New York | Open run

Tootsie (NYC)

From 59 critic and 459 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Clever

About the show

In this new musical comedy, Tony nominee Santino Fontana stars as a talented, but difficult-to-work-with actor who will do anything to land the role of a lifetime, including adopting a new female persona. More…

When Michael Dorsey disguises himself as an outspoken actress named Dorothy Michaels, he defies all odds to become a Broadway sensation. But as audiences fall for Dorothy and Michael starts to fall for the woman of his dreams, he's learning that the hardest part of show business isn't getting to the top... it's keeping up the act.

Based on the hit 1982 film, 'Tootsie' stars Tony nominee Santino Fontana ('Cinderella,' 'Frozen'), and features a score by Tony winner David Yazbek ('The Band’s Visit,' 'The Full Monty'), and direction by eight-time Tony nominee and Olivier Award winner Scott Ellis ('She Loves Me,' 'On The Twentieth Century'). 

Theatre Reviews Limited

"Transferred to the stage with intelligence and style that allows the updated version to enter the 21st century graciously...Ellis keeps the show moving at a fast, fluid pace, but enables his cast to take advantage of every opportunity to cash in on the constant one liners, showcasing their impeccable comic timing...It is not so much the plot but the manner and skill in which it is executed that make this a seamless, hilarious, thrilling, joyride that never stops until the curtain falls." Full Review


“The new Broadway adaptation of ‘Tootsie’ is old-fashioned and proud of it — and it’s a surefire crowd-pleaser...The story holds no surprises for anyone who’s seen the movie, but Horn sprinkles the show’s book with clever one-liners...Well-cast character actors demonstrate their bankable skills at character acting...Each of the songs in the stage musical can make you choke with laughter.” Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

“This is a savvy update that manages to combine awareness of the evolution in gender politics with insouciant wit, a playful spirit and an invigorating streak of good-natured vulgarity...The performances right down the line are terrific...Everyone gets their moment. Ellis' extensive experience in comedy is key in a show in which sharp timing and zippy pacing are essential...This sassy riot is the kind of big, brash Broadway musical that gives audiences what they paid for.” Full Review


"The new musical 'Tootsie,' with book by Robert Horn and music and lyrics by David Yazbek, based on the well-known and well-liked 1982 film starring Dustin Hoffman, has transformed that cultural icon into a delightful fluff of a musical with just enough wit, theatrical in-jokes, good songs, tongue-in-cheek choreography (Denis Jones) and energetic pacing supervised by director Scott Ellis to make the stage version a completely different animal than the original." Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

"The issues of sexuality and gender, showing some evolution since the original, are still as challenging, but even more bitingly hysterical than they ever were, as Michael learns from walking in Dorothy’s shoes. Director Scott Ellis keeps the story flowing, the pace moving, and the laughs coming...This is must-see feel-good entertainment that deserves all of the accolades it garners." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"Under Scott Ellis’ sure-footed direction, embellished with Denis Jones’ snappy choreography, the show moves forward with the confidence of an old-school Broadway musical comedy, one that knows it’s going to make at least most of its audience happy. And for extra punch, the dialogue is occasionally peppered with a sprinkling of #MeToo era sensitivities...The score is truly just about as good as a score can be without slipping into the realm of marvellous." Full Review

The Washington Post

“Embraceably funny...The sublime Santino Fontana not only gets to strut his farcical stuff, but also sings, amazingly well, in two registers...With a genuinely witty book by Robert Horn and an engaging score by David Yazbek...“Tootsie” is the tuneful winner this Broadway season has been desperate for. It’s a good-natured, conventionally assured book musical of the golden-age variety, expertly directed by Scott Ellis, with a clown car’s worth of comic actors." Full Review


"Slickly entertaining and feel-good in a good way...Well-crafted and refrains from constant back-and-forth switcheroos that would have been tedious...All the supporting players are knockouts...But none of this would matter if there weren’t a Tootsie to drive it all home, and Fontana delivers a star performance, with comic chops, increasing pathos and heart, and tip-top singing...Horn’s book...has the most laugh-out-loud moments in a show this year." Full Review


