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Review Roundup: TOOTSIE National Tour Kicks Off This Month; What Are The Critics Saying?

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The National Tour of Tootsie kicked off at Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY earlier this month, starring Drew Becker.

Review Roundup: TOOTSIE National Tour Kicks Off This Month; What Are The Critics Saying?

The National Tour of Tootsie kicked off at Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY earlier this month, starring Drew Becker.

This New York Times Critic's Pick tells the story of Michael Dorsey, an out-of-work actor willing to do anything for a job -- even if it means playing way against type. When he disguises himself as an outspoken actress named Dorothy Michaels, he defies all odds to become a Broadway sensation. But as audiences fall for Dorothy and Michael starts to fall for the woman of his dreams, he's learning that the hardest part of show business isn't getting to the top... it's keeping up the act.

Let's see what the critics are saying...


Shea's Performing Arts Center - Buffalo, NY

Michael Rabice, BroadwayWorld: Drew Becker is our Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels. Becker is a down to earth, affable guy who sings well enough and has a good handle on the comedy aspects to the role. But what he lacks is the star power required to make Michaels' transition to Dorothy believable and loveable. Once he slips on the dress and high heels, the audience needs to be mesmerized by her oddity and route for her success. Mr Becker, while endearing, lacks the charisma to make us believe that Dorothy is a force to be reckoned with- strong, empowered and a superstar among performers.

Anthony Chase, Buffalo News: Triple-threat Drew Becker is marvelous as Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels. He's the high-maintenance jerk you can't help loving and the woman anybody would love to be. He sings in two distinct voices, nicely navigating Dorothy's songs in a falsetto/tenor. He looks great in costumes by William Ivey Long. (OK, the script concedes that he looks like Faye Dunaway as a gym teacher, but it's just so right.) He's also got fabulous wigs, among the last to be designed by the great Paul Huntley. Becker also nails every laugh, including the ones embedded in his songs.

Ann Marie Cusella, Welcome 716: Drew Becker as Michael/Dorothy is not only totally believable as a middle-aged woman, but has great legs, too. His love interest, Julie, played by Ashley Alexandra has a lovely song, "There Was John", about love lost to follow one's dreams. She is the most down-to-earth character, and Ms. Alexandra allows her sweetness to shine. She is at the heart of the message that Tootsie ultimately leaves with us.

Peter Hall, Buffalo Rising: Based on the 1982 Dustin Hoffman movie, the musical brings a modern sensibility to the stage, but the basic idea is still that NYC actor Michael Dorsey (Drew Becker) is so opinionated, demanding, and generally difficult to work with that his career is over. Nobody wants him, not even his agent. Then, as his good (but kinda crazy) friend Sandy (Payton Riley) has a meltdown after she's been denied a plum role (the nurse in the fictional "JULIET'S CURSE") Michael sees an opportunity. If nobody will hire Michael Dorsey, perhaps they'll hire "Dorothy Michaels" and so with wigs, costumes, and makeup, he reinvents himself as a woman, gets that role, and becomes the darling of Broadway. But just how long can he juggle all those balls?

Durham Performing Arts Center - Durham, NC

Jeffrey Kare, BroadwayWorld: Drew Becker gives a terrific performance as Michael Dorsey. In the beginning, he is full of determination to find himself employed as an actor. Though as the plot unfolds, he is able to learn about the consequences of his scheme. Whenever Drew is on stage as Dorothy Michaels, he looks and sounds fabulous. Credit for the looks must go to costume designer (and North Carolina native) William Ivey Long, make-up designer Angelina Avallone, and (the recently deceased) hair and wig designer Paul Huntley.

Bibi Miller, Spectacular Magazine: As the show's lead, Becker had some mighty big heels to fill - an Oscar-nominated Hoffman on screen, a Tony-winning Santino Fontana on stage. The copper-topped, rosy-cheeked tenor is a relatively fresh face in show biz. As Dorothy, Becker moves and poses daintily - despite being "built like a tractor." Her neutral stance vaguely resembles a ballerina's fourth position. There was no drawn-out "feminization" sequence (à la Mrs. Doubtfire) for Dorothy. Instead, Miss Michaels simply glid onto the stage, the epitome of class.

Susie Potter, Triangle Arts and Entertainment: Unafraid to pick on and to pick apart its own medium and its consumptive nature, Tootsie says a lot, while still managing to be light, frothy, and fully enjoyable. Fun choreography from Denis Jones and a cute, cartoonish set by Christine Peters, all under the direction of Dave Solomon, come together with strong performances to take a fun show and make it something more.

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