CHICAGO — “Being a woman is no job for a man,” Michael Dorsey (Santino Fontana) concludes in the winning but inconsistent Broadway-bound musical comedy Tootsie, which opened last night at the Cadillac Palace Theatre here. So how come his Dorothy Michaels holds the stage as well as his Michael Dorsey?
In an auburn wig, beige high heels and glasses, Fontana is sublime as Michael/Dorothy, the temperamental, opinionated, unemployed New York actor who finds stardom and self-awareness after putting on a dress and posing as an actress. Fontana borrows a gesture or two from Dustin Hoffman’s performance in the brilliant 1982 Columbia Pictures comedy. But Fontana makes the role his own with fine timing, crisp dancing and a gender-bending vocal range interpreting David Yazbek’s varied and mostly wonderful score. (Plus, of course, nonstop changes of William Ivey Long’s wry costumes.)Continue Reading