Wednesday October 17 3:29 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Santino Fontana blew Me Away with His Performance in "Tootsie"

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Michael Dorsey (Santino Fontana) is an out-of-work actor who has a history! He always thinks his interpretation of a part is better than the director’s, or the writer’s, or anyone else who disagrees with him. In fact, every time Michael argues with a director, he makes himself even more unemployable. So he and his roommate, Jeff Slater (Andy Grotelueschen), a playwright who’s never written a play, are waiters.

When his ditzy and totally neurotic friend, Sandy Lester (Sarah Stiles), comes over for a pep talk before a morning audition, Michael gets an idea. In the morning, after donning an attractive outfit, heels and a rather hideous wig, he shows up to audition Much to the surprise of the legendary (at least in his own mind) director, Ron Carlisle (Reg Rogers), who has already rejected everyone (including Sandy) else, Dorothy Michaels can sing – and by the way, Santino’s falsetto is phenomenal!

Much to everyone’s surprise, and at the insistence of producer Rita Marshall (Julie Halston) Dorothy gets the part of Juliet’s nurse in a musical sequel to “Romeo and Juliet” called Juliet’s Curse. The show stars Julie Nichols (Lilli Cooper) in the title role, and a famous reality star, Max Van Horn (John Behlmann) as her co-star. Of course, Michael can’t help himself, so he basically rewrites the play.

Some of my favorites –
• As the ensemble is rehearsing a dance number, Ron Carlisle’s character cracked me up with his descriptions of the steps including exaggerated body language and gestures.
• When Jeff remarks that the guy who started Riverdance had seven kids and one bathroom (I grew up as one of seven kids and we only had one bathroom, so this one really had me chuckling.
• Sandy’s over-the-top histrionics when she finds out her best friend got her part.
• When Michael and Jeff sat on the couch staring into space in bewilderment.
• When Michael’s agent, Stan Fields (Michael McGrath) leaves the apartment, then walks back in – to see Dorothy. First he says he was going to vote for her for a Tony, then he fires Michael.
• When Michael says “Being a woman is no job for a man.”

“Tootsie” runs through October 14th at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, Chicago. The best-priced parking option for Cadillac Palace is the garage on the corner of Franklin and Lake which charges only $13.

Running time is 2 hours, 40 minutes, with an intermission. Performances are Wednesdays at 2:00 and 7:30 pm; Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 2:00 and 7:30; and Sundays at 1:00 and 6:30 pm. Tickets range from $35-$105. FYI (312) 977-1710, (800) 775-2000, www.broadwayinchicago.com or www.ticketmaster.com.