Comedic great Julie Halston (Gypsy, Hairspray, The Lady in Question, The Divine Sister) is back on Broadway giving audiences life as the brash Broadway producer Rita Mallory in the Tony-nominated, hit musical Tootsie. Julie is serving up laughs and looks thanks to her fabulous Paul Huntley wig and stylish William Ivey Long costumes. Scroll on as the hilarious Julie Halston gives BroadwayBox a closer look at Rita Mallory and her Tony-nominated outfits.
Act 1 First Costume
This is the first thing we see Rita Marshall wear when we meet her. She is a Broadway producer and she is rich!! She loves gold in all forms—with clothes, jewelry, and no doubt her gold bullion Swiss bank account! William Ivey Long designed our costumes and, as we have worked together before, he knows me well—I adore him. He always makes me look better than I am!
Act 1 Second Costume
This is a particular favorite. I wear this gorgeous bronze number in the Act 1 rehearsal scene—this scene leads into the musical number "I Like What She's Doing", which Rita starts. The number is fascinating because it pushes the number forward in time but also lets the audience know what is happening with Dorothy Michaels (Santino Fontana) and how she is influencing the Broadway company that hired her. I change three times in one number! It's hilarious! One change takes place in 43 seconds. Thank God for my dresser, Laura Horner! It starts with this gorgeous suit—the top is Yves Saint Laurent! The skirt was made for me.
Act 1 Blue Dress
This is the second outfit I wear within the number "I Like What She's Doing". I posed with a glass and wine bottle because I feel very Auntie Mame when I put this on—it's the only time I am not wearing gold. But let's face it, it's stunning. Bedazzled throughout to just scream RICH!!!!
William Ivey Long personally added the beads to the collar. I have heard women in the audience actually ooh-and-ah when I walk out with this number! Oh, maybe a few men as well! WERK IT GIRL!!!
Act 1 Final Suit
This is the final outfit I wear through-out the song " I Like What She's Doing". I made the picture close up because, even though it's a light gold, beautiful threading throughout, the suit should be seen in detail.
This is also part of a quick change but I have time to get into this number—enough to even swig some water and check my lipstick! This is the kind of suit I have seen on many wealthy Upper East Side ladies and now I get to be one of them!
Act 2 Gold Pajamas
In Act 2, there is a number called "The Most Important Night”, and I wear these dreamy PJs as I float across stage in this number. It is seen for maybe 35 seconds, but man people have asked a jillion times, "Do you get to keep them???” I hope I can wear these PJs for years to come, IN THE SHOW!!
I posed in the shower to also show how big my shower is—I could rent it as a studio! Also, check out my gold slippers! I call them my Aladdin shoes. Don't you think?
Act 2 Final Outfit
This suit is just a triumph. The winged sleeves and the swing back (not shown—sorry!) is just so flattering and insanely stunning—the gold leaf, the huge rhinestone buttons. If you notice I am wearing different shoes than my usual beige or tan pump. They are my character dance shoes. (Yes, you heard that right!) After my final scene in Act 2, I change into these shoes so that I can take my curtain call and then do the finale dance.
When Denis Jones, our fantastic choreographer, told us we were ALL going to do the final dance, I was like, “WHAAAAA???? YOU KNOW I DON'T MOVE, DENIS—I STAND DOWNSTAGE CENTER AND DECLAIM!!” But, hey, guess what? I'm dancing and having the time of my life! Tootsie is the most fun show on Broadway. To hear people falling out of the seats with laughter is so gratifying, but to do it with a Paul Huntley wig and William Ivey Long clothes is the privilege of my life!
Don’t miss Julie Halston in ‘Tootsie’ at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre.