Santino Fontana plays the irascible struggling actor, Michael Dorsey. Dorsey can’t resist telling directors and script writers how to do their jobs. This arrogant behavior causes Dorsey’s acting career to self-destruct. In desperation, Dorsey transforms himself into “Dorothy Michaels” and gets a role in a Broadway play, Juliet’s Nurse. Dorothy becomes the friend and confidant of Julie Nichols, the actress currently starring as Juliet in Juliet’s Nurse. But even as Dorothy, Michael Dorsey’s volatility and meddling tendencies cause problems in his love life and his role in Juliet’s Nurse.

This reboot of the 1982 comic movie adds some clever music and silly situations. I saw Tootsie: The Musical at the Marquis Theatre at the Mariott Marquis Hotel where I was staying. The musical was sold out and the audience loved all the wacky scenes on the stage. I’m sure there will be a touring company performing Tootsie: The Musical in a year or so.

As far as I’m concerned, Santino Fontana carries this play with his talent as both difficult Michael Dorsey and demur “Dorothy Michaels.” I also enjoyed Jeff Slater as Michael’s roommate, Jeff, an unsuccessful playwright with a snarky sense of humor. If you’re in the mood for a fun musical, I recommend Tootsie: The Musical. Are you a fan of the original Tootsie? GRADE: A-
Musical numbers:
Act I
Overture – Orchestra
“Opening Number” – Ensemble, Michael
“Whaddya Do” – Michael
“What’s Gonna Happen” – Sandy
“Whaddya Do” (Reprise) – Michael
“I Won’t Let You Down” – Dorothy
“I’m Alive” – Julie, Ron, Max, Dorothy, Ensemble
“There Was John” – Julie, Dorothy
“I Like What She’s Doing” – Rita, Julie, Stuart, Suzie, Ron, Max, Dorothy, Ensemble
“Who Are You?” – Michael, Julie
“What’s Gonna Happen” (Reprise) – Sandy
“Unstoppable” – Michael/Dorothy
Act II
Entr’acte – Orchestra
“Jeff Sums It Up” – Jeff, Michael
“Gone, Gone, Gone” – Julie, Female Trio
“Who Are You?” (Reprise) – Julie
“This Thing” – Max
“Whaddya Do” (Reprise) – Jeff, Michael
“The Most Important Night of My Life” – Max, Suzie, Stuart, Rita, Ron, Ensemble
“Talk to Me Dorothy” – Michael
“Arrivederci!” – Dorothy, Julie, Max, Ensemble
“What’s Gonna Happen” (Reprise) – Sandy
“Thank You” (“Talk to Me Dorothy” Reprise) – Michael

18 thoughts on “TOOTSIE: THE MUSICAL

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    I like the original Tootsie but don’t love it. Saw it again recently and felt it a bit overrated. The musical I will not be seeing.

    1. george Post author

      Dan, the cast of TOOTSIE: THE MUSICAL brought a lot of energy to the performance. I’m guessing this musical will be touring in a year or two.

  2. Deb

    I liked Tootsie back in the day, but I’m pretty sure if I watched it now I’d undoubtedly see it as the gendered equivalent of a “white savior” movie—a “male savior” movie, if you will, whereby a straight man, by the magic of slapping on a bit of makeup and wiggling into a dress, suddenly completely understands the female experience and is gonna show us gals how it’s done.

    /I may be overthinking it, but I won’t be seeing the musical. Sometimes we have to let time capsules remain unopened.

  3. Patti Abbott

    And I have to admit in re: to the original, I am less and less fond of Hoffman nowadays. This guy was on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend where I really like him as a character. But he won’t be in the road show.

    1. george Post author

      Patti, you’re right. Santino Fontana makes TOOTSIE: THE MUSICAL go. Whoever the producers choose to replace him for the touring company needs to be very talented!

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        The main – only? – reason to see the show (IMHO) is Fontana, who won the Best Actor Tony for his performance. I sort of liked the original (loved Bill Murray as the roommate), but wouldn’t think of watching it again. Even then I saw icky elements. This one is regularly available to TDF subscribers at a much reduced price, but I don’t really have an interest in revisiting it.

      2. george Post author

        Jeff, after sitting in cramped seats in many Broadway theaters, the spaciousness of the Marriott Marque theater delighted me. Maybe Jackie has some Marriott points that would get you in to TOOTSIE for free!

  4. Rick Robinson

    I stayed well clear of the original film (as I did Some Like It Hot) and female impersonation leaves me cold and uncomfortable. Thus this would not be on my list of things to see.

  5. wolf

    Rather OT:
    Isn’t the Marriott Marquis the one hotel near Times Square with the gigantic multi storey atrium and glass elevators?
    I was with my colleagues there around 35 years ago on one of my first business trips to the USA – overwhelming! 🙂

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, you’re right. The Marriott Marquis is right in Times Square near all the Broadway plays. Ideal location if you don’t want to do a lot of walking!

    2. Jeff Meyerson

      Wolf, the hotel opened in September of 1985, so 34 years ago.

      We have seen shows at the Marquis Theatre – the last was the awful ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE. Jackie agreed with the NY Times critic that it should have been ESCAPE FROM MARGARITAVILLE.

      I agree this and a few other relatively new theaters are so much better as to legroom than the old ones. We always try to get aisle seats in those because otherwise I am just too cramped.


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