Call “Nanny 911”. “Mrs. Doubtfire,” the new musical that premiered Sunday night on Broadway, is in urgent need of help.
Why was a movie that was only ever a ridiculous star vehicle for the late Robin Williams’ comedic talent dragged onto the stage nearly 30 years later without him? Partly as the featured vehicle for Broadway favorite Rob McClure, who now plays Doubtfire aka Daniel.
2 hours and 30 minutes, with an intermission. At the Stephen Sondheim Theater, 124 W. 43rd St.
The producers are also surely hoping to trap nostalgic millennials, who were bombarded with divorce sap in the 1990s (“Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Mother-in-law,” “Liar Liar”), and now have children of their own. torment with them.
We have yet another on-line musical – a heinous movie, too – in which every song from “Something Rotten!” the duo John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick are generic and forgettable.
The first act ends with a song called “Bam! We’re Rockin ‘Now’, which could fit nicely into any musical that ever had a guitar in the orchestra pit.
And the finale, “As Long As There Is Love,” says “So when the sun has slipped away / And your sky has turned gray / Well, in time you will find that everything will be fine.” It’s just bad “Put on a happy face”.
As in the movie, Daniel, a struggling actor and beloved daddy, is forced to put on a woman’s face after his wife leaves him (he mistakenly hires a stripper for their birthday party. son) and a judge only grants her visitation rights on Saturdays with her three children.
He’s a fun-loving, crazy man-kid and his ex, Miranda (Jenn Gambatese) is a killjoy stick in the mud. You’ll find that every adult woman on this show has a barbed wire heart – well, except the one who’s actually a dude.
It’s Mrs. Doubtfire, the alter ego created for Daniel by his gay brother Frank (Brad Oscar) and husband Andre (J. Harrison Ghee), whom he uses to sneak into his San Francisco home and hang out. with his son and two daughters. All they know is they have a crazy new Scottish nanny.
No one wonders why an old lady can move like she’s 32, has the same sense of humor as her father, and performs a “Riverdance” act when she claims to be from Scotland.
Like a kiss from Richard Dawson on “Family Feud”, the plot of “Mrs. Doubtfire” has grown scary with age. Drag costumes are common on stage (“Tootsie” is an infinitely better musical and movie. much higher), but when you add young kids to the mix and, uh, a court order forbidding the main character to be with them, it’s uncomfortable for us. How do you kiss someone who traumatizes their family?
Michael in “Tootsie,” who claims to be an actress to find a job, is also a jerk liar. But “Doubtfire” takes it a step further and begs us desperately to love this asshole.
McClure practically sells us a timeshare with his spastic and over-enthusiastic performance. I can’t deny it’s technically great – he does some funny vocals: Gollum, Borat, Yoda – and jumps like the stage is actually a trampoline. His energy grids high, however, and doesn’t get enough laughs to justify acting like he’s on a two-and-a-half-hour coke binge.
As Miranda, a fashion designer whose ho-hum house designed by David Korins is unlike any place Donna Karan would have set foot in, Gambatese changes little even after starting dating a hunky British kid and Ms. Doubtfire improves his life.
There are however two very funny gags in the musical, directed by Jerry Zaks. Frank’s voice gets loud every time he tells a lie (it happens a lot), and a local kids’ TV show called “The Mr. Jolly Show” has a hysterical host who is played by Peter Bartlett as a Rip Taylor. in jet lag.
Every time Mr. Jolly left the stage, I went back to being Mr. Angry.