“You follow the comedy with a show like Tootsie,” David Yazbek told Playbill on opening night. The composer-lyricist followed the comedy all the way to a Tony Award nomination. Having won last year for The Band’s Visit, Tootsie is a 180-degree turn: “Our prime directive was to write a show where you don't stop laughing, so that informs how you write the music."
Known for his ability to traverse styles and genres of music, Yazbek’s score for the new musical about actor Michael Dorsey who disguises himself as Dorothy Michaels to get cast in a new musical leans on brass, jazz, and a mouthful of funny lyrics.
In fact, as he reveals in the video above, “I have a feeling that one of the first songs I wrote for the show was ‘What’s Gonna Happen,’” one of the first tunes that has audiences cracking up.
It seems no coincidence that the show that most impacted him is a musical comedy. “Guys and Dolls impacted me the most and it was important to me because it was so clearly of the highest possible craftsmanship and quality while being incredibly entertaining,” he says.
The 2019 Tony nominee also shared the musical theatre song he’ll never get sick of and who he wants for his next collaborator.
Videography and video editing by Roberto Araujo.