“Tootsie” the Movie Finds New Life as a Broadway Musical

Written by | Entertainment

Santino Fontana in Tootsie

Santino Fontana in Tootsie, Photo by Robert Trachtenberg

In 1982, Dustin Hoffman took on the film role of a struggling actor named Michael. Early on he’s seen frustrated at an audition.

“What are you looking for?” is what Michael wants to know. A faceless director out in the auditorium isn’t offering much help. “You want younger, I can play younger. You want older, I can play older. You want shorter, taller?

Finally, the voice in the shadows says, “We’re looking for someone… else.”

Out of frustration, this actor (who has a reputation for being difficult) decides to create an entirely new identity. By putting on a dress, Michael lands a terrific job — but it leaves him stuck living a double life.

Enter Tootsie

Michael’s story comes to the Great White Way in two weeks. It’s a new musical comedy with a score by Broadway veteran David Yazbek of The Band’s Visit and The Full Monty fame. This time, instead of a attempting to land a job on a TV soap opera, Michael is angling for a part on Broadway. Taking on the Dustin Hoffman dual roles of Michael and Dorothy will be TV’s Santino Fontana.

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Fontana was a fan-favorite love interest in early seasons of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and reviews of the show’s out-of-town tryouts indicate that his vocal prowess and comic timing are put to even more impressive use in Tootsie.

Doubtless a plot makeover will play a part in this ground-floor reimagining. Since it’s been refashioned from a film about making TV to a stage show about making theater, expect a few surprises. Remember Broadway’s long-standing affection for shows about making shows (see: The Producers, Noises Off, 42nd Street, etc.) Tootsie previews begin March 29, and opening night is slated for April 23. tootsiemusical.com

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Last modified: March 14, 2019

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