‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ review: Bringing the movie to Broadway was a huge mistake

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Call “Nanny 911”. “Mrs. Doubtfire,” the new musical opening Sunday night on Broadway, needs immediate help.

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Why is a film that was nothing more than a ridiculous star vehicle for the comedic genius of the late Robin Williams, pulled off the stage almost 30 years later without him? Partly as a star vehicle for Broadway favorite Rob McClure, who now plays Doubtfire aka Daniel.

Producers are also certainly hoping to trap nostalgic millennials, who were bombarded in the 1990s by sad movies about divorce (“Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Stepmom,” “Lear Liar”), and now their There are children of their own to torment with. ,

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What we’re left with is another assembly line musical from a movie—an obnoxious one, at that—in which “Something’s Rotten!” It’s every song. The pairing John O’Farrell and Kerry Kirkpatrick is ordinary and forgettable.

The first act was “Bomb! We’re Rockin’ Now,” which could fit nicely into every musical that has ever had a guitar in the orchestra pit.

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And the finale, “As long as there’s love,” goes “So, when the sun’s out / And your skies turn gray / Well, in time you’ll find it’s all right.” It’s just bad “put on a happy face.”

Frank (Brad Oscar) and Andre (J. Harrison Ghee) help Danielle (Rob McClure) become Mrs. Doubtfire in the new Broadway musical.
Joan Marcus

As in the film, Daniel, a struggling actor and doting father, is forced to put on a woman’s face when his wife abandons him (he accidentally hires a stripper for his son’s birthday party) and A judge gives him the right to have only Saturday’s meeting with him. three children.

He’s a funny, devious man-kid and his ex, Miranda (Jane Gambetis) is a killjoy stick in the mud. You’ll find that the heart of every adult woman on this show is made of barbed wire—well, except that she’s actually a dude.

Doubtfire parties with three kids (that he's actually the father): Christopher (Jake Ryan Flynn), Lydia (Annales Scarpaci) and Natalie (Avery Sell).
Doubtfire parties with three kids (that he’s actually the father): Christopher (Jake Ryan Flynn), Lydia (Annales Scarpaci) and Natalie (Avery Sell).
Joan Marcus

She is Mrs. Doubtfire, the alter ego created for Daniel by her gay brother Frank (Brad Oscar) and her husband Andre (Jay Harrison Ghee), which she uses to move back to their San Francisco home and be with their son and two. To pass the time. daughters. All they know is that they have a new Scottish nanny.

No one questions why an older woman can walk at 32 years old, has the same sense of humor as her father and performs the number “Riverdance” when she claims to be from Scotland.

Like Richard Dawson’s kiss on “Family Feud,” the plot of “Mrs. Doubtfire” gets scary with age. Drag disguises usually take place on stage (“Tootsie” is an infinitely better musical and a better movie), but when you add little kids into the mix and, um, a court order orders the main character to stay with them. If it is uncomfortable for us. How can we embrace someone who is hurting their family?

Robin Williams in the 1993 film "Mrs. Doubtfire", now a Broadway musical.
Robin Williams in the 1993 film “Mrs. Doubtfire,” which is now a Broadway musical.
©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

In “Tootsie” Michael, who pretends to be an actress to get the job, is also a lying jerk. But the “doubt” goes ahead and begs us desperately to love this scholar.

McClure is practically selling us a timeshare with his playful, exuberant performance. I can’t deny that it’s technically pretty cool – he makes weird sounds: Gollum, Borat, Yoda – and jumps on stage like there’s actually a trampoline. His high energy, though, and doesn’t get enough laughs as if he were staring at a two-and-a-half hour Coke binge.

As Miranda, a fashion designer designed by David Corrins, whose ho-hum house looks nowhere like the one Donna Karan will ever step in, Gambetis changes little, even as she starts dating the British hunk and Mrs. Doubtfire makes her life better.

Peter Bartless is hilarious as Mr. Jolly in "Mrs. Doubtfire" on Broadway.
Peter Bartlett is hilarious as Mr. Jolly in “Mrs. Jolly”. Doubtfire” on Broadway.
Joan Marcus

However, there are two very funny jokes in the musical directed by Jerry Zaks. Frank’s voice intensifies every time he lies (it happens a lot), and is a hysterical host on a local children’s TV program called “The Mr. Jolly Show” that plays the jet-lagged Rip Taylor by Peter Bartlett. Played like that.

Every time Mr. Jolly left the stage, I started to be Mr. Angry.

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