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Musical 'Tootsie' Brings Broadway Laughs To Denver's Buell Theater

DENVER (CBS4) – A musical twist on the 1982 film "Tootsie" is the latest Broadway show to take the stage at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. "Tootsie" the musical opened in Denver on Tuesday night and is showing at the Buell Theater for the next two weeks.

"It is just so full of punch line after punch line after punch line," said Lucas James Miller, one of the lead actors in the show.

TOOTSIE_TOUR_0935 (Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)
(credit: Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

For those who have never seen the movie, Tootsie is about an aspiring actor who isn't able to land gigs in the performing arts. However, when the main character, Michael Dorsey, disguises himself as a woman, he is suddenly rocketed into stardom.

While the music is upbeat and the dancers and singers are talented, the jokes throughout the musical are the most memorable parts.

"We are bringing this constant wave of laughter to the audience night after night," said Drew Becker, the star of the show.

"You're here for three hours with us. You should enjoy it," said Ashley Alexandra, a lead actress in the show.

The cast told CBS4's Dillon Thomas that the producers of Tootsie made a modern twist on the classic movie, adding in jokes which are in tune with current times. The cast said not every joke will be understood by every audience member. However, younger audiences may laugh at one part of a joke, while older audiences may laugh at the other.

"It is a thanksgiving dinner of Gen-Z all the way up to their grandparents," Lukas James Miller said.

While most who attend the show are going for comedic relief, the cast said there are some underlying messages to the storyline.

Becker said the main character, Michael Dorsey, is a classic example of someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to seek out social success, without realizing how it impacts his peers.

"I think Michael is great. He is just the worst person to work with. His talent doesn't suck, it's his attitude," Becker said.

Jared David Michael Grant portrays Dorsey's roommate in the show. Michael Grant is the only character in the show, other than the main character, who knows the complete level of deception taking place for the sake of fame.

"I'm your conscious," Michael Grant said to Becker. "I am your Jiminy Cricket, but you don't listen."

The cast is made up of skilled actors who largely portray wannabe actors who are incompetent. The cast said it is fun to take the stage and exaggerate the realities in which they experience as true actors.

"In my case, 'Max' is a terrible actor, and I am a fantastic one," James Miller joked with his peers.

The cast said the show also encouraged people to accept themselves for who they are, while also making sure they are genuine to themselves and their loved ones.

Alexandra said there is also an underlying message to girls and women who are seeking to succeed in the performing arts industry.

"It is scary and sometimes lonely, but if you bet on yourself, you can get really far," Alexandra said.

On opening night in Denver there was one audience member who had a distinctive laugh throughout the performance. The cast said the genuine laughter from start to finish fuels them every show.

"She let out this most joyous cackle, and the entire audience laughed again," Alexandra said.

"And we can really feel that energy, and we feed off of it. When we make you laugh, it is the greatest feeling in the world," Payton Reilly, an actress in the show, said.

Click here for ticket information.

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