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Review: TOOTSIE Closes the Season at Broadway Sacramento

See it before it's "Gone, Gone, Gone!"

Review: TOOTSIE Closes the Season at Broadway Sacramento

Broadway Sacramento is closing out their 2022 Broadway on Tour season with the first national tour of Tootsie. Based on the 1982 film of the same name, Tootsie features music and lyrics by David Yazbek (The Band's Visit, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and a Tony Award-winning book by Robert Horn. Rolling Stone called it "musical comedy heaven" and they're not wrong. Easily the funniest show of the season, Tootsie is full of one-liners, sarcastic wit, and self-deprecating humor.

Tootsie tells the improbable story of Michael Dorsey (Drew Becker), an actor so difficult to work with that he can no longer get parts. Desperate for work, he eventually lands upon the idea of auditioning for a part that his friend, Sandy (Payton Reilly), is coveting. The only problem? Sandy is a woman. What ensues is a hilarious tale of deceit, love, self-reflection, and a lesson in being careful what you wish for.

I'll admit that I am not always a fan of the movie to musical transition. I approached this show with a little trepidation, in particular wondering how a movie from 1982 would play out in a very different society today. By the time the third number started and Reilly shared her audition woes in "What's Gonna Happen," I realized that the reviews were spot on-this really is "the most uproarious new musical in years!" (The Hollywood Reporter) After that, the laughs kept coming, with Michael's roommate, Jeff (Jared David Michael Grant), providing a good portion of them; notably, in "Jeff Sums It Up," where Jeff repeatedly tells Michael, "You fucked it up! You really fucked it up," interspersed with a comic gold running commentary of dance moves. For not only does Michael's alter ego, Dorothy, fall in love with her (his) costar, Julie (Ashley Alexandra), she (he) is the recipient of unintended desire from a young actor, Max Van Horn (a side-splitting Lukas James Miller), who tells her, "You're so old, I'm so young and my abs are like slabs of fine granite. My bod is like gold, and I'm hung and you're old, oh I said that, but damn it..."

The story progresses as you'd expect, with the truth always prevailing in the end. The journey there is an enjoyable one, with Becker seamlessly segueing from acting as a male to singing as Dorothy such that, if you closed your eyes, you would think he was a born female. Alexandra showcases the best voice of the bunch, bringing to mind a young Gloria Gaynor...but better. Becker also handles with grace what could be a sensitive topic, for gender pay gaps and role competition are both mentioned. He approaches taking over a woman's role with a believable depth of understanding and a gentle respect for the complexities that make up a woman. He finishes his apology well and with sincere appreciation, "Being a woman is no job for a man."

See Tootsie before it is "Gone, Gone, Gone" on May 22! Tickets can be found at BroadwaySacramento.com, by calling (916) 557-1999, or by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.

Photo credit: Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade



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