“This is how to adapt a movie to the stage and give it entirely new life...The creators of this ‘Tootsie’ have put forth a show that humbles and critiques its main character far more than it celebrates him...All of this is directed with great spirit and charm by Ellis, and it’s held together by the extraordinary Fontana...If there’s a problem with “Tootsie” it’s that the score by David Yazbek sticks to a familiar musical comedy playbook, bright and bouncy but not especially memorable." Full Review


“Entertaining and touching new musical...A screen-to-stage adaptation that gets it right...Fontana is a powerhouse, slipping flawlessly between genders and voices, but always with an endearing charm that makes you love his performance...It's all great fun, from the sick one-liners and cringeworthy puns to enough inside theater references...But as in the film, there are important take-aways, lessons Dorothy imparts to Michael about the trials women face.” Full Review

Philadelphia Inquirer

"This delightful musical comedy based on the beloved movie, manages to make the story of a man dressing up as a woman in order to get a job not only politically viable but wise...The music is wonderfully varied — a patter song, a love ballad, a chorus line number — and the lyrics by David Yazbek are both clever and, best of all, absolutely intelligible, so none of the wit is wasted. Robert Horn wrote the excellent book, with solid character development plus insider theater jokes." Full Review


"Working from a satirically playful script by Robert Horn, set to David Yazbek’s jazzy score, director Scott Ellis has cleverly re-imagined Larry Gelbart and Murray Shisgal’s subversive 1982 screenplay, updating its farcical concept with razor-sharp timing, energetic pacing and smartass feminist dynamics...Fontana’s meticulous transformation is miraculous." Full Review

New York Post

“Even with a score by...Yazbek, ‘Tootsie’ doesn’t feel so much like a razzmatazz musical as it does a sitcom in its’s practically ‘Seinfeld: Live!’ With killer jokes to match...That farcical setup — and Horn’s extraordinary new book, which is even funnier than the movie — delivers the finest collection of character actors onstage...While Yazbek’s jazzy score doesn’t reach the heights of his work in ‘The Band’s Visit’, there are a few really terrific numbers...You will leave laughing." Full Review

Stage and Cinema

"Each song, complete with entrancing melody and lyrics witty and romantic, different from the other, beautifully and often comically sung, with great characters, perfectly cast and each with a special moment...The sprightly score is by David Yazbek. The rich and clever book is by Robert Horn...Yes, this is the kind of musical comedy which will remind you of all those shows that celebrated New York." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"One of the funniest Broadway movie musicals around. It’s pretty much comedic gold...None of the more serious songs telling the emotional stories are obviously catchy or carry a hook that stays with you once you leave the theatre. That isn’t where the wiseness and fun of 'Tootsie' resides. It’s in the emotional hilarity of the sidekicks where this show does its best to not fuck it up...It won’t change the world, but it might change how musical theatre sees classic movie remaking." Full Review


"A flat-out laff-riot from start to finish, featuring a cast packed with expert stage comedians landing bookwriter Robert Horn's archly-humored gags, enhanced by David Yazbek's muscularly-rhythmed jazz score that propels his attractively glib lyrics...This reviewer was delighted to see a story about a person with privilege learning a bit about what it means to be a good ally. But, gender politics aside, 'Tootsie' is slick and professional musical comedy that satisfies as vivacious entertainme... Full Review

The New York Times

“Though it retains the premise of the original, it diverges smartly in both plot and milieu...Fontana gets just about everything right...Even though Horn’s book bristles with zingers, a lot of the humor is so rooted in story it doesn’t need words...Comedy rarely flows as smoothly as it does here. The secret is more than the book; it’s the songs...The staging and physical production of ‘Tootsie’ are so trite and vanilla...Happily, ‘Tootsie’ recovers, thanks in part to its excellent cast.” Full Review

Time Out New York

“’Tootsie’ is great for a laugh...Fontana, in the performance of his career to date, stars as Michael Dorsey...This is the rare musical in which the book outshines the score. At their best, Yazbek’s songs are densely wordy and nervy; elsewhere, they are merely agreeable, and sometimes a skosh underbaked. But ‘Tootsie' is packed with great zingers and character jokes, and director Ellis’s bright, snappy production has assembled a murderer’s row of actors to put them over.” Full Review


