NYC — What exactly is that unaccustomed sound erupting all around myself in the dark within the Marquis Theater? Could it be… fun?
Exactly why, yes, those people are honest-to-God squeals plus squalls associated with delight I am hearing, an additional new display has the official starting on Broadway and, lo and see, actually life up to the title of its style: musical humor.
This embraceably funny mixture goes by the particular title associated with “Tootsie, ” which furthermore was the name of its permanently endearing 1982 film resource, starring Dustin Hoffman as being a temperamental actor or actress so eager for a part this individual disguises themselves as a lady to get this. The layer of Erina Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels has been passed on on this occasion towards the sublime Santino Fontana, who seem to not only reaches strut their farcical things, but also performs, amazingly well, within two subscribes.
With a really witty guide by Robert Horn plus an appealing score simply by David Yazbek, a Tony a2z recipient this past year for “The Band’s Go to, ” “Tootsie” is the tuneful winner this particular Broadway period has been eager for. It’s the good-natured, traditionally assured guide musical from the golden-age range, expertly aimed by Scott Ellis, using a clown car’s worth associated with comic stars, filled simply by Reg Rogers, Andy Grotelueschen, Julie Halston, Michael McGrath, Sarah Stiles and Steve Behlmann. Mixed, these are the constituents for an old-style Broadway strike. The question is, may “Tootsie” persuade ticket purchasers that it isn’t really the latest repast from a exhausted recipe?
A sort of movie-to-musical exhaustion has completed over Broadway, occasioned with the creation of just one too many substandard versions associated with celebrated movie comedies. “Pretty Woman, ” “Groundhog Day” and “School of Rock” are just some among the slew associated with prominent attributes that have been reused as lower stage incarnations of their motion picture selves. This remains to be seen immediately whether “Beetlejuice, ” which usually had this kind of inauspicious inauguration last along with Washington, offers fashioned by itself into greater than mere catnip for unsuspicious tourists.
“Tootsie” is already inside a loftier type, and if “Beetlejuice” has not righted itself, after that I’d title this display as the odds-on favorite for your Tony; this year, only “The Prom” offers displayed just as much joy plus vigor. (Of “Hadestown, ” “Be A lot more Chill, ” “Head More than Heels” plus oy — “King Kong” — I had been not a enthusiast. )
Guide writer Car horn has to be anointed the leading man of this cinema-to-stage translation; their script rewrites the story (and the particular jokes) to some degree that will stamps the particular Broadway “Tootsie” as meritorious on its own conditions. Although the “reveal” at the end of the particular show is just not quite the particular coup that will screenwriters Lewis Gelbart plus Don McGuire came up with within Sydney Pollack’s movie, the particular musical consist of regards discovers smart options to the authentic plot.
Right now, it’s not the soap safari, but the Broadway music, that Dorothy infiltrates. Plus although many from the characters is going to be recognizable towards the film’s supporters, a few have got undergone significant makeovers: Your aging actor-roué pictured in the film by George Gaynes is currently a dimwitted young actor-stud, amusingly put by Behlmann. And Jules (Lilli Cooper), the object associated with Michael’s devotion, no longer includes a father (portrayed in the movie by the past due great Charles Durning) who have falls for use with Dorothy.
Yazbek’s score for the Israel-set “The Band’s Visit” was so redolent of the center East that the music for “Tootsie” was bound to feel lacking in some comparably intense flavor. On first listen, you hear some of the musical motifs that animate this multifaceted composer-lyricist, and in certain vital ways, he has found rhythms to complement the characters’ personalities and neuroses. That is most apparent in the recurring “What’s Gonna Happen” for Stiles’s Sandy (Teri Garr in the movie), a list song that spills out of her as though her calorie burning were fueled by natural amphetamines.
Cooper, following in the footsteps of Jessica Lange, gets the assignment of appearing both vulnerable and self-reliant; that is 2019, in the end. And in a concession to modern-day sensibilities, Grotelueschen’s Jeff, Michael’s roommate (played by Bill Murray in the movie), now takes note of the political incorrectness of “Dorothy” stealing a job from the woman. Grotelueschen makes for a winningly cynical Jeff, and there are other perfectly constructed comic turns from McGrath as Michael’s exasperated agent; Halston while the musical-within-a-musical’s brassy producer; and Rogers, playing the tale’s reptilian director as an even more self-dramatizing version of the type Dabney Coleman inhabited on-screen.
The production’s best design element is Dorothy herself. Fontana happens to look great in the dresses William Ivey Long has dreamed up for him. The actor segues from masculine to feminine and again with an effortlessness Hoffman had not been built for, so the jokes in the movie relating to this obvious deficiency are not as necessary onstage. The nice thing about “Tootsie” is that despite all the spoofing, there’s an acknowledgment here of a few of the actual indignities women endure, and an affection for the civilizing spirit a lady can confer on the entire world.
Tootsie, music and lyrics by David Yazbek, book by Robert Horn. Directed by Scott Ellis. Choreography, Denis Jones; music direction, Andrea Grody; sets, David Rockwell; lighting, Donald Holder; sound, Brian Ronan; wigs, Paul Huntley; makeup, Angelina Avallone. About 2½ hours. $79-$339. At Marquis Theatre, 210 W. 46th St., Ny. ticketmaster. com.
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