Mrs. Doubtfire Delights Audiences at the Straz

Disclaimer: HELLO POPPETS! I received two tickets to Mrs. Doubtfire at the Straz Center for the purpose of this review. All the opinions are my own.

On Tuesday evening, I attended the opening performance of Mrs. Doubtfire at the Straz Center. If you are a Mrs. Doubtfire fan, then you will LOVE this musical adaptation of the film. 

Everyone’s favorite Scottish Granny Nanny delivers funny one-liners and endearing moments you hope to see for an iconic timeless character. In the stage adaptation, there’s a slight change in the plot, but it works perfectly. 

Mrs. Doubtfire
(L to R) Giselle Gutierrez (Lydia Hillard), Cody Braverman (Christopher Hillard), Emerson Mae Chan (Natalie Hillard), Maggie Lakis (Miranda Hillard) and Rob McClure (Mrs. Doubtfire) – Photo credit: Joan Marcus

Similarly to the 1993 film, Daniel (Rob McClure) and Miranda Hillard (Maggie Makis) get divorced. The judge awards Miranda full custody, however, Daniel is determined to do whatever it takes to spend more time with his children: Lydia (Giselle Gutierrez), Christopher (Cody Braverman) and Natalie (Ermerson Mae Chan). With the help of his brother, Frank (Aaron Kaburick) and brother-in-law, Andre (Nik Alexander), he dreams up “Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire”, a Scottish nanny, who Miranda hires to look after the children. 

Spoilers! The musical plot strays from the original film when Lydia and Christopher uncover the truth about Mrs. Doubtfire and the older children collaborate with their dad to help keep the charade alive. What could possibly go wrong? As the lies and deception mount, the unraveling of Mrs. Doubtfire becomes inevitable. 

Mrs. Doubtfire cast
(L to R) Giselle Gutierrez (Lydia Hillard), Maggie Lakis (Miranda Hillard), Cody Braverman (Christopher Hillard) and Emerson Mae Chan (Natalie Hillard) Photo credit: Joan Marcus

As a young college kid in 1993 watching the film, Mrs. Doubtfire, I found Miranda Hillard (played Sally Fields) cruel, harsh and uptight. Now as a mom of three, I empathize with Miranda and how easy it is to lose yourself in a career and motherhood. 

It’s far too easy to be depicted as a villain when mothers are simply trying to keep it all together. Everything seems to come before our own happiness. When Miranda explains her heart in “Let Go”, it changes audience’s (or perhaps my own) misconception of Miranda and shifts the narrative from selfish to self-care.

Mrs. Doubfire - Rob McClure
Rob McClure (Euphegenia Doubtfire) Photo credit: Joan Marcus

Perhaps you are wondering, “How can anyone other than Robin Williams play Mrs. Doubtfire?” Rather than thinking of it as filling some very large old lady shoes, think of this as a different Mrs. Doubtfire designed to delight audiences in a whole new way.

Tony-nominated Rob McClure (Daniel Hillard/Euphegenia Doubtfire), who played Mrs. Doubtfire on Broadway, reprises his role for the national tour, a rarity and such a thrill for theater lovers. Since Daniel Hillard is a voice actor known for his wide-range of voices, McClure throws a little Broadway bone for the theater geeks with a Beetlejuice “It’s showtime!”, a role McClure also played on Broadway.

Throughout the performance, McClure masterfully transitions from Doubtfire to Daniel almost as magically as Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Watching the transformations unfold in each scene leaves the audience in a mouth-gaping, wide-eyed astonishment.

In the lobby before the show, I briefly met the parents of Giselle Gutierrez (Lydia Hillard, Daniel’s oldest daughter). After reading the Center Bill, I learned Gutierrez is a singer/songwriter from Plant City and attends UCF with Mrs. Doubtfire being her professional debut. I wish I saw them again after the show to tell them how fantastic their daughter was, especially in her duet with Rob McClure, “Just Pretend”. Her vocals were absolutely pitch-perfect!

The eclectic mix of music offers a genre for everyone. The musical numbers will have you clapping along and even tearing up a few times. The choreography and dynamic lights for each musical number will captivate musical theater fans, each one bigger than the next.

Rob McClure - Mrs Doubtfire
Rob McClure (Euphegenia Doubtfire) Photo credit: Joan Marcus

“Make Me a Woman” conceptualizes Mrs. Doubtfire through disco and the absurdity will have you rolling with laughter. “Easy Peasy” cooked up a delicious tap-dancing number.

In that charming way that only Mrs. Doubtfire can, this musical adaptation produces loads of love and laughter for the whole family. Mrs. Doubtfire beautifully reflects the pain and anguish of divorce while redefining love and happiness discovered in life after divorce.

Mrs. Doubtfire also reminds us that families come in all shapes and sizes with all its flaws and imperfections. While families may look very different, love is at the heart of it all.

Mrs. Doubtfire National Tour Cast
First national touring company of Mrs. Doubtfire – Photo credit: Joan Marcus

Do not miss this incredibly talented cast! 

Mrs. Doubtfire is now playing at the Straz Center until April 7.

Visit for showtimes and tickets.