Not one to rest on his laurels, Broadway composer/lyricist David Yazbek will follow his acclaimed The Band’s Visit – which is selling out on Broadway and is certain to earn several Tony nominations this spring – with another film-to-musical adaptation. This one, however, has a somewhat more familiar title: Tootsie, Sydney Pollack’s 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman as a struggling, truculent actor who finds fame and fortune in middle-age drag as the nascent feminist star of a soap opera.
Scott Ellis (She Loves Me) is set to direct. The Hoffman role, Michael Dorsey, aka Dorothy Michaels, will be played by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Santino Fontana, who also voiced Hans in Frozen and has appeared in a number of Broadway and off-Broadway shows, including Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Billy Elliot, Sunday in the Park with George and Brighton Beach Memoirs.
Scott Sanders Productions will produce the show, which has set a pre-Broadway run at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre beginning next September 11 and running through October 14. If all goes well, Sanders says, Tootsie will arrive on Broadway next spring.
Yazbek has one of the more interesting track records in adapting films for the Broadway stage. In addition to the smash Band’s Visit, based on a 2007 indie Israeli comedy, his shows include Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Full Monty and Bombay Dreams (to which he contributed lyrics). At a recent concert at the Broadway club Feinstein’s 54 Below, The Band’s Visit star Katrina Lenk gave a sneak preview of the Tootsie score with a song from the show that the audience greeted with great enthusiasm.
The film was written by Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal and also starred Teri Garr as Michael’s long-suffering girlfriend and Jessica Lange as Dorothy’s TV co-star (Lange won an Oscar for the role), as well as Pollack, who played Michael’s frustrated agent.
The show will have a book by Robert Horn (13; Dame Edna, Back with a Vengeance), choreography by Denis Jones (Holiday Inn, Honeymoon in Vegas), and musical direction by Andrea Grody (The Band’s Visit).
The creative team for Tootsie includes scenic designer David Rockwell, costume designer William Ivey Long, lighting designer Donald Holder, and sound designer Brian Ronan.
Additional casting and creative team members will be announced later.