How SOME LIKE IT HOT Bridges Broadway's Past and Future
Updated: Dec 13, 2022
While Broadway has seen plenty of overlap and exchange with Hollywood, there are only a handful of times movies have not only been adapted to the stage, but re-imagined. When done correctly—e.g., "The Phantom of the Opera," "Hairspray," "Legally Blonde," "Beetlejuice," etc.—magic can ensue. With the recent opening of "Some Like it Hot," it's safe to say Broadway has once again struck gold.
Based on the acclaimed 1959 Marilyn Monroe film, "Some Like it Hot" is a comedic tale set in the Prohibition era. It tells of two nightclub performers, Joe and Jack—played by Christian Borle and J. Harrison Ghee—who find themselves in a serious conundrum after witnessing a mob crime committed by their boss, Spats Colombo (Mark Lotito).
In a desperate effort to escape being captured, the two don wigs and adopt the names Josephine and Daphne before joining an all-female jazz troupe led by Sweet Sue—played with brilliant gusto by Natasha Yvette Williams. Plenty of Hilarity and chaos follows.
"Christian Borle and J. Harrison Ghee were both outstanding in this musical. They played so well off each other and were both on point in terms of comedic timing and energy. The entire production as a whole was very impressive as well, from the ensemble cast and choreography to the sets and lighting." — Marsi Gardiner, Tony Award-winning Producer and Brown Harris Stevens Agent
From the moment the musical opens with Sweet Sue singing the electric "What are You Thirsty For?" the audience is taken on a thrill ride that is a feast for the senses.
The majority of the numbers in the show are feel-good, big-band, high-kicking displays of dance and singing prowess that harken to the days of Broadway's golden age.
As jazz troupe leading lady Sugar Kane, Adrianna Hicks glows with her bright voice, boundless energy and clever stage work.
Even amid the obvious star power of the leads, the ensemble cast truly shines, with each member giving a masterclass in singing and choreography. The impressive, colorful set is a character in itself, seamlessly shifting from a nightclub, to a dressing room, to a bustling subway platform in seconds.
Despite the knee-slapping jokes and upbeat, nostalgic songs found throughout "Some Like it Hot," there is a layer of depth and complexity achieved through the character Jack/Daphne (J. Harrison Ghee) that keeps the production both timely and meaningful. In the film version, Jack—undercover as Daphne—wins the affections of zany millionaire Osgood Fielding III before eventually revealing himself is a man. Osgood's response is a tongue-in-cheek, "Nobody's perfect!"
In the musical production, however, Jack—who faces racial discrimination throughout the show—comes to the realization that Daphne is not merely an alter ego, but a true reflection of inner identity. When faced with the truth, Osgood (Kevin Del Aguila) simply implies he is in love with Daphne as a person, regardless of her being transgender.
The result is a glittering example of how, when treated with kindness and respect, even the most "classic" and idyllic of storylines can be made fresh, relevant, and innovative.