Photo by Joan Marcus. Euphegenia Doubtfire, aka Rob McClure, gives a steamy performance in the kitchen.
In this musical comedy, based on the beloved film starring the incomparable Robin Williams, and directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks, Mrs. Doubtfire tells the sometimes poignant yet mostly uproarious story of an out-of-work actor who would do just about anything for his kids, including dressing up as a female Scottish nanny/housekeeper in order to remain a daily presence in their lives. As he struggles to accept his new familial situation, he realizes his family has changed and he can be a loving and present father…so long as he looks different! Against all odds, he wins the favor of not just his kids but his ex-wife, making a sad divorce look like a day at the circus. It’s as honest as it is hysterical!
Rob McClure reprises his Tony-nominated Broadway performance on tour with real-life spouse and co-star Maggie Lakis, portraying Daniel and Miranda Hillard respectively. McClure is a multi-talented powerhouse who steals scenes with his limitless talents – imitations, puppeteering, physical comedy, impeccably timed zingers, singing, rapping, breakdancing, and quick-change prowess. Okay, maybe his ventriloquism needs a little work, but that’s part of the shtick.
McClure has a knack for improv, which he says he’s been doing since he was six. He was quoted in Broadway World as saying, “A lot of it comes from admiring people like Robin Williams and Jim Carrey, these comedians who have completely removed their filter and are just live wires. There is a certain amount of bravery in unhinging yourself to that limit, you know? I thank Jerry Zaks for giving us the type of rehearsal room where I can do that, because sometimes you can lose track of the crafted moments of storytelling if you are too unhinged on stage. Rehearsal is the real place to take that lid off and run because then you can find the gold.”
The three adorable Hillard children share in the comedic delivery, and warm our hearts during the more touching moments. Teenager Lydia Hillard, portrayed by Giselle Gutierrez, tells it like it is. Keep your eye on this one, she has a voice made for Broadway and the makings of a future Tony winner.
Aaron Kaburick, who portrays Daniel’s brother Frank, along with Nik Alexander who portrays Aaron’s husband Andre Mayem, are a flamboyant couple who had the audience doubled-over laughing. The couple begrudgingly gets roped into helping Daniel pull off his nanny farce. Frank has an affliction whereby, much like Pinocchio’s nose, his voice gets louder with each lie he tells. It’s a scream!
Another standout, with his melodic baritone voice and Austin Powers-like behavior, is Leo Roberts. He portrays Miranda’s love interest, so you want to hate him but just can’t.
The choreography by Lorin Latarro is just plain fun. Hats off to her, Zane Mark for dance arrangements, and dance captain Julie Kavanagh for giving us the most gratifying dancing I’ve ever seen. There’s even a kitchen scene of dancing chefs that smacks of Polar Express meets Ratatouille. These dance scenes are great to watch as costume designer Catherine Zuber brilliantly dresses the production for success. The creative team is rounded out by music supervisor, arranger and orchestrator Ethan Popp; scenic designer David Korins; lighting designer Philip S. Rosenberg; and sound design by Brian Ronan and Craig Cassidy.
There are lots of surprises you’ll love. It’s a family-friendly comedy that truly delivers, all while proving we’re better together.
PPAC presents Mrs. Doubtfire through October 22. For more info, visit ppacri.org/events or call (401) 421-ARTS.