Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway!

Some Like It Hot is currently running on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre.

By: Dec. 11, 2022
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Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway!

Broadway's new musical comedy Some Like It Hot opened Sunday, December 11 at the Shubert Theatre.

This brand-new Broadway musical comedy features a book by Matthew López (The Inheritance) & Amber Ruffin ("The Amber Ruffin Show"), music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman (Hairspray) and direction and choreography by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon). The musical is based on the classic MGM film Some Like It Hot which has been named the "Funniest American Movie of All Time" by the American Film Institute.

The company is led by Tony Award winner Christian Borle as Joe, J. Harrison Ghee as Jerry, Adrianna Hicks as Sugar, Kevin Del Aguila as Osgood, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Sweet Sue, Adam Heller as Mulligan, Mark Lotito as Spats, and Angie Schworer as Minnie. The ensemble includes TyNia René Brandon, Ian CampaynoGabi CampoDeMarius CopesCasey GarvinDevon HadsellAshley Elizabeth HaleJenny HillK.J. HippensteelAbby MatsusakaJarvis B. Manning Jr., Brian Thomas MartinAmber OwensKayla PecchioniRichard Riaz YoderCharles SouthBrendon StimsonRaena White, and Julius Williams.

Let's see what the critics had to say...

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Jesse Green, New York Times: Ultimately, it’s the epiphanies and insights that make it possible to enjoy, without too much guilt, the flat-out entertainment of 'Some Like It Hot,' including its groaners, overemphasis and old-school gags. How smart it is, for instance, to have Daphne demonstrate the spectrum of gender by singing, simply, 'I crossed a border.' (Smart too, to have it sung in the scene set in Mexico.) And how satisfying it is to have Osgood link his identity issues so succinctly with hers: 'The world reacts to what it sees,' he says, 'and in my experience the world doesn’t have very good eyesight.' Perhaps not, but some of its artists have a damn fine ear.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Charles Isherwood, The Wall Street Journal: Racing to its farcical climax, the new musical 'Some Like It Hot' works up a sizzling head of steam, as its principal characters dash around attempting to secure their romantic fates and dodge the gangsters who have invaded their sunny refuge in a seaside hotel. This dizzying passage is pure pleasure. Unhappily, by the time it arrives audiences may be too dazed to notice, since this adaptation of the classic movie, while buoyantly performed, is also exhaustingly labored.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Elysa Gardner, The New York Sun: The production’s most valuable player is Mr. Nicholaw, whose affinity for gleeful musical-comedy hijinks has benefited hits such as 'The Book of Mormon,' 'Mean Girls,' and 'The Prom.' In addition to keeping the performances buoyant, he furnishes a string of exhilarating production numbers, with dance routines as crisp and sparkling as champagne cocktails.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Rex Reed, Observer: Few things in show business are as genuinely, indestructibly, and reliably close to perfect as Some Like it Hot—every time it comes out of the starting gate it leaves audiences cheering. Billy Wilder’s historic 1959 film has been anointed one of the ten greatest comedy classics of all time in every poll taken by both real people and movie critics alike. Sugar, Gower Champion’s 1972 Broadway musical adaptation, produced by David Merrick with an amiable score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, starring luscious Elaine Joyce, funny Tony Roberts, and the sensational Robert Morse, ran for more than a year. Now here it is again, dusted off slightly to reflect contemporary values and trends, but still following the same basic plot outline—ready to pack in new sold-out audiences as long as they remember how to laugh and applaud and scream like mad. At a time when so much trash crowds New York marquees passing itself off as entertainment, the new Some Like it Hot at the Shubert Theatre is a star-spangled, toe-tapping, show-stopping lollapalooza!

