NEW YORK — You watch Rob McClure, the singing and dancing dynamo driving the all-too-apparent gears of the new “Mrs. Doubtfire” musical, and your mind drifts again and again to poignant recollections of Robin Williams.

Williams’s protean genius supercharged the otherwise formulaic 1993 movie comedy on which the musical is based, about a divorced dad who masquerades as a female nanny so he can be with his kids. Williams was unique in Hollywood: a comedian with such a dazzling gift for uproarious impulses that virtually every bit felt touched by brilliance. McClure has become Broadway’s go-to guy for comic impersonation on an exalted level: He also played the title character in 2012 of the short-lived “Chaplin,” a musical built around memories of another classic film clown.

But McClure’s gifts — robustly on display in the musical that marks its official opening Dec. 5 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre — don’t include a radiant star element. It’s a wholly admirable, workmanlike performance: technically impressive if not charismatically embraceable. “Mrs. Doubtfire,” then, directed by Jerry Zaks — a pro with an innate sense of farcical mechanics — feels like an erratic musical-theater equivalent of a tribute band.

Audiences that want to indulge Broadway’s penchant for recycling hit movie scripts with an insert-song- here sensibility could do a lot worse than “Mrs. Doubtfire”; Broadway has repeatedly shown that it can — do worse, that is. (See “Pretty Woman,” “Ghost,” “Sister Act,” etc.) The pop score by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick evinces some cleverness, especially in a mock-flamenco number, “He Lied to Me,” performed in the Spanish restaurant where McClure executes nifty quick changes of Catherine Zuber’s smart costumes. (A special note of appreciation for Tommy Kurzman, who designed the prosthetics that smoothly transform McClure’s hapless Daniel into assertive Scottish nanny Euphegenia Doubtfire.)

Too often, though, the songs fall back on facile sentiment, or make unfortunate segues into extreme broadness, such as a garish drag number in Act 1 that introduces Daniel’s makeover, or the bizarre Act 2 dream sequence that posits a municipal social worker as the second coming of Aretha Franklin. Sweaty and hyper are the words that come to mind as you sit through the production numbers choreographed by Lorin Latarro; they include a seismically frenetic cooking video come to life in a suburban kitchen that threatens to shake the ice cubes right out of the Sub-Zero fridge.

McClure gracefully disappears into his prim Mrs. Doubtfire looks, featuring cardigans and pleated skirts — get-ups created by Daniel’s cosmetician brother Frank (Brad Oscar) and Frank’s husband Andre (J. Harrison Ghee). They and the actors portraying Daniel’s harried family — Jenn Gambatese as his ex-wife and Analise Scarpaci, Jake Ryan Flynn and Avery Sell — capably conform to the requirements of stock characters out of market-driven musical farce.

The production’s look is consistently polished: David Korins paints his sets in lavenders and other warm tones for the house and TV studio, where a past-its-prime kiddie show is presided over by a host (Peter Bartlett) as old as the hills of San Francisco, where the musical takes place.

Still, slick production values only get one so far. The pandemic shutdown appears to have done little to shake Broadway out of its fixation with top grossers on IMDb as grist for the live-performance box office; a gizmo-saturated musical version of “Back to the Future” is currently on the London stage, with some New York producers attached. The quick change that’s really needed now is to source material that doesn’t start in the key of ka-ching.

Mrs. Doubtfire, music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, book by John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick. Directed by Jerry Zaks. Choreography, Lorin Latarro; orchestrations and music supervision, Ethan Popp; sets, David Korins; costumes, Catherine Zuber; lighting, Philip S. Rosenberg; sound, Brian Ronan. With Peter Bartlett, Charity Angél Dawson and Mark Evans. About 2½ hours. $112-$264. At Stephen Sondheim Theatre, 124 W. 43rd St., New York. 212-239-6200.