A new stage musical adaptation of Some Like It Hot starts previews at the Shubert Theatre November 1 ahead of a December 11 opening night. Adapted from the 1959 film written and directed by Billy Wilder, the 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.
Get a first look at Adrianna Hicks as Sugar singing the score's "A Darker Shade of Blue" above.
As previously announced, the cast will be led by Christian Borle, J. Harrison Ghee, Hicks, Kevin Del Aguila, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Adam Heller, and Mark Lotito. They're joined by Tia Altinay, TyNia René Brandon, Ian Campayno, DeMarius Copes, Casey Garvin, Devon Hadsell, Ashley Elizabeth Hale, Jenny Hill, K.J. Hippensteel, Abby Matsusaka, Jarvis B. Manning Jr., Brian Thomas Martin, Amber Owens, Kayla Pecchioni, Richard Riaz Yoder, Angie Schworer, Charles South, Brendon Stimson, Raena White, and Julius Williams.
The Book of Mormon and Mean Girls' Casey Nicholaw is directing and choreographing, leading a creative team that includes scenic designer Scott Pask, costume designer Gregg Barnes, lighting designer Natasha Katz, sound designer Brian Ronan, hair and wig designer Josh Marquette, make-up designer Milagros Medina-Cerdiera, music supervisor Mary-Mitchell Campbell, music director Darryl Archibald, orchestrators Charlie Rosen and Bryan Carter, dance and incidental music arranger Glen Kelly, and hair and skin consultant Cheryl Thomas. The production is cast by The Telsey Office's Bethany Knox, and Karen Moore is production stage manager. Juniper Street Productions is production manager, with 101 Productions, Ltd. serving as general manager. Borle and Joe Farrell have contributed additional material.
A pre-Broadway tryout production, once set for 2021 in Chicago, was scrapped due to the pandemic, clearing the runway for the work to receive its world premiere on the Main Stem.
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.
Ruffin’s involvement, as previously reported, signals a departure from the source material, resulting in a new take that the writer calls “honestly groundbreaking.” The character of Sugar has been reworked and is now a Black woman.
“It is an exciting proposition to create a show with characters whose race is instrumental and not incidental to the story,” López said in an earlier statement. “It became apparent to me that if we were to honor our commitment to tell that story with honesty and integrity, it required a Black creative voice on the team. It didn’t take long for all of us to agree that Amber was the person to approach.”