“Mrs. Doubtfire” is back, making the leap from screen to stage in an eponymous musical comedy which plays through July 28 at the Orpheum Theatre. Photo by Joan Marcus

More than 20 years after she first swept into San Francisco with her Scottish brogue and rapier wit, “Mrs. Doubtfire” is back in the City, making the leap from screen to stage in an eponymous musical comedy which opened July 3 at the Orpheum Theatre.

It’s the story of an irresponsible, out-of-work actor who loses custody of his children in a divorce and impersonates a spunky yet no-nonsense nanny to spend time with them – and does a lot of growing up himself in the process.

Rob McClure, who was nominated for a Tony for the role in the show’s brief run on Broadway, plays Daniel Hillard playing Euphegenia Doubtfire. With a series of voices and impersonations – including an audience-favorite Donald Trump – McClure pays tribute to Robin Williams, the original Mrs. Doubtfire and, arguably, a very hard act to follow. Hillard’s estranged wife, Miranda, is played by his real-life wife, Maggie Lakis. Giselle Gutierrez, a college sophomore making her professional debut, is a stand-out as the couple’s oldest daughter, Lydia.

The story has been somewhat updated for new audiences, with technology references including Mrs. Doubtfire’s magical ability to turn off the Wi-Fi and Daniel’s attempts to learn to cook from the Internet resulting in the big song-and-dance number “Easy Peasy,” complete with tap dancing and annoying pop-up ads.

Enjoyable Songs

Another crowd pleaser is the rap “It’s About Time,” in which Daniel uses two hand puppets and a loop pedal to put an updated spin on a children’s television program. The show’s songs generally are enjoyable, if unmemorable.

But the script and sight gags are often funny – if seeing a man playing a woman for laughs is your kind of humor – and McClure, especially, is talented, energetic and gifted at physical comedy. And his quick changes into Mrs. Doubtfire, donning a partial rubber mask and fat suit, often in full view of the audience, are impressive.

Local audiences will also appreciate the San Francisco setting, from the Golden Gate Bridge and Painted Ladies-like backdrops to the Hillard’s Victorian home, the movie version of which became a local landmark.

At its heart, Mrs. Doubtfire is a story about family and a father’s enduring love for his children – even if he needs to go to ridiculous lengths to prove it. It’s sweet, sometimes silly and family-friendly, making it a fun entrée to live theater for kids. 

Get the Details

“Mrs. Doubtfire” plays through July 28 at the Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St. Recommended for ages 8 and up; no children under 5 admitted. Tickets, starting at $55, and more information at broadwaysf.com. A limited number of same-day $45 rush tickets are available through the TodayTix app.


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