"Robert Horn has updated the gender switching plot so that's in keeping with the world we live in. His script is so smartly written and chockablock with really funny one-liners that this 'Tootsie' almost feels like a brand new show...The highly entertaining libretto almost outshines the music. But fortunately David Yazbek who knows his way around the styles and tones needed to support a musical's story." Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

"Yazbek displays his usual facility for matching song to character and his lyrics are often clever — but there are no songs that jump out as something you are likely to want to hear again very soon. The book, on the other hand, very cleverly updates the basic story to the age of #MeToo, successfully changes the setting from the world of soap operas to the Broadway stage, and regularly provides a barrel of laughs. The strong book is matched by a superb cast and first-rate production values." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

“Fontana was a very good choice...What Fontana does so well is to infuse his character with both comedy and heart. Still...Much of ‘Tootsie's’ strength comes from the performances by some great supporting players...There are a couple of clunky moments...The score generally seems functional, serving the plot without providing too many memorable moments...Notwithstanding these concerns, ‘Tootsie’ hits the mark on so many levels...An entertaining confection to enjoy." Full Review

New York Stage Review

"Director Scott Ellis has smoothly wrapped this musical comedy package, while Denis Jones provides the sterling choreography...’Tootsie‘ is fast and funny. Very funny, with a rapid stream of jokes and gags and some of the most mirthful choreography since those Mormon boys went to Uganda." Full Review


“In 2019, a self-righteous straight white man who disguises himself as a woman to steal acting not your best bet for a sympathetic protagonist. All the more reason to tip our hats to composer 'David Yazbek' and book writer Robert Horn for...shaping some of the most precarious material into one of the most hilarious musical comedies of the Broadway season...'Yazbek delivers a dependable score...although it leaves us without any memorable melodies to rival...'The Band's Visit.'" Full Review

Woman Around Town

"Pound for pound the most entertaining new musical on Broadway, any caveats to do with 'Tootsie' are swept away by what has to be the funniest book since early Neil Simon...Did I mention how much you’ll laugh? In my book, Mr. Horn deserves the Tony...Alas, David Yazbeck’s songs only intermittently live up to the quality of the book. A few are catchy, several even have explicit, tongue-twisting skill similar to Sondheim, but half take the easy route and end up innocuous." Full Review


"'Tootsie' is quite a hoot. On the surface, it's a conventional musical...But it's unconventionally funny. And thanks to an A-list cast of comedians, it's the comedy that makes this one sing...Yazbek's score is still mighty clever and tuneful. His lyrics are a gas, and the inside theatre references are a terrific bonus...Humor is of course in the ear of the beholder and 'Tootsie' may not tickle every funnybone, but judging by the laugh meter, this one's off the charts.” Full Review

Exquisite, Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if Loved every second of this show!!! It was not “just like the movie” but BETTER as adapted for the stage and flowed seamlessly. Fun!

Don't see it if See this show! Funnier than expected! I have nothing negative to say except of you don’t want to see a great musical. See another show!

Fluffy, Entertaining, Funny

See it if For a totally fun, very light evening out!

Don't see it if You are expecting to think about it for hours after.

Hilarious, Great singing, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you want to laugh - it's very funny - and it's an adult version of the original movie with just enough changes to make it brand new.

Don't see it if You don't like comedies, you don't like to hear "adult" language or you just don't like musicals created from movies.

Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Funny, Edgy

See it if you liked the original movie but are looking for something different.

Don't see it if you don;t like great singing, dancing and comedy.

Funny, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if If you want to laugh more than you have laughed at theater in years. You want a most entertaining theatre experience

Don't see it if Cannot think of a reason not to see this delightful show.

Refreshing, Great acting, Great singing, Funny, Clever

See it if you love laughing out of your seat. If you love singing and the great acting this is the show for you! The music and dancing numbers amazing

Don't see it if if you don't like musical comedies.

Delightful, Funny, Clever

See it if you want to laugh from start to finish. It was so current and fresh. So funny! Time flew by, you are not bored for a second.

