Frontier grad prepares for role in ‘Tootsie’ at Shea’s Performing Arts

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The next show at Shea’s Performing Arts Center is getting ready to raise the curtains.

“Every day I wake up and I’m like, ‘I can’t believe this is happening’, and I’m like, ‘it is happening,'” said Jared Grant, who plays Jeff Slater in “Tootsie”.

That joy carries through the rest of the cast. For many, this is their first touring production.

If you’re unfamiliar with the plot from the classic 1982 film, it’s centered around a blacklisted actor named Michale Dorsey.

“He is just a desperate actor who just wants to work,” said cast member Dominique Kempf. “He loves acting and it’s his whole life, and he makes a very desperate decision to be in the spotlight and to create work.”

“He creates a character named Dorothy Michaels, and he plays her,” Kempf added.

The concept of “creating your own work” is something all the cast members can relate to. They laugh now at past auditions, failed gigs, and weeks without landing an acting job, as they prepare for their opening night.

Opening night will mean a little more to Kempf. A graduate of Frontier High and SUNY Fredonia, she worked hard to make it back where she first fell in love with theater.

“Buffalo is our first stop. Talk about a good omen, right? When I got the offer, when they said it’s opening in Buffalo, I was like ‘this is amazing.’ It was like a full-circle moment.”

Opening night for “Tootsie” is October 13. Click here for ticket information.

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