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REVIEW: Tootsie a Rip-Roaring Good Time (Orpheum Theatre/HTT) 

Drew Becker plays Michael Dorsey, an actor whose career is running dry until he strikes out in a very different direction, in the national tour ofTootsie, now playing at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Looking for a funny, feel-good musical that isn’t aimed at kids? Well, Tootsie might be the musical for you! Based off of the 1987 film of the same name, Tootsie finds success on the stage and winning over audiences with great music and perfect comedic timing. 

While Tootsie was considered a success when it opened on Broadway in 2019, I never paid much attention to it. Not only was I blinded by my obsession with Hadestown (which came out in the same year), but I also feared that the show would have sexist and transphobic undertones. Fortunately, the show has updated its plot and details to address these problematic issues head on, painting Michael Dorsey’s deceit as Dorothy Michaels as unethical and wrong at every step of the way. 

The cast of the national tour of Tootsie. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for

With that out of the way, I was able to enjoy everything else the musical provided, namely, the humor. Tootsie is a musical comedy in every sense of the word. It infuses humor in the lines, songs, and movements. There are moments of clever dialogue, sight gages, clowning, parody, and some of the best awkward pauses I’ve seen on stage. They are coming at the comedy from all angles and succeed every step of the way. 

Though the show is extremely funny and often over the top, there is still heart. The performer mainly responsible for this heart is Ashley Alexandra, who plays Julie Nichols. While other performers become caricatures at times, Alexandra stays honest and open throughout. As the character of Michael Dorsey complains, there needs to be truth and Alexandra tells it. In addition to gracefully carrying most of the show’s emotional weight, Alexandra has a phenomenal voice. The song “Gone, Gone, Gone” is a new favorite and she rocked it. 

All in all Tootsie is a great time, especially if you are looking for a good laugh. While the show isn’t necessarily explicit in any way, I would not recommend it to children or teens who cannot handle people saying the F-word. The show is made for adult audiences so many jokes might simply go over a kid’s head.

The cast of the National Tour of Tootsie. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

Tootsie plays at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis through June 25th. Tickets are priced $40 – $139 with Student/Educator Rush available for all performances. 

Boo Segersin