In 1959, Some Like It Hot was released in theaters. Starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Joe E. Brown, and Marilyn Monroe, the film followed two musicians (Curtis and Lemmon) who witness a gang murder in Chicago in 1933. Their only escape is to dress as women and join an all-female band.
Even though it is nearly 70 years old, it is as funny and subversive as it was during the original run. One falls for Sugar (Monroe) but is unable to tell her the truth. The other catches the eye of an eccentric millionaire, Osgood (Brown), who does not understand the word “no”.
The Broadway reimagining of the film opened earlier this year. Stepping into the roles of their iconic predecessors are Christian Borle as Joe/Josephine, J. Harrison Ghee as Jerry/Daphne, Adrianne Hicks as Sugar, and Kevin Del Aguila as Osgood.
In a nutshell, the narrative skeleton is the same. What has changed is that this production takes the themes of its big-screen counterpart and makes it feel relevant in 2023.
For starters, it is much more inclusive when it comes to casting and gender roles. One of the book writers is Amber Ruffin, giving Sugar and the other female characters a real-world voice and perspective deepens their humanity. One thing I really liked is that under the comedy, there is a reality when it comes to skin color and sex. I would love to say that this reality is in the past, but it isn’t.
Overall, I enjoyed the show. I just wish that the underground rebelliousness was a little more prevalent.
Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward yes.
Some Like It Hot is playing at the Shubert Theater in New York City. Check the website for tickets and showtimes.
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