Call it “Nanny 911”. “Mrs. Doubtfire,” the new musical that opened Sunday night on Broadway, needs urgent help.
Why was a movie that was never more than a ridiculous comedy star about the late Robin Williams brought to the stage almost 30 years later without him? Partly as a star vehicle of Broadway lover Rob McClure, who now plays Dobfighter, also known as Daniel.
2 hours and 30 minutes, with a break. At the Stephen Sondheim Theater, 124 W. 43rd St.
The producers also hope to trap nostalgic millennials, who were bombarded by miserable divorce movies in the 1990s (“Mrs. Doubtfire”, “Stepmom”, “Liar Liar”) and now have their own children tormented by them.
What we have left is another musical of the line-up of a movie – disgusting, in fact – in which every song of “Something Rotten!” The duo John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick are general and forgotten.
The first act ends with a tangle called “Bam! We’re Rockin ‘Now “, which could easily fit into any musical that has ever had a guitar in the orchestra pit.
And the finale, “As Long As There Is Love”, says “So when the sun has set / And your skies have turned gray / Well, in time you will find that it will be okay.” This is just a bad “Put a happy face”.
As in the movie, Daniel, a struggling actor and courageous dad, is forced to wear a woman’s face after his wife abandons him (accidentally hires a stripper for their son’s birthday party) and a judge grants him rights only on Saturday visiting with three children.
He’s a fun, crazy kid and his ex, Miranda (Jenn Gambatese) is a killjoy stick in the mud. You will find that every adult woman on this show has a barbed wire heart – well, except for the one who is actually a dude.
This is Mrs. Doubtfire, the alter ego created for Daniel by Frank’s gay brother (Brad Oscar) and husband Andre (J. Harrison Ghee), which he uses to sneak back to his San Francisco home and spend time with his son and two daughters. All they know is that they have a crazy new Scottish nanny.
No one disputes why an elderly lady may act as if she is 32 years old, has the same sense of humor as her father and performs a “Riverdance” number when she claims to be from Scotland.
Like a kiss from Richard Dawson in “Family Feud”, the plot of “Mrs. Doubtfire “has become creepy with age. Attractive disguises are common on stage (“Tootsie” is an infinitely better musical and a much superior movie), but when you add young children to the mix and, um, a court ruling forbidding the main character from being with them is uncomfortable for us. How can we embrace someone who hurts their family?
Michael in “Tootsie,” who pretends to be an actor to find work, is also a liar. But “Doubtfire” goes further and desperately begs us to love this madman.
McClure is practically selling us a time lease with its spastic, excessive performance. I can not deny that it is technically very good – it makes funny voices: Gollum, Borat, Yoda – and it jumps like the stage is actually a trampoline. His high energy, however, and does not have enough laughter to justify that he behaves as if he were in a two and a half hour meal.
As Miranda, a fashion designer whose house designed by David Corins does not look like a place Donna Karan would ever set foot in, Gabatese changes little, even when she starts dating a Briton and Mrs. Daubtfeir improves. her life.
There are, however, two very funny gags in the musical, directed by Jerry Zacks. Frank’s voice gets louder every time he tells a lie (it happens a lot), and a local children’s TV show called “The Mr. Jolly Show” has a hysterical presenter posing as Peter Bartlett as a jet-lagged Rip Taylor .
Every time Mr. Jolly left the stage, I continued to be Mr. Angry.
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