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“Doubtfire Goes Inferno at LA Premier”

“Doubtfire Goes Inferno at LA Premier”

Mrs. Doubtfire Theater Review

By Michael J. Herman ©2024 The CriticAtLarge.com

"Doubtfire Goes Inferno at LA Premier"

Mrs. Doubtfire.

You mean the 1993 film starring Robin Williams?

YES! The very same, has made its way to Broadway and

has premiered at LA's Hollywood Pantages Theatre.

I have to admit, I was not excited to see this production. After all, my memory of the film was tepid at best. Nonetheless, I went without expectation of anything exciting and my mind was blown!

This musical production based on the novel by Ann Fine tells the story of a struggling actor stuck in a dysfunctional marriage, yet committed to his family at all costs. The show's main character, Daniel Hillard, faces struggles of unemployment, poverty, marital stress, and divorce, forcing him to take on the acting role of a lifetime; disguising as the hired nanny of his three children.

Themes of betrayal, integrity, loyalty, and even points of sexuality weave themselves through this complex account.

In recent years Broadway has brought us similar scenarios of gender bending and family crisis.

Tootsie, La Cage aux Folles, and Moulin Rouge are a few, with Jagged Little Pill delivering high-impact messages of grief and forgiveness.

I'm glad to say that Mrs. Doubtfire is a clever, updated, and augmented approach to a perennial plot line.

While the first act left me waiting for something memorable, the second act exploded with massive twists and unexpected musical-narrative-choreographed payoffs.

The show's lead portrayed by Rob McClure dazzled from the opening curtain. His ability to command the stage presence from lights-up with impressions only exceeded by the great Mel Blank drew in and captivated everyone watching.

I remember seeing McClure in Avenue Q and enjoying him then as well. I'm glad to see he's moved to star status. The degree with which he commands every nuance of musical and dramatic presence cannot be discounted.

The casting surprised as well, with stellar performances all around. But Doubtfire isn't carried by McClure alone. He is part of an outstanding ensemble including Giselle Gutierrez, Sam Bird, and Charlotte Sydney Harrington who portray the three children central to the plot.

What I loved most about Doubtfire, even more than the many surprises it delivers is the well-crafted roller coaster of emotions the story presents.

For such an esteemed ensemble piece to give each character and each performer room to really shine, and characters to fully develop was very impressive and all too rarely seen.

But perhaps there is one thing I enjoyed even more than that.

It was the sheer joy that these actors, dancers, singers, and orchestra members radiated throughout in song, dance, and humor in this reimagination of what all too many families experience; the disintegration of the nuclear family unit.

Watching these performances gives one hope.

McClure's dance as well as the entire cast harkens to the days of Cagney, O'Connor, and Astaire. Could it be that Broadway In Hollywood has done it again? Yes, they've opened another must-see running through June 30. Tickets start @ $35.

Michael J. Herman is Editor-In-Chief for Luxury-Media and Critic for TheCriticAtLarge.com

Please let me know if and how I can be of value.
Michael J. Herman, Speaker-Writer-Author-Critic-At-Large
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