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A Broadway-bound ‘Tootsie’ musical will premiere in Chicago this fall

Written by
Kris Vire

Tootsie, the 1982 movie that starred Dustin Hoffman as an actor who cross-dresses to get cast in a female soap-opera role, is getting the Broadway musical treatment—and Chicago will be the first to see it.

The new musical will have a tryout run at Broadway in Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre this fall, ahead of a planned New York opening in Spring 2019. Santino Fontana, known for his Broadway roles in Brighton Beach Memoirs and Cinderella as well as TV’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Disney’s Frozen, will play the Hoffman role(s) of Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels.

Santino Fontana
Photograph: courtesy Broadway in Chicago

The score will be by composer David Yazbek, currently represented on Broadway with the hugely acclaimed The Band’s Visit; Robert Horn is adapting Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal’s Oscar-nominated screenplay. Eight-time Tony Award nominee Scott Ellis will direct.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the (all-male) creative team handles the story’s tricky gender dynamics in a (hopefully) more sensitive environment—though the movie’s Criterion Collection release a few years ago found a new generation of critics praising its handling of the subject even decades later. Additional casting for the roles originally played by the killer likes of Jessica Lange (who won an Oscar), Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman and Bill Murray remains to be announced. Tootsie plays the Cadillac Palace September 11 to October 14.

UPDATE (August 9, 2018): After its Chicago run, the production will move to Broadway's Marquis Theatre, with previews starting March 29, 2019, and an official opening night on April 23, 2019. Joining Fontana in the principal cast will be Lilli Cooper, Sarah Stiles, John Behlmann, Andy Grotelueschen, Julie Halston, Michael McGrath and Reg Rogers.

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