A developmental work session of the musical adaptation of the 1959 film Some Like It Hot will be held this month, in lieu of the canceled out-of-town engagement at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre. The musical now plans to make its world premiere on Broadway in fall 2022.
The work session features two-time Tony winner Christian Borle as Joe/Josephine, Kevin Del Aguila as Osgood, J. Harrison Ghee as Jerry/Daphne, Adam Heller as Mulligan, Adrianna Hicks as Sugar, Mark Lotito as Spats, and NaTasha Yvette Williams Sweet Sue.
The ensemble includes Tia Altinay, Esther Antoine, Ian Campayno, Jacob Dickey, Casey Garvin, Devon Hadsell, Ashley Elizabeth Hale, Jenny Hill, Jarvis B. Manning, Jr., Brian Martin, Abby Matsusaka, Amber Owens, Destinee Rea, Tyler Roberts, Angie Schworer, Charles South, Brendon Stimson, Anthony Wayne, Raena White, and Richard Riaz Yoder.
Some Like It Hot is directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, and music directed by Mary-Mitchell Campbell.
The stage adaptation features a score by the Tony-winning Hairspray duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (who musicalized the creation of the 1959 film in "Let's Be Bad" in the fictional Smash musical Bombshell) and a book by The Inheritance Tony winner Matthew Lopez and Amber Ruffin (The Amber Ruffin Show, Late Night With Seth Meyers).
Ruffin’s involvement, as previously reported, signals a departure from the Billy Wilder source material, resulting in a new take that the writer calls “honestly groundbreaking.” The character of Sugar—portrayed in the film by Marilyn Monroe—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,” Lopez 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.”
Inspired by the French film Fanfare of Love, the comedy 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 (Marilyn Monroe).