Don't see it if you want it to be exactly the same as the movie. It is updated and changes make sense for 2019

Great singing, Raunchy, Hilarious

See it if you loved the movie, need a laugh, want to be absolutely entertained, know how hard it is to get a job,

Don't see it if you cannot handle slightly off color humor or double entendre, never had to work hard to get a job and don't like music.

Must see, Hilarious, Great staging, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a hilarious show. I laughed throughout the entire show. Santino Fontana was fantastic as Tootsie.

Don't see it if you don't like to laugh and enjoy a very funny musical comedy.

Also Santino Fontana played both male and females parts, acting & singing f... Read more Read less

Non-stop hilarity, Best show this season, Great acting, Funny

See it if It is an amazing show, with great songs by David Yazbek, the best ones being "What's Gonna Happen" and "Jeff Sums it Up."

Don't see it if No reason not to see it.

Also The book sparkles with wit, and jokes that will literally have you rol... Read more Read less

Must see, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if Laughed from start to finish. It was great to see something where the book and music just gelled together.

Don't see it if If you are expecting a cloned copy of the movie.

Great writing, Great singing, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You enjoy great one liners, great singing,great dancing A wonderful old fashion musical

Don't see it if You don’t like musical comodies

Great singing, Hilarious, Great writing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if If you want to see a well written, sharp, funny, beautifully acted and sung musical. Tony worthy actors and vibrant pacing. Wonderful.

Don't see it if If you don't like musicals and don't want to have some fun.

Great singing, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if A delightful musical

Don't see it if You don't like timely experiences

Must see, Funny, Witty, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you want to be fully entertained by talented actors and a funny, fast-paced, quirky story enhanced by excellent dancing and super staging.

Don't see it if you can't appreciate musical comedy or don't have a sense of humor. No reason to miss this delightful show.

Funny, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever

See it if You like book driven musicals, the kind that us hardly written if late.

Don't see it if You only like dark musicals.

Also The best book of a musical in years. The comic timing of the cast is s... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if if you love big musicals that have excellent timing, acting, singing and is hilarious.

Don't see it if Just go see it!

Hilarious, Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a very funny musical with outstanding performances by Santino Fontana, Sarah Stiles and Lilli Cooper. Very entertaining.

Don't see it if you’re looking for a cutting edge, innovative musical. This is an old fashioned musical done well.

Must see, Funny, Great acting, Great singing

See it if you want to see an excellent cast and laugh...a lot.

Don't see it if you hated the movie...but I found this production way funnier than the movie so you should give it a try anyway.

Great staging, Entertaining, Hilarious, Great singing, Great acting

See it if you want to see an excellent, genuinely funny stage adaptation of the film and to see the outstanding lead performance by Santino Fontana

Don't see it if you're looking for a more non-traditional musical

Great acting, Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if You want to see a good old fashioned Broadway musical with the drag twist! Yasbeck’s score is fun. Jones’ choreography fun. Santino wins!

Don't see it if You think it is going to be just like the movie. Also, Yasbeck’s music is an acquired taste. It’s fluffy fun.

Just plain fun, Funny, Entertaining, Must see, Delightful

See it if you love musicals with great lyrics that tell the story; you want to see this year's best new musical; you love super talented performers

Don't see it if you think it needs to follow the movie exactly and you don't want any changes; if you just plain don't like musicals

Hilarious, Great writing, Delightful, Clever

See it if You want to laugh out loud. Lyrics and one liners superb. Tootsie was fabulous in a difficult role. Updated to acknowledge me too movement.

Don't see it if Only issue. Spoiler alert is in today’s world they would have been more accepting of the gender deception

Great choreography, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you liked the movie, if you like big brassy musicals.This one is very well done.Acting is first rate.Choreography is terrific.A fun night!

Don't see it if you want small, intimate dramas.This musical has a point to make, but mainly it's just fun, filled with very talented people.

Clever, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you want a show that's fun. I especially liked the insider comments about Broadway and the characters that inhabit that special place. Funny

Don't see it if you are not interested in the workings of a Broadway musical and the people who live in that milieu. Or, if you don't like to laugh at them.

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