This was an enhanced version of Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway. If you loved the rip-roaring, gut-busting Shakespearean spoof hit play Something Rotten by the brothers Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick team, then Mrs. Doubtfire is for you.
The brothers Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell created the book and are back at it again to make music and lyrics of pure, unadulterated fun. Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway is an update of the 1993 film starring Robin Williams, but funnier and more entertaining. Since then, we have come a long way. Instead of Miranda Hillard (Jenn Gambatese) as an interior decorator mother, she owns her own company developing workout clothing spanning from the gym to dinner. Another enhanced character is Daniel Hillard’s (Rob McClure) brother, Frank Hillard’s (Brad Oscar), who is now married with a child.
Make Me A Woman is a show stopper as the ensemble steps up, from Princess Diana to Cher, for a reimagined look toward the end product Mrs. Doubtfire. We then get Eleanor Roosevelt, Janet Reno, and Margaret Thatcher, with a little Oscar Wilde thrown into the compilation.
The show ends with everyone in the theater on their feet singing “As Long As There Is Love.”
End of the Run
Why did it close? They claimed the closure is due to the pandemic impeding the development of a fan base. But this has not been the case with Six or The Music Man, so something more must be in play. This sleeper would likely have exploded in popularity if left to work its way into audiences just as its fellow play Wicked did just down the block. It has many catchy tunes with great lyrics, so differentiating it from the movie to attract a wider audience may have helped.
Admittedly, I would not have chosen the play, but my friend bought tickets and insisted I go. Since then, I would see it again if possible and only wish I had seen it pre-pandemic to review it earlier.
Music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick
Book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell
Based on the Twentieth Century Studio Motion Picture
With Rob McClure (Daniel Hillard), Jenn Gambatese (Miranda Hillard), Analise Scapaci (Lydia Hillard), Aaron Kaburick (Photographer/Chef Louis/Maitré D/ensemble), Austin Elle Fisher/Ava Gail Prince (Natalie Hillard), Titus Landegger/Tyler Wladis (Christopher Hillard), Erica Mansfield (therapist/ensemble), Kaleigh Cronin (sexy soccer woman/Helga/ensemble), David Hibbard (Judge/delivery guy/rectisol doctor/ensemble), Charity Angél Dawson/Renée Reid (Wanda Sellner), Brad Oscar (Frank Hillard), Andre Mavem (J. Harrison Ghee), Maria Delano (young actress/emsemble), Mr. Jelly (Peter Bartlett), Jodi Kimura (Janet Lundy/ensemble), Cameron Adams/Alexandra Matteo (Chef Amy/ensemble), Mark Evans (Stuart Dunnire), Calvin L. Cooper (Loopy Lenny/Flamenco dancer), Aléna Watters (Flamenco singer/ensemble), Casey Garvin (Flamenco dancer/ensemble), KJ Hippensteel (ensemble), Larquet Shannel Pringle (ensemble), and Jaquez Andre Sims (ensemble).
Orchestra conductor Matthew Smedal, associate conductor Ilana Atkins, guitars Brian Koonin, Larry Saltzman, Cameron Rasmussen; bass Pete Donovan; drums Rodney Howard; percussion Gary Seligson; trumpet/flugelhorn Shawn Edmonds; trombone Jason Jackson; alto sax/tenor sax/flute/clarinet John De Simini; keyboards Ilana Atkins Matthew Smedal; violin/concert Master Paul Woodiel; violin Kiku Enomoto; viola Jocelyn Pan; cello Melissa Westgate.
Scenic design David Korins; costume design Catherine Zuber; lighting design Philip S. Rosenberg; sound design Brian Roman; hair design David Brian Brown; makeup and prosthetics design Tommy Kurtzman; dance arrangement Zane Mark; music coordination John Miller.
The show closed on May 29, 2022. One 15-minute intermission.
Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway
124 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 719-1300
Mrs. Doubtfire will open in Manchester, England at the Manchester Opera House, from Friday, September 2, to Saturday, October 1, 2022. Here’s a link for info.