Review: MRS. DOUBTFIRE: THE NEW MUSICAL COMEDY at Broadway San Diego

Playing through June 9th at the San Diego Civic Theatre

By: Jun. 06, 2024
Review: MRS. DOUBTFIRE: THE NEW MUSICAL COMEDY at Broadway San Diego
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It’s been over 30 years since the movie “Mrs. Doubtfire” hit the big screen and now it is on a national tour as a musical, bringing the movie's zaniness to the stage with lots of songs, dancing, and of course many fast costume changes.  “Mrs. Doubtfire: The New Musical Comedy” is at the San Diego Civic Theatre by Broadway San Diego through June 9th.

The plot is essentially the same as the movie - Daniel (Rob McClure) is an actor and voice performer, and dad to three kids Lydia (Giselle Gutierrez), Christopher (shared by Sam Bird and Axel Bernard Rimmele), and Natalie (shared by Emerson Mae Chan and Charlotte Sydney Harrington). 

Review: MRS. DOUBTFIRE: THE NEW MUSICAL COMEDY at Broadway San Diego
Giselle Gutierrez (Lydia Hillard), Maggie Lakis (Miranda Hillard), Cody Braverman (Christopher Hillard), and  Kennedy Pitney (Natalie Hillard)

His wife Miranda (Maggie Lakis) is fed up with being the only responsible parent and feels like she has four kids instead of three when her husband is around.  When they get divorced, Daniel can’t see his kids every day so he comes up with a ruse to disguise himself as a Scottish nanny named Euphegenia Doubtfire so he can continue to see them every day, and many iconic movie hijinks and new ones ensue.

The plot is updated to present day, with the most refreshing update being that unlike the movie where Miranda is painted as the uptight bad guy who needs to learn to relax, in the musical Daniel is very much a selfish and bad partner, and he goes on a journey to become a better person.

Review: MRS. DOUBTFIRE: THE NEW MUSICAL COMEDY at Broadway San Diego
Maggie Lakis (Miranda Hillard) and Daniel (Rob McClure)

The music by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick is big, bright, and bouncy and makes for many fun dance numbers.  “Make Me A Woman” is a fun makeover song featuring Daniel’s brother Frank (Aaron Kaburick) and his brother-in-law Andre (Nik Alexander).  “Easy Peasy” is when an overly confident Daniel attempts to cook using YouTube cooking videos and still has to order takeout because it’s harder than it looks. Major props to whoever green-lit a tap number about spatchcocking a chicken, and even more than the show describes it and does it correctly.

Review: MRS. DOUBTFIRE: THE NEW MUSICAL COMEDY at Broadway San Diego
The cast of "Mrs. Doubtfire"

Lakis as the mom Miranda has a lovely number in “Let Go,”  while Gutierrez is very strong as oldest daughter Lydia and has a touching number in “Just Pretend” in the second act.

McClure is excellent as Daniel, making him as dislikable as ever in the beginning, and bringing him in for a (semi) believable rehabilitation by the end.  His number “It’s About Time” is one of the best songs of the show, letting Rob use his myriad of gifts doing voices, singing, and puppetry while live looping the music in front of the audience each performance.

Review: MRS. DOUBTFIRE: THE NEW MUSICAL COMEDY at Broadway San Diego
Euphegenia Doubtfire/Daniel (Rob McClure)

What you want to know is how is the transformation from Daniel to Doubtfire, right?  The mask, the body suit, and the wig (thanks to costume designer Catherine Zuber, makeup designer Tommy Kurzman, and hair and wig designer David Brian Brown) are all very effective and most impressively McClure makes about 30 costume changes (the quickest happens in 18 seconds) back and forth throughout the show.  The mask is cleverly created to allow him as much expression as possible while looking like an older Scottish nanny and for a rapid.  It is to McClure’s credit that he is an excellent comedic performer, and though he honors the role made famous by Robin Williams, he does make this character his own as well.

The ensemble is all very talented, and strong dancers (seriously this show has so many dance numbers) all choreographed by Lorin Latarro.  The scenic design by David Korins and the lighting design by Phillip S. Rosenberg work together nicely and help direct the audience's eyes where they should be to allow some of the makeover magic to happen.

One note,  this is a childhood classic movie for many, and as now adults you may want to bring your kids with you to see this, it might work best if they see the movie first.  The tween behind me had many thoughts - when Daniel wonders who is responsible for this divorce “Um…you are,” when he hacks into his wife’s email “Isn’t that illegal?”, and at the end when he and Lydia come to an understanding “So, he learned nothing?!” I was delighted by her commentary from start to finish.

“Mrs. Doubtfire: The New Musical Comedy” is a fluffy and fun musical for the whole family.

How To Get Tickets

“Mrs. Doubtfire: The New Musical Comedy” is at the San Diego Civic Theatre by Broadway San Diego through June 9th. For ticket and showtime information go to www.broadwaysd.com 

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus




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