Santino Fontana to Lead Broadway-Bound 'Tootsie'

Tootsie and Santino Fontana_Inset
Photofest; Dia Dipasupil/Getty

The 'Frozen' star will take on the classic Dustin Hoffman drag role in the new comedy musical with a score by David Yazbek, a 2018 Tony winner for 'The Band's Visit.'

Dorothy Michaels is back.

Complete casting has been announced for Tootsie, which premieres this fall at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre before opening on Broadway next spring. The new comedy musical is based on the classic 1982 Sydney Pollack film that starred Dustin Hoffman as talented but difficult New York actor Michael Dorsey, who invents the female persona of Dorothy in order to break his professional dry spell and snag a part on daytime soap Southwest General as a feisty hospital administrator.

Stepping into that triple role, as previously announced, is Santino Fontana, a Broadway veteran of such shows as Cinderella, Act One and Billy Elliot, also known as the voice of Prince Hans in Disney's Frozen, and a series regular on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Lilli Cooper, currently appearing on Broadway in the SpongeBob SquarePants musical, will play Dorothy's co-star on the soap, Julie Nichols, the role that won Jessica Lange her first Academy Award.

That was one of 10 Oscar nominations landed by the hit Columbia Pictures release, including best picture and best actor for Hoffman. The movie earned a domestic gross of $177.2 million, not adjusted for inflation.

Also joining the cast is Sarah Stiles as Michael's out-of-work actress friend Sandy Lester; John Behlmann as Southwest General's addled senior star Max Von Horn; Andy Grotelueschen as Michael's struggling playwright roommate Jeff Slater (the role played by Bill Murray in the film); Julie Halston as Dorothy's tough producer Rita Mallory; Michael McGrath as Michael/Dorothy's agent Stan Fields; and Reg Rogers as soap director Ron Carlisle.

Scott Ellis will direct the production, which features an original score by David Yazbek, fresh off his 2018 Tony win for The Band's Visit. The book for Tootsie is by Robert Horn, with choreography by Denis Jones and music direction by Andrea Grody. The Tony-winning design team includes David Rockwell (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes), Donald Holder (lighting) and Brian Ronan (sound).

The Scott Sanders Productions venture, co-produced by James L. Nederlander and Sally Horchow, will run Sept. 11-Oct. 14 in Chicago. It then bounces to Broadway's Marquis Theatre, beginning previews March 29 for an official April 23 opening, shortly before the eligibility cutoff for the 2019 Tony Awards.

Updated Aug. 9 with Broadway opening schedule.