All Broadway wants for Christmas is... Mariah Carey! The Grammy-winning, self-proclaimed (unofficial) Queen of Christmas has added her A-list name to the roster of producers for Some Like It Hot, now in previews at the Shubert Theatre and set to open December 11.
The move reunites Carey with Some Like It Hot composer and co-lyricist Marc Shaiman, who co-wrote with Carey her 2017 single "The Star." Shaiman also served as a producer on her 2010 album Merry Christmas II You and co-wrote the tracks "Christmas Time is in the Air Again" and "One Child" with Carey.
Says Carey in a statement: “When Neil Meron shared this new take on the beloved film, I knew I had to be a part of it. To see how this show continues to expand on the film’s legacy—pushing boundaries, promoting inclusion, celebrating diversity—I’m proud to help bring Some Like It Hot for today’s world to new audiences.”
Carey also added that she's been a fan of the Some Like It Hot film and of Marilyn Monroe: “She’s been an important touchstone throughout my life, so much so that I acquired her treasured baby grand white piano at an auction." The white piano belonged to Monroe's mother Gladys Pearl Baker, and was sold when Baker was institutionalized. It was so important to Monroe that she spent years tracking it down and repurchased it. Her memoir was titled How I Rescued a White Piano. The story inspired Shaiman and fellow Some Like It Hot lyricist Scott Wittman's "Second Hand White Baby Grand," written for the fictitious Monroe biomusical for TV's Smash. Carey purchased Monroe's piano in 1999 for $662,500.
Carey is the latest high-profile celebrity to get into Broadway producing. This season, LaChanze (for Topdog/Underdog and Kimberly Akimbo) and RuPaul (for Ain't No Mo') are both producing on the Main Stem. Last season's Best Musical Tony Award winner A Strange Loop featured a host of heavy hitter producers, including RuPaul, Don Cheadle, Jennifer Hudson, Mindy Kaling, Billy Porter, Ilana Glazer, Alan Cumming, Zach Stafford, Cody Renard Richard, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul.
The trend may indicate that celebrities are looking to work towards EGOT status, though Carey currently has only achieved the Grammy part of that equation.
Inspired by the French film Fanfare of Love, Some Like It Hot follows two Prohibition-era jazz musicians in Chicago (played on screen by Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), who witness a mob hit and go into hiding by disguising themselves as members of an all-female band. Through their escape plot, the two become enamored with the band's singer and ukulele player, Sugar, played on screen by Marilyn Monroe. The film was previously adapted for the stage as the 1972 musical Sugar, with a score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill and a book by Peter Stone.
Adapted from the 1959 film written and directed by Billy Wilder, the new stage musical features a book by The Inheritance Tony winner Matthew López and Amber Ruffin and a score by Hairspray's Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, with the former providing music and both contributing lyrics.
The cast is led by Christian Borle as Joe/Josephine, J. Harrison Ghee as Jerry/Daphne, Adrianna Hicks as Sugar, Kevin Del Aguila as Osgood, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Sweet Sue, Adam Heller as Mulligan, and Mark Lotito as Spats, with Casey Nicholaw directing and choreographing.
Carey joins a roster of producers including The Shubert Organization, Neil Meron, and MGM On Stage, Roy Furman, Robert Greenblatt, James L. Nederlander, Kenny Leon, Hunter Arnold, John Gore Organization, The Dalgleish Library Company Group, Ambassador Theatre Group Productions, Bob Boyett, Sheboygan Conservatory Partners, Janet and Marvin Rosen, The Araca Group, Concord Theatricals, Henry R. Muñoz III, and Ostar. D.S. Moynihan is executive producer.