[Editor’s note: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Broadway went dark on March 12, just three days after Mrs. Doubtfire began previews on March 9. The musical was scheduled to open on April 5. Broadway’s official reopen date remains unknown, though all shows have been cancelled through at least June 7.]
It takes New Milford–bred actor Rob McClure just 18 seconds to disguise himself as Euphegenia Doubtfire, a lovable, elderly caregiver with a Scottish accent. Unlike most costume changes, McClure’s 31 quick transformations happen onstage during the new Broadway musical, Mrs. Doubtfire.
“The audience is sweating with me,” says McClure.
Based on the 1993 movie starring Robin Williams, the stage adaptation follows the same plot: Unbeknownst to his ex-wife, Miranda, McClure’s character, Daniel Hillard, masquerades as a nanny to spend more time with his three young children.
[RELATED: A Conversation with Tony Winner Ali Stroker]
The show opens April 5 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in New York City. (Previews started March 9.) An earlier tryout in Seattle was extended due to popular demand.
McClure was 11 when the film was released, but he remembers it well. “[Williams] was one of the funniest, most spontaneous comedians,” says McClure, now 37, “but he also could really tap into an emotional core that I’m hoping I can honor with this performance.”
Being a father himself helps McClure connect with his character. McClure lives in Philadelphia with his wife, actress Maggie Lakis, and their 16-month-old daughter, Sadie. The couple met while performing in a production of Grease at the Lenape Regional Performing Arts Center in Marlton.
In 2000, while a senior at New Milford High School, McClure was the co-winner of the Paper Mill Playhouse’s Rising Star Award for his performance as Charley in Where’s Charley? He has since appeared on Broadway in Avenue Q, Honeymoon in Vegas, Something Rotten!, Noises Off and Beetlejuice. McClure is best known for his 2012 Tony-nominated performance in the musical Chaplin. While portraying silent-film star Charlie Chaplin, McClure learned that, “underneath the comedy is always an everyman struggling to get what he needs.”
In Mrs. Doubtfire, that struggle is “redefining what it means to be family,” says McClure. “People waited at the stage door in Seattle with tears in their eyes to tell me how important this story is to them.”