Like so many popular TV and films of the '90s, Mrs. Doubtfire is getting a modern remake - but instead of a streaming series or movie, the new Mrs. Doubtfire will be a Broadway musical stage production. The role of Mrs. Doubtfire (a father cross-dressing as a nanny in order to see his estranged kids) was made iconic by the late Robin Willaims; stepping into the role for the stage version will be actor Rob McClure (The Good Fight), and EW has the exclusive first look at Rob McClure as Mrs. Doubtfire. Obviously, nothing could ever replace Williams, but McClure is giving it his best shot:
As you can see, this version of Mrs. Doubtfire is very much in the spirit of the character that Robin Williams created for the screen - but if you can't tell from the composition of the photo and McClure's pose, this Mrs. Doubtfire is going to be much more dynamic than Williams version ever was.
That's not a dig at Robin Williams at all, just simply an observation of the facts: in 1993, performance body prosthetics weren't as advanced as they are now, and with the Mrs. Doubtfire movie, directors Chris Columbus and Chuck Jones had the benefit of yelling "cut" when needed. Tony Award-winning director Jerry Zaks and Rob McClure have to make Mrs. Doubtfire come to life every performance, and McClure needs to stay in that suit for long stretches between the male/female character changes. Definitely going to be a challenge.
When speaking to EW, McClure revealed just how much of a challenge it is, bringing this version of Mrs. Doubtfire to life:
"Euphegenia Doubtfire takes a village. I've got an entire Indianapolis 500 pit crew back there. My dressers and make-up team are superheroes. One of the most thrilling differences between the movie and the Broadway show is that we are doing this in real time. When Daniel Hillard runs into the other room and emerges as everyone's favorite Scottish nanny 18 seconds later, our director can't yell cut and send me to a trailer for five hours. We've got 18 seconds. I can feel the audience sweating with me! 'IS HE GONNA MAKE IT?!?' The stakes are so high! It makes for electrifying theatre."
Based on the 1987 novel Madame Doubtfire, the story follows an out-of-work actor named Daniel Hillard (played by Robin Williams) who loses custody of his kids in a bad divorce. When his wife needs to hire a nanny to shoulder the extra burden, Daniel uses his acting and makeup skills to impersonate a Scottish nanny named Euphegenia Doubtfire, and wins the job. Of course, helping his kids while still fooling his wife proves to be more than Daniel can keep up for long.
Mrs. Doubtfire opens in preview today; it will open in full on April 5th. The cast includes cast includes "Jenn Gambatese as Miranda Hillard, Peter Bartlett as Mr. Jolly, Charity Angél Dawson as Wanda Sellner, Mark Evans as Stuart Dunmire, J. Harrison Ghee as Andre Mayem, Analise Scarpaci as Lydia Hillard, Jake Ryan Flynn as Christopher Hillard, Avery Sell as Natalie Hillard, and Brad Oscar as Frank Hillard." Music book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell, with lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick.