Just thinking about the title “Tootsie” brings a sense of nostalgia and plenty of smiles to those who fell in love with Dustin Hoffman’s “Dorothy,” the feisty female character who shook things up in her TV series in the 1982 movie “Tootsie.”
In that satirical romantic comedy, Hoffman’s primary character is non-working actor Michael, who disguises himself as a bespectacled, middle-aged Dorothy to get a role on the soap opera “Southwest General”. He fools everyone, at least for a while, and Dorothy becomes a huge star as she deals with sexism in the TV industry.
Today, the story of “Tootsie” has been updated for the musical, which will premiere its tour at EJ Thomas Hall November 29-30 as part of the Broadway in Akron series.
Now, instead of parodying the TV series as bad as the movie, the musical groups are “Tootsie” characters in a very bad Broadway musical called “The Curse of Juliet,” a sequel to “Romeo and Juliet.”
“It’s a deceptively simple continuation of what happened after ‘Romeo and Juliet,'” said Wright State University student Ariana Scragg, who made her first national tour as a member of Tootsie, of the musical Within Music. “It’s really silly and fun.”
The 20-year-old actress said that she has seen the original hit movie “Tootsie” and the plot line of the musical is very similar to that of the movie.
Holiday Offers:See traditional holiday favorites, and more with festive performances in the Akron area
“I enjoy watching the changes that have been made to make it more modern and to be able to incorporate beautiful music and a completely funny book into the music now,” she said by phone on November 11 from a tour stop in Syracuse, New York. .
You won’t hear the Top 40 hit of “It Might Be You” in this 2018 musical, which debuted on Broadway in 2019. But you will hear a brand-new score with lyrics by Tony Award-winning composer David Yazbeck, who also wrote “The Band Visit ‘, ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’, and ‘The Complete Monty’.
Schrag said Yazbek’s music in “Tootsie” is great in this musical comedy. As The New York Times commented, “Mr. Yazbek is one of the few songwriters and composers working today who can put jokes to music and make them pay.”
Original choreographer Dennis Jones had some fun choreographing Laughs Bad—incorporating everything from a fidget spinner to a lap dance in droves—to the absurd music of the musical “Tootsie,” Schrag said.
Now, instead of Dorothy turning a TV show on its head, the character, portrayed by Drew Baker, has set out to fix the silly musical storyline, in which Juliet lives and falls in love with Romeo’s brother – Craig.
Instead of playing a hospital administrator, as Dorothy did in the film’s TV series, she played Juliet’s nurse. Instead of dealing with a lecherous actor playing a doctor, Dorothy has to deal with a clumsy reality star playing Craig.
In both film and musical, Michael, best known with directors for his work efforts, auditions for the Broadway musical as Dorothy out of desperation that no one would hire him. Playing the nurse ends up being the role of a lifetime for Michael, who achieves fame through deception.
Along the way, Michael learns some important things about women by literally putting himself in their shoes. And, of course, in a sparkling red Tootsie dress.
But as a result of Michael’s disguise, he does hurt some people.
Thankful for deals:You can beat high food costs this Thanksgiving with these tips
In more musical story updates, Michael’s love interest Julie is strong, successful, and independent, not a grieving single mother who lets men pressure her, as Jessica Lange’s character was in the movie. Of course, with Michael spending his time with Julie while posing as Dorothy, romantic entanglements arise.
Savings counts:13 tips to reduce your Thanksgiving meal costs
gap year for the tour
Schrage, who joined the “Tootsie” tour in September for its second leg, is now taking a gap year to make her national tour debut. The actress, who grew up in the Dayton area, will return to Wright State for her junior year this fall, where she works in minor theater and dance.
“It was the first thing I tested of this caliber,” Scragg said of her original video clip in May, followed by video calls in June and July.
She was excited to find out that she landed a spot in the tour band the same day she was opening for another show – “A Chorus Line” in Marquette, Michigan.
In “Tootsie”, Schrage plays a walker in pink clothes who is part of a kind of Greek choir that represents the voices inside Michael’s head. Then, for the music-within-the-musical, she plays Portia, the show’s costume designer.
Schrage and “Tootsie’s” were other new cast members who had a 10-day rehearsal process in Syracuse in early September to relaunch the tour after the summer break. About two weeks of technical rehearsals followed before the Schrage saw its official opening.
Above all, Schrag said, “Tootsie” is a joyful show full of laughs.
“It’s fun to contribute to an audience that’s laughing and giving them a good time,” she said.
“That silly, joyous feeling, like the giddy feeling you get when you think about the movie, is exactly what happens when people come to see the musical.”
Arts and restaurant writer Kerry Clawson can be reached at 330-996-3527 or email@example.com.
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29-30
where: EJ Thomas Auditorium, 198 Hill Street, University of Akron
on the stage: Starring Drew Baker, Ashley Alexandra, Peyton Riley, Jared David Michael Grant, Matthew Rella, Kathy Holland, Diane Manastre, Adam du Plessis
Behind the scenes: Robert Horn, book; David Yazbeck, recordings and lyrics; David Solomon, Director; Denise Jones, choreographer; Chip Abbott, assistant choreographer; David Rockwell, landscape designer. Christine Peters, tour designer; William Ivy Long, costume designer; Christopher Vergara, Associate Costume Designer; Donald Holder, lighting designer; Vivien Leone and Coby Chasman-Beck, associate lighting designers; Colin Doherty, Assistant Lighting Designer; Brian Ronan, sound designer; Cody Spencer, assistant sound designer; Paul Huntley, hair and wig designer; Loryn Pretorius, assistant hair and wig designer; Angelina Avalon, makeup artist
cost: $20 – $82.50
Information: playhousesquare.org or 216-241-6000
#musical #Tootsie #modern #update #original #movie #coming #Akron