Ashley Alexandra as Julie Nichols in the National Tour of TOOTSIE. (Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

“Tootsie: The Comedy Musical” is coming to the Los Angeles area from May 31 to June 12. This laugh-out-loud love letter to the theater tells the hilarious story of Michael Dorsey, an actor who struggles to find work until a show-stopping performance of desperation lands him the role of his dreams.

In an interview with Ashley Seldon, who acts as one of Michael Dorsey’s castmates, Julie, she tells us all the details of what makes this play such a fan watch for both the audience and the performers.

“Michael Dorsey is a pretty arrogant actor who’s not that fun to work with,” Seldon told LAS. “He’s isolated from his community, and struggles finding work.

“But he decides that, instead of becoming a better person, he’s going to become a different person. He adopts this personality as Dorothy Michaels and actually winds up getting casted on the show, however, because he’s playing a different person he runs into a lot of issues.”

And a multitude of funny shenanigans happen from there. Seldon plays the role of Julie, a woman who’s already in the show that Michael auditioned for, but hates it.

“[Julie] knows what she wants. She’s definitely headstrong and is willing to go through the trenches in order to get herself to a better place. So, if that means putting her head down and dealing with some nonsense or standing up for herself when something’s wrong…she’s going to do it.”

The cast of the National Tour of TOOTSIE. (Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

This is something the actress felt that she had in common with Julie’s character. “I’ve also gone through some not-so-great shows to try to get to a place [In my career]. But, I love Julie’s character. She’s so kind and loving, and I’d like to think we have that in common.”

Unlike Seldon, Julie is “a lot more easygoing than I am. She’s really good about being like ‘I don’t know you, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and trust you.’

“That’s a lesson I’ve learned while doing this show. I’m not necessarily the most trusting person, but she really is such an open and genuine person.”

Preparation for “Tootsie” started before the COVID-19 pandemic, with auditions originally held over Zoom.

“We didn’t meet any of the cast or even our director in-person until our first day of rehearsals,” the actress shared when asked what she had to in order to prepare for her role. “It was a lot of my boyfriend standing in the background, trying to play the songs exactly when I needed him to start and reading lines with me.”

Seldon continued with, “It was a little crazy. No one really knew what they were doing.  We were all just trying to figure it out.”

The audience will be intrigued to find many differences in the play that they didn’t get from the original 1980s movie. With 40 years having passed since the movie’s release, the “Tootsie” crew has updated the script to reflect more modern topics.

(3) The cast of the National Tour of TOOTSIE. (Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade)

“Also, because we’re on a stage, they’ve adapted [‘Tootsie’] to be a musical that Michael auditioned for. That way, we’ve brought it into the musical world,” shared Seldon. “Many more female characters have a lot more agency in the play too, which is really great.”

Seldon also stated that this rendition of “Tootsie” is a “love letter to New York…[with COVID], a lot of theaters were gone, and are just now having their first shows back. It’s really to see audiences get to laugh again and enjoying themselves.”

Laughter is something Ashley Seldon hopes all who see the show get to enjoy during their time seeing “Tootsie.”

“I want [the audience] to be able to release some of the negative energy that’s always out in the world, but also to understand the importance of living your truth,” shared the actress.

“Lying to yourself, and those around you, isn’t going to get you very far. Michael lives in this delusion where everything’s fine if he adds lie on top of lie on top of lie. Eventually, it catches up with him. That can happen to anyone.”

She continued with, “So, yeah, tell your truth. Be kind to people. Even go out on a limb if you can.”

“Tootsie: The Comedy Musical” will be at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Dr., in Costa Mesa, from May 31 to June 12. Tickets are available now: