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Monday, 30 September 2019

REVIEW: Tootsie - Original Broadway Cast Recording

Tootsie is the latest in a long line of successful musical adaptations. This year, it stormed the Tony Awards with 11 nominations, winning for Best Book of a Musical and Best Leading Actor, and is headed to the West End in 2021. The original film starred Dustin Hoffman and was revolves around a soap opera, whereas the stage version focuses on a musical. Leading man Michael adopts a female persona, Dorothy, to bag the best role, and hysteria ensues as Dorothy befriends Julie, who can’t stand Michael.

David Yazbek's score begins with a big, brassy Overture and vibrant Opening Number but by the second half the electricity wanes, resulting in a somewhat lacklustre finale. As with any composer, you can hear Yazbek's classic motifs and progressions, with homages to Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Full Monty.

One of the highlights, which will definitely resonate with anyone with a creative streak is What's Gonna Happen, brilliantly sung by Sarah Stiles. The song tracks the downward spiral of struggling actress Sandy, overthinking every second of her castings. It is a relentless patter song, crammed full of witty lyrics, tricky rhythms and numerous key changes.
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