Tootsie – Orpheum Theater, Minneapolis, MN – June 20th, 2023
Review by Amie Bresnahan
Tootsie, the comedy musical, is an absolute delight that had the audience roaring with laughter from start to finish. Everything was engaging from the vibrant set to the entertaining songs and witty script.
Drew Becker’s performance as Michael Dorsey (and subsequently Dorothy Michaels) a struggling actor who disguises himself as a woman to land a role, is nothing short of brilliant. His comedic timing and physicality bring the character to life in a way that is both hilarious and heartfelt. The ease with which he transformed from Michael to Dorothy and back again was seamless. While the entire supporting cast also deserves praise, as each member brings their own unique charm to the stage, there were a few standouts for this performance. Jeff Slater, played by Jared David Michael Grant, was a brilliant pairing as Michael Dorsey’s roommate and confidant. Sandy Lester, played by Payton Reilly, was hilarious and conveyed the anxious yet lovable nature of her character wonderfully. Equally entertaining was Max Van Horn, played by Matthew Rella, as the intended hot young actor character who ends up falling for Michael as Dorothy, and unveils a laugh-out-loud surprise toward the end. Finally, not to be missed, Julie Nichols, played by Ashley Alexandra, was sweet and lovely with a stunning vocal performance.
The production itself is a visual treat, with vibrant sets and dazzling costumes that transport the audience to the world of New York City. Again, we saw the cast become the stagehands throughout and every change of scene was like an intricate puzzle of twists and turns to bring you from park to apartment to a Broadway stage. The witty and clever script, combined with catchy musical numbers, makes for an incredibly entertaining experience. Throughout the performance a theme of what it is like to be a womxn (including trans, nonbinary and all expressions of the gender) was woven in with incredible poignancy paired with gentle humor.
Tootsie is a must-see for anyone looking for a night of laughter, great performances, and an unforgettable theater experience.