(Alexis Soloski’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/20; via Pam Green.)

The actor Santino Fontana had his legs waxed for the first time last year. His chest, too. He mastered, mostly, how to walk in heels and riddled out which lipsticks flatter him. (He’s an autumn. Clearly.) Last spring, during a turn in “Hello, Dolly!” he brought Bernadette Peterspictures of himself in a variety of women’s wigs. “Pretty girl” she scrawled next to some of them. Beside others: “Not so pretty girl.”

“Like what even is a feminine side?” Mr. Fontana said recently, at a theater district bistro, as he pushed a pile of pear salad around his plate.

A Broadway veteran, Mr. Fontana, who turns 37 on March 21, is originating his first true male musical lead in “Tootsie,” which starts previews at the Marquis Theater on March 29. If you squint, it’s his first female lead, too. “He has created two very different characters who live in the same body,” Robert Horn, the show’s book writer said.

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Photo: The New York Times.

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