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For anyone who loves musicals and enjoyed “Tootsie” the comedy movie, you first question is likely whether one singer could toss off that dual sex part. So, kudos to Santino Fontana, who sings both as a very capable tenor and a competent falsetto without really catching your attention as you hear the songs. From “The Full Monty” in 2000 to “The Band’s Visit” in 2018 with two major musical scores in between, it is clear that if you hand David Yazbek a concept and a script, he can produce both the score and the lyrics that provide a musical match. Here he has chosen 20th century dance music, e.g. tango. The result is a very lively and likable original cast CD. I would not label any of the songs as “memorable”, but the sequence and a lot of the individual songs are very enjoyable indeed. His 2018 Tony award give Mr. Yazbek considerable current stature as a composer. Perhaps that helped land the 19-person orchestra that gives this show a very classical Broadway musical sound. He takes advantage by opening with a very traditional overture. In addition to Fontana and a fine cast, there are some extras and a full ensemble chorus. All the lyrics to the songs as well as the creation story for the musical are provided in the booklet. Since the story was “updated”, it would have been useful to have a synopsis. Still, this good enough to merit owning, or at least streaming to satisfy your curiosity.
I saw Tootsie in Chicago and was immediately struck by how boring it was, especially the score. I am a big David Yazbeck fan but this is some of his most lackluster and uninteresting work. And why change the plot so drastically? If you are going to musicalize a wonderful movie - musicalize a wonderful movie. I bought the cd hoping to give it a chance, and because I love Santino Fontana, but quickly gave the it away. Sorry.
In the entire show there is maybe one and a half memorable songs, which seems to be par for the course when David Yazbek is the composer. The movie Tootsie was ripe for a stage adaptation, so this is a sad lost opportunity.