Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade
From the first opening number, I knew Tootsie was going to have me laughing out loud the entire show. And that expectation proved to be true as there were very few moments when the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center wasn’t filled with laughter.
Based on the 1982 Dustin Hoffman movie of the same name, Tootsie follows struggling actor Michael Dorsey who is described as a difficult actor and can never seem to find or keep a role. To follow his dream of being a successful actor, Michael does something risky and even a little crazy: he auditions and lands a role by pretending to be a woman named Dorothy. As you can imagine, living a double life gets very complicated very fast.
This musical had a mass amount of talent when it came to singing. Drew Becker (Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels) has mastered singing in a lower pitch in song such as “Whaddya Do” when he was Michael and did an amazing job singing in a higher pitch with songs like “I Won’t Let You Down” when portraying Dorothy. It is even more mind-blowing when he must switch between Dorothy and Michael in the song “Unstoppable” which was an overall astonishing number. Payton Reilly (Sandy Lester) had a recurring song, “What’s Gonna Happen,” which was sung beautifully at a speed I didn’t even know was it possible to sing at. I would be a fool not to mention Ashley Alexandra (Julie Nichols) and her absolute powerhouse of a voice. She could switch from lovely and angelic to sultry and soulful in seconds flat.
The sets were very well designed making it seamless to flow from one scene to the next. While they weren’t too over the top, there were numerous musical numbers that had some jaw-dropping designs.
Overall, you can tell the entire cast and crew worked hard to make this a hysterical and touching musical one you won’t soon forget. But you got to move quick before they say, “Arrivederci!” Performances of Tootsie is running through May 22 at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center. Click here to learn more.