“When the world is dark and gloomy, And you can’t face another day, Well, then, just bring your arms closer to me, And let’s dance the world away” ~ Some Like it Hot
Some Like It Hot
Continuing, with my Broadway tour and reviews of those nominated this season, is Some like it Hot which was the musical sensation of the year with 12 Tony nominations. It was the most nominated show of the Broadway year. Audiences adored it so when I finally got the chance to see it I was ready to be blown away. An unpopular opinion, but if I had seen it before New York, New York, perhaps I just might have. While I enjoyed it immensely, it wasn’t my favorite show of the season.
Some Like it Hot is a new musical, that is based on the 1959 movie starring Marilyn Monroe. Unlike it’s inspiration, this musical is much more entertaining and filled with incredible talent that the movie lacked, and I know that might sound sacrilegious. It is set in Prohibition era Chicago, where two musicians who are working hard to make it big witness a mob hit and have to go on the run as women with an all female band. It is a trope that is not new to Broadway, which might be why I wasn’t as entertained with the story itself, though the cast and songs were another story and the dancing was entertaining.
The Songs, The Cast, The Set
The cast is insanely talented with Christian Borle as Joe (Josephine) and J. Harrison Ghee as Gerry (Daphne) as the two musicians on the run. While at times Joe, can be a bit selfish and has “bad ideas” the camaraderie he has with Gerry is second to none and he ultimately has his friends back when they make a decision that was not popular at the time, nor is it entirely popular now. Not only is Ghee’s role groundbreaking, their acting range is truly impressive and I am not sure anyone else could embody the character of Gerry/Daphne like they do.
While many know Marilynn Monroe’s version of Sugar, Adrianna Hicks portrayal is not only refreshing, but multi-demensional and creates a likability factor that Monroe’s rendition in the movie lacked. And I haven’t even touched on Hick’s vocals. She is a powerhouse belting out songs like Darker Shade of Blue and Ride Out the Storm which brought me chills.
Much like other recent Broadway shows, it isn’t just the names atop the playbill, but the supporting cast as well as ensemble who have really stood. Kevin Del Aguila as Osgood not only offered comic relief, he was also part of the more heartwarming scenes in the show as was NaTasha Yvette Williams as Sweet Sue whose song What Are You Thirsty For kicked off the show in toe tapping splendor.
I love when shows incorporate their orchestras and Some Like It Hot did just that with bringing the 17 piece orchestra onto the stage multiple times, and making us truly feel like we were part of the big band era. The set had the grandeur of the 1920’s and yet was not over the top and incorporated perfectly with the choreography.
Some Like it Hot was entertaining, heartwarming, and groundbreaking. Was I as wowed as some if the other shows I had seen this season? No, but then as I mentioned the storyline was one we had seen before. If it wasn’t for Ghee who was not only groundbreaking, but brought all the emotion, and Hicks who brought the vocal chops and sass, it would just be okay. This isn’t a show I want to see again and again, but if I had nothing to do on a Friday night, or I had a friend who hadn’t seen it? I would not be against seeing it. And the cast recording which came out in March is an enjoyable listen and a showcase of incredible talent.
Have you seen Some Like it Hot? What did you think?