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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

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Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
Opinion | Do not weigh Reddit law school forums too heavily this upcoming application cycle
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 18, 2024

‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ musical whisks audiences away on a comedic journey at the Benedum Center

First+National+Touring+Company+of+Mrs.+Doubtfire.
Photo by Joan Marcus
First National Touring Company of Mrs. Doubtfire.

In downtown Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center, anticipation crackled in the air as a sold-out theater brimmed with eager patrons ready for a three-hour escapade of laughter and seat-swinging delight.

From Nov. 28 through Dec. 3, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust presented the musical adaptation of the 1993 comedy film “Mrs. Doubtfire” comedy film. “Mrs. Doubtfire: The Musical” follows the story of Daniel Hillard, a struggling actor who, after a divorce, disguises himself as a Scottish nanny to spend time with his children, who are under the custody of his ex-wife. The show includes over 20 musical numbers and uproarious dance routines which craft a live performance that’s a rollercoaster of emotions and laughter.

Romelda Teron-Benjamin, the actress portraying Wanda Sellner in the musical, said she encountered many emotional moments leading up to her performance in Pittsburgh. Teron-Benjamin is originally from Pittsburgh, and she said performing on the Benedum Center’s stage is unlike any other performances since she left home. 

“I was born and raised here in Pittsburgh and moved to New York, which is where I have been until now,” Teron-Benjamin said. “I got really emotional because I hadn’t performed in Pittsburgh since I was 20. When we got here and I got on stage, a cast member told me that I was beaming because of the look on my face and the emotional moment of coming home.” 

Teron-Benjamin said her journey as an actress has been a constant struggle and booking the role as Wanda is a stepping stone. Teron-Benjamin said since “Mrs. Doubtfire” is a comedy, she expected to play a comedic role, but she was taken aback upon discovering that she’s among the few actors embodying serious characters in the musical.

“It had been a rough time for me in theater in general, because it’s audition after audition and you get a lot of noes before you get a yes. One day my manager called me in the morning and told me that I booked ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ and I was silent and in shock,” Teron-Benjamin said. “My career has always been me being a comedic relief — with this show, Wanda is the straight and serious character, which taught me an entirely different form of comedy.” 

Jeovanni Sanchez, a junior nursing major at Duquesne University who saw the show, said he remembers watching the movie and was thrilled to hear it return as a musical. 

“I remember when I was like eight watching ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ and begging my parents for a nanny,” Sanchez said. “When I saw that they made a musical out of the movie, I had to get tickets. I thought it would be a bit childish, which it kinda was, but it was hilarious, so who cares?” 

Sanchez said his favorite part of the show was watching the character of Daniel become Mrs. Doubtfire, despite expecting it to be a behind-the-scenes change. Sanchez said he found it hilarious how an old Scottish nanny was dancing and singing, and it elevated the musical when compared to the movie. 

“I didn’t expect the actor playing Mrs. Doubtfire to actually change on stage — it was hilarious seeing the granny suit he wore under the dress and how quickly he had to change, because the movie scenes didn’t show that,” Sanchez said. “The funniest part of the entire show was when Mrs. Doubtfire worked out with the really buff and tall guy. I never thought I’d see a Scottish granny busting moves how Daniel did.”

Marc Fleming, chief marketing officer and vice president of Broadway programming for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, said it takes a lot of work to bring Broadway shows like “Mrs. Doubtfire” to Pittsburgh. Fleming said the Trust works behind the scenes with touring shows to bring different shows to town. 

“There is a lot that goes into programming what comes to the ‘Burgh. I used to say that it was like a jigsaw puzzle, but it is more like a game of Tetris,“ Fleming said. “There are a limited number of touring Broadway shows crisscrossing the country. Fitting them in while allowing our Pittsburgh arts organizations access to great dates is a sort of behind-the-scenes choreography.”

Teron-Benjamin said despite some sad moments in the musical, the majority of the show is full of joy. Teron-Benjamin said she believes college students should watch the musical so laughter can uplift their spirits. 

“Mrs. Doubtfire brings so much joy — you’ll have moments of remembrance, you’ll have moments of sadness, and then you come back to joy,” Teron-Benjamin said. “I think college students should come to the show if they want to leave with something. In this day and age we all can use all the joy we can get. You’ll leave feeling better than when you came in.”

About the Contributor
Nada Abdulaziz, Senior Staff Writer
Nada Abdulaziz is a senior majoring in Philosophy and Biological Sciences. She loves spending her free time reading, hiking, and watching Studio Ghibli films.