Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes
There’s no better feeling than laughing out loud in a theater and “Tootsie” doesn’t miss a beat in amusing the crowd all night long.
The brand new comedy musical delivers its humor with a clever and upbeat tone. Warning: the jokes aren’t exactly PG-13, but call the babysitter instead and catch the show before it becomes the next Broadway hit.
“Tootsie” tells the story of a struggling actor, Michael Dorsey (Santino Fontana), who decides to disguise himself as a woman in order to get a job. But, instead of auditioning for a soap opera like in the original 1982 comedy film, Michael creates the next big Broadway star in modern day New York.
When Fontana appears as Dorothy Michaels on stage, he has to look, talk and now sing like a woman too. And Dorothy can sing. It doesn’t come as much as a surprise that Fontana can sing in such a range with his stellar musical theater background and, parents, you’ll recognize him the most as Hans in “Frozen.” With the lead role, Fontana also entertains the audience with his impeccable comedy timing as he switches back and forth from Dorothy to Michael.
Humor is key in “Tootsie” in order to follow the wacky world known as show business. There are a lot of characters mixed into the show from Michael’s sarcastic roommate Jeff (Andy Grotelueschen) to his sleazy director Ron (Reg Rogers) and his anxious actress friend Sandy (Sarah Stiles). A few characters even get a modern touch with his love interest and ambitious actress, Julie (Lilli Cooper), and young reality TV star Max (John Behlmann) both falling for Dorothy.
While it is a pre-Broadway tryout, “Tootsie” could use a few changes to make it memorable (and unstoppable). The music, for instance, is good, but not catchy enough to hum to while exiting the theater. Plus, Dorothy’s big reveal as Michael felt more rushed, as if the show was running out of time. I’m sure there will be changes to fix this when the musical makes it debut on Broadway in Spring 2019.
If you’re looking for a good laugh, then “Tootsie” is worth watching. Looking for cheap tickets? Enter their digital lottery for your chance to win a pair of tickets for $50.
If you go
Through Oct. 14
Tickets start at $35
Recommended for ages 14 and up
Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St., Chicago