Some Like It Hot Review: Nobody’s Perfect, But This New Production Comes Pretty Close

Some Like It Hot Review: Nobody's Perfect, But This New Production Comes Pretty Close

Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot is about as perfect a film as it gets, so it takes some serious maracas to juggle it – not that anyone's tried.

The 1972 musical "Sugar" has been making waves for the past few decades but hasn't been seen on Broadway since its premiere, which earned four Tony nominations. But in 1959, when the topic of gender fluidity moved beyond the Hayes Act and beyond the unsuspecting public, some like her seemed ready to rethink.

Matthew Murphy

This new production expands on that theme, diversifying the cast and making the story still feel like some love it hot , but the result is something that can stand and stand on its own. With infectious music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Whitman, masterful lyrics by Matthew Lopez and Amber Ruffin, and masterful production and choreography by Casey Nikoloff , Some Like It Hot is booze-soaked, rowdy fun from start to finish. .

Mark Jay Franklin

The basic plot remains the same. Two jazz musicians, Joe and Jerry, witness a mob attack, go undercover and join a group of girls, one of whom falls in love with Sugar Cane, a sugar junkie, and the other is pursued by millionaire Osgood. Fielding III, the jokes begin. However, the play opens with the events of the Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929-1933 at the end of Prohibition.

This time, Joe (Tony Award winner Christian Burley) is white, but Jerry (J. Harrison Guy), Sugar (Adrienne Hicks) and bandleader Sweet Sue (Natasha Yvette Williams) are black. Instead of Florida in the Deep South, the group heads to Hollywood, where the eternally sad Sugar hopes to become a movie star, not a millionaire. These changes open up the story but don't interfere with the story. This is a musical comedy, after all, and Lopez and Ruffin move fast and loose, even as they include social commentary in between their barbed lines.

Mark Jay Franklin

The book has to keep the energy of the original well while updating the world of 1933 for a 2023 audience, and for the most part it succeeds. There are a few lines you don't quite get, but it's a comedy, guys. Throw a bunch of jokes at the wall, see what chips there are. But while the 1959 film makes light of sex, this production acknowledges that queerness exists alongside all those pubs and bars.

Many of the funniest moments in the 1959 film come from Jack Lemmon passionately throwing himself into the role of Daphne. "Why does a man want to marry someone else?" Tony Curtis "Safety!" yells Lemona in response.

When J. Harrison Ghee is Daphne, they are Daphne. During their big song, "You Shoulda Nocked Me Over with a Feather," Gerry plays Daphne in a confrontation with Joe, and the show moves away from pure emotion for a rousing musical number. Although the heart of Some Like It Hot is wrapped in a curtain sleeve, it doesn't dwell too much on the sentiments necessary to keep the action going and the jinx going.

Mark Jay Franklin

Marc Shaiman has one of the hardest-working pianists in the business, who won an Oscar without just one ego (although seven nominations is no small feat). While Hairspray is his most famous work, Smash is nothing to sneeze at. NBC's short-lived musical drama was ambitious, sometimes over the top, but can I tell you the joy that filled my heart when I heard Kevin Del Aguila's Osgood remake of Megan Hilty's Let's Be Bad? The music is as fun and exciting as the book, with the big, bright hooks that this big, bright musical needs. Another important component: nails. And children take full advantage of ballet, jazz and especially tap dance.

Mark Jay Franklin

The cast is always great. Borley pulls triple duty as wifey Joe, saxophonist Josephine and shy German "screenwriter" Kip. Ghee shines as Jerry/Daphne, a standing god knows how many legs she has, stomping her feet and turning the gods upside down. Del Aguila was a real surprise, his understated performance as Osgood moving from comic relief to unexpected tenderness. And every time Natasha Yvette Williams took the stage as sweet Sue Sue, she threatened to end the whole show.

And then there's Adrianne Hicks, who is, in short, a star. do you remember this With the role of Sugar in very capable hands, Hicks established Sugar as the next big woman in the musical comedy scene. She carries the emotional weight of the show as Marilyn Monroe did in the film, her numbers "At the Grand Old Nickel Matinee" and "Ride Out the Storm" also showcasing her vocal and dramatic range.

Matthew Murphy

Some succeed by capturing the essence of the film rather than trying to revive it where Sugar fails. Wilder's comedies were always a little serious, a little dark, and often concealed a harsh, unspoken truth. But this line makes the laugh even sweeter.

Like the movie, this new production knows it has to eventually return to comedy. Even in musical comedies, it's as if everyone involved gets it, and it makes the whole show move like jelly on a pillow. But-

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