One of the great joys for all of us at Broadway Inbound is getting to see shows before they come to Broadway. Recently, a few of us were lucky enough to catch the new musical Tootsie in its pre-Broadway run in Chicago, and we were blown away!
As we entered the Cadillac Palace Theatre, we weren’t sure what to expect. Some of us were familiar with the hit 1982 movie starring Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, and more; some of us had never seen the movie. Little did we know that a couple hours later we’d all be raving about this soon-to-be-a-hit musical.
Taking the movie from 1982 and making it into a 2018 musical couldn’t have been an easy task for book writer Robert Horn or composer/lyricist David Yazbeck (The Band’s Visit). We won’t give too much away, but they cleverly updated the story so that it makes sense on a Broadway stage and elevated the material so that it seems fresh and original.
Mr. Horn’s book (his first for a major musical) is equal parts hilarious and heartwarming. Mr. Yazbeck, fresh off the Tony®-winning success of his current Broadway hit The Band’s Visit, once again proves his mastery of musical storytelling with a score that is energetic, impactful, and incredibly fun.
When material is this smart, this funny, and this entertaining, the cast can sometimes coast along and still get accolades. Thankfully, director Scott Ellis has anchored his production around the explosively awesome, supernova talent of leading man (and lady) Santino Fontana. His comic timing and impressive vocal chops electrify the theatre—whether he’s sporting the scrubby clothes of the 40-year-old struggling actor Michael or donning William Ivey Long’s colorful wardrobe as the sweet and sassy Dorothy Michaels.
Bolstered by genius performances from Lilli Cooper, Andy Grotelueschen, Sarah Stiles, Michael McGrath, and John Behlmann, Tootsie keeps the laughs coming while also examining important contemporary issues with a daring honesty and sharp wit. The result is a show with purpose, heart, and more than enough laughs that has audiences jumping to their feet in applause. Simply put, Tootsie is an absolute must see!
So get your tickets for Tootsie now and don’t miss the show—and the performances—that are about to take New York by storm!