Home Features Q&A: ‘Tootsie’ Comes to the Broward Center

Q&A: ‘Tootsie’ Comes to the Broward Center

The cast of the National Tour of TOOTSIE. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Tootsie, the hilarious Tony Award-winning musical, is coming to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale for a limited two-week engagement from January 11 – 23, 2022.

Call it “musical comedy heaven” (Rolling Stone). Call it “the most uproarious new musical in years!” (The Hollywood Reporter). Call it Tootsie! This laugh-out-loud love letter to the theater tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until one show-stopping act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime. Featuring a hilarious Tony-winning book by Robert Horn and an outrageously clever score by 2018 Tony-winner David Yazbek (The Band’s Visit, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), this New York Times Critic’s Pick is “a joyful delight” (The Washington Post) that’s “so packed with punchlines, it should be called a jokebox musical!” (Bloomberg). “In these turbulent times, when the world seems out of balance, we need a place to let the good times roll,” raves Rolling Stone. “Tootsie is it!”

Tootsie is based on the story by Don McGuire and Larry Gelbart and the Columbia Pictures Motion Picture produced by Punch Productions and starring Dustin Hoffman. The National Tour of Tootsie is produced and managed by TROIKA Entertainment. 

The touring cast Of Tootsie stars Drew Becker (Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels); Ashley Alexandra (Julie Nichols); Payton Reilly (Sandy Lester); LukasS James Miller (Max Van Horn); Jared David Michael Grant (Jeff Slater); Kathy Halenda (Rita Marshall); Steve Brustien (Stan Fields); Adam Du Plessis (Ron Carlisle); and ensemble and swing players:  Leyla Ali, Connor Allston, Darius Aushay,  Lexi Baldachino,  Michael Bingham, Kyra Christopher, Delaney Gold, Danielle J.S. Gordon, Maverick Hiu, Dominique Kempf, Ashton Lambert, Marquez Linder, Lucy Panush, Alec Ruiz.

Drew Becker as Michael Dorsey and Jared David Michael Grant as Jeff Slater in the National Tour of TOOTSIE. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

It was a pleasure to sit down with Jared David Michael Grant for this exclusive Hotspots interview.

At what age did you begin performing?

I think I was always performing. I started singing in church and that eventually led to me going to a performing Arts middle school and High School. I realized I was definitely a theater kid, and I was lucky to find my realm very early on. 

What was your first paid gig?

It was in the Rochester Broadway Theater league which had a cabaret style show. That was in 9th grade, and I got a $250 check. I really appreciated that money back then.  

When did you know performing would be your career?

I knew earlier on…even in middle school. My parents also knew. 

Other than this one, what has been your favorite role so far?

Probably going back to high school, I was able to play Tevye in “Fidler on the Roof.” 

What’s your fantasy role (a role you haven’t played but want to)?

Honestly, I really want to play the Phantom in “Phantom of the Opera.” 

What did you do/accomplish during the pandemic? 

I would say rediscovering the love for myself and my art. I also got to enjoy a lot of me time. 

Describe yourself in three words?

Geeky, hilarious, entertaining. 

What do you do for fun?

I love reading comic books and playing video games. Anything Marvel Universe I am obsessed with. I also love listening to music. I love playing board games as well. In addition, I love to cook. 

What’s the best and worst things about being on the road?

The best thing is traveling to different cities and discovering their chicken wing situation. The worst thing is not being able to be in my own bed. 

What should our readers expect from this touring company of “Tootsie”?

Come to the show expecting to laugh a lot. My suggestion is to wear a diaper just in case you pee on yourself. It’s one of the funniest shows I have ever done and I am so lucky to be in the company of great performers.

For more information on Jared you can follow him on social media: facebook.com/Jareddavodmichaelgrant or Instagram.com/JDMG585

Tickets for Tootsie are available at the Broward Center AutoNation Box Office, 201 SW Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL. 33312, Browardcenter.org or by calling 954.462.0222. Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by calling 954.660.6307. Ticket prices start at $35.

All guests age 2 and up must wear a suitable face covering while inside the theater. In addition, all guests age 12 and up must provide proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test or of full vaccination status. View the Guest Entry Policy at Browardcenter.org/visit/guest-entry-policy for full details on the venue’s COVID-19 protocols.

For more information on Tootsie, visit Tootsiemusical.com.

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