A new Broadway musical based on Some Like It Hot is in the works, Playbill reports.
“A new musical adaptation of the film classic Some Like It Hot is in the works, with a Broadway premiere slated for 2020. The project hails from the Shubert Organization and Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the team behind NBC’s roster of live musicals.
The show will feature a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, plus a book by playwright Matthew Lopez. Casey Nicholaw will direct and choreograph.
Shaiman and Wittman are no strangers to the Marilyn Monroe canon, having previously penned songs for Bombshell, the fictional Monroe bio-musical in the NBC series Smash. A real-life stage presentation of Bombshell, produced by Zadan and Meron, is long-gestating
The 1959 Billy Wilder comedy was previously adapted for the stage with Jule Styne, Bob Merrill, and Peter Stone’s Sugar, which opened on Broadway in 1972, going on to earn four Tony nominations and play over 500 performances.”
Ron Fassler, author of Up in the Cheap Seats: A Historical Memoir of Broadway, has written an article, ‘A Sprinkling of Sugar‘, about the musical theatre adaptation of Some Like It Hot. Written by Peter Stone, with music by Gentlemen Prefer Blondes composer Jule Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill, Sugar was first produced at the Majestic Theatre on West 44th St, NYC, running for 505 performances from 1972-73, and has since become a firm favourite in regional theatre and with amateur dramatics societies everywhere.
“David Merrick, a producer with an enviable track record, as well as a talent for alienating close to everyone he ever came in contact with, was the man behind figuring out a way to bring a musical version of Some Like It Hot to the Broadway stage — and it wasn’t easy …
Merrick optioned Fanfaren de Liebe, the German screenplay upon which Wilder and Diamond based Some Like It Hot. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t allow for Merrick to set the show in the Roaring Twenties, perfect for a musical, as that was an idea of Wilder and Diamond’s … But with Merrick not being the type to give up without a fight, he eventually nabbed the rights from United Artists to use Wilder and Diamond’s screenplay as the source for his musical.
When Sugar opened on Broadway forty-six years ago tonight at the Majestic Theatre, it featured a relative unknown, Elaine Joyce in the title part, the one first created by Marilyn Monroe in the film … Yet the show remained a bit of a disappointment creatively, even though it did good business.
As a teenager, I saw Sugar early in its run, and though intermittently entertaining on its own merits, the show was really all about the comedic skills, dazzling energy and one-of-a-kind charisma of Robert Morse. As Jerry and his female alter-ego, Daphne, Morse was the real deal.
With Some Like It Hot’sstatus as a film classic not only undiminished over the years, but continuing to grow, there have been numerous attempts to revive Sugar’sfortunes, in hopes of it maybe one day finding its way back to Broadway. One was a 1992 London version with British favorite Tommy Steele, and another was a U.S. touring production in 2002 with Tony Curtis, this time in the Joe E. Brown role of Osgood, the randy millionaire.
Of course, both productions took on a new title: Some Like It Hot.”
The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe(pictured above)is a new play at this year’s Edinburgh Festival next month, after Bedford and St Albans in July. It is one of several Marilyn-related plays being staged this summer in the UK and USA.
Across the pond, Sugar – the popular musical based on Some Like it Hot, with songs by Jule Styne (who also wrote ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’) – will be revived at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento, from July 23-28.
“Many film historians and film critics have written that Marilyn Monroe’s best comedic work was in the film Some Like It Hot. I would agree with that. By the time she filmed this in 1959 her stardom was burning brightly. Her historic performance in the film has stood time all these years. Plus she looked so ravishing that she melted the screen with her sensuality and beauty. Having said that, any actress who plays ‘Sugar’ (Monroe’s role) in the musical Sugar has a humongous hurdle to overcome. That role in the film is so iconic due to Monroe.”
An interesting look back at the history of Sugar, the stage musical based on Some Like It Hot.