable marriage. Even though Ado Annie confesses that she “cain’t say no” to men, she has no problem saying this to her dad. Sound familiar?
Joe Keller in “All My Sons”
In the Arthur Miller drama, businessman Joe Keller is faced with confronting a terrible choice made in his past. But he fiercely defends this decision, insisting he made it to ensure his family’s financial security and reputation.