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Frank Rizzo, Variety: This stage production boasts swell performances, dandy twists and turns, razzmatazz dancing and a whole lotta energy (under the savvy, playful direction and choreography of Casey Nicholaw) — all of which should please new audiences without alienating fans of the original. If the songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman ('Hairspray,' 'Smash') don’t always score high marks, well: Nobody’s perfect.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Alexis Soloski, The Guardian: There are several chase scenes in Some Like It Hot, the top-heavy musical adaptation of Billy Wilder’s 1959 film comedy. Multiple characters bustle across the stage, typically in tap shoes, hurtling up and down stairs and in and out of doors. But as the chase goes on, it becomes increasingly hazy what they’re running from or toward. As befits a show with at least two percussionists, the show rushes to the beat of multiple drums. And as the name of the in-show band, the Syncopated Sisters, suggests, Some Like It Hot often dances just out in front or a stroke or two behind.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Mark Kennedy, Associated Press : There are references throughout to the unfairness of society’s role for women in the 1930s ('No men?' asks one bandmember sarcastically. 'But who’s gonna talk over us?') One curious weapon the book writers have come up with to even the score and get men to listen to them is, well, scatting. Sometimes musical theater has its own magic, I guess. To steal a key line from the film that makes it to the musical, 'nobody’s perfect.' Yet this show is very nearly that.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Matt Windman, AM New York: As directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw ('The Book of Mormon,' 'Something Rotten!'), 'Some Like It Hot' is a fresh, splashy and fast-paced delight. The book, by Matthew Lopez ('The Inheritance') and comedian Amber Ruffin, carefully reconceives the original characters and make cross-dressing into something more than just a joke.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Michael Musto, Village Voice: Enlightened audiences didn’t want to see drag (and female identities) co-opted by cisgender hetero men in order to sneakily achieve their male goals. But the new Broadway musical remake of Some Like It Hot has found a way around that pitfall. While the classic 1959 Billy Wilder movie centers on two straight male musicians on the lam and hiding out as part of an all-girl band after witnessing a gangland massacre, the stage version takes pains to include an evolution for one of those characters, which I’ll get to later. (Spoiler alert!) The Republicans who’ve been demonizing drag queens—but only queer ones; they’re not about to cancel Milton Berle reruns—will be uncomfortable here, and will retreat back to the movie instead. And that’s OK with me, especially since this delectable show looks to be a big, spangled hit anyway.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Adam Feldman, TimeOut New York: Some Like It Hot is a well-aimed throwback: a jubilant, oldfangled, crowd-pleasing musical comedy. Like many recent Broadway tuners, it is adapted from a well-loved movie—in this case, Billy Wilder’s classic 1959 sex-and-sax farce about a pair of Prohibition-era musicians, on the run from the mob, who pose as women in an all-girl traveling band. The musical version reheats this story with abundant production values and canny attention to modern sensibilities. If it wobbles a little in its borrowed heels at first, it finishes in the confident stride of a hit.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post: I’ve heard 'Some Like It Hot' described a lot as an 'old-fashioned musical comedy.' And, yes, it sure feels old. But the shows that those folks are referencing, and that this musical aspires to be — 'Guys and Dolls,' 'The Music Man,' 'Anything Goes' — sparked with innovation in their time (and, ya know, had strong scores and books). Unlike 'Some,' they were hot.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Chris Jones, New York Daily News: That’s actually a problem endemic to Broadway at present: musicals have long sold sexuality to the punters in the seats, all coughing up their cash and looking for a sensual escape from their boring suburban or hinterland lives. Like so many of the new musical comedies, 'Some Like It Hot,' of all titles, sees that realm as, well, the kind of risk it does not want to take and thus none of these characters seem especially attracted to each other. Rather, they all have their preordained roles in this carefully wrought world and they play them very well.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Robert Hofler, The Wrap: With the exception of 'Fly, Mariposa, Fly,' you will leave 'Some Like It Hot' humming the tunes because you could have hummed them going in. At their very best, John Kander and Fred Ebb knew how to reinvent showbiz pastiche to deliver genuinely original anthems like 'All That Jazz' from 'Chicago' and the title songs from 'Cabaret' and 'New York, New York.' Shaiman and Wittman’s work is more journeyman-like; while the lyrics often delight, the music is merely peppy, repetitive and, yes, loud.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Jackson McHenry, Vulture: That’s the trick that director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw (he of the tap-dancing Elders in The Book of Mormon and the tap-dancing teens in Mean Girls) has mastered in the stage musical adaptation of Some Like It Hot. He’s fitted the show together so tightly it’s nearly vacuum-sealed. The production is relentlessly technically dazzling: Scene flows into song flows into scene flows into key change flows into dramatic set change flows into inevitable comedic tap-dance sequence flows into key change and on and on. By the end of it, all I could think is, Well, this is most of the way to being an incredible musical. It just needs to, you know, make you feel anything more than abstract admiration.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast: Some Like it Hot (Sam S. Shubert Theatre, booking to Sept 3, 2023) is a razzle-dazzle puzzle—a proudly old-school Broadway musical based on the much-beloved 1959 film that also aims to take account of the times it is now showing in. The dancing and singing are a delight; Some Like it Hot reminds you that in shows both exquisite and terrible—and everything in between—brilliant Broadway dancers and musicians are the unsung backbones of so many productions. They deserve a special round of applause for their work in this show.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Dan Rubins, Slant: "Nobody’s perfect,' goes the famous final line from Some Like It Hot, afterJack Lemmon’s Daphne confesses to a doting suitor that he’s really Jerry, a man in disguise. But even if the new Broadway musical adaptation of Billy Wilder’s classic isn’t perfect either, J. Harrison Ghee, playing a reimagined Daphne, comes pretty close.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Theatre Guide: Despite that reservation, there’s still a lot to like. There’s a batch of buoyant songs by Marc Shaiman (music and lyrics) and Scott Wittman (lyrics), pros at matching showtunes to a particular period. In Hairspray, the team welcomed us to the ’60s. Their latest jazzy, horn-happy score whisks us back to 1933. Not every song leaves such a lasting impression as the juicy title number, but they all set the scene and flesh out characters.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Jonathan Mandell, New York Theater: 'Some Like It Hot' is glitzy, excessive, frenetic and funny, with hyperactive choreography, a game, talented cast, and a jazzy score with multiple 11 o’clock numbers. Much of this reminded me of the current Broadway revival of 'The Music Man,' in that it amps up the entertainment in hopes of blasting us into submission. Whether you leave feeling entertained or overwhelmed probably depends on how eager you are for a fun time.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Bob Verini, New York Stage Review: Since Some Like It Hot begins brash from its opening moments – a big-band intro to a sprawling nightclub dance caught in mid-debauch – I’ll kick off by brashly asserting that it’s a freakin’ joy, one of the most confident of Broadway musicals since… well, since Hairspray, with a score by the same gifted team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Like Hairspray, the new show is filled top to bottom with skilled pros, many of whom deserve to become instant headliners with this appearance. None of them ever doubts their own ability to dazzle, and they all barrel on through to do just that. If you’re a sucker for fast-paced glamour executed in high style, this is the one for you.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Frank Scheck, New York Stage Review: Shaiman’s music is tuneful enough, with the title number being downright catchy. But the songs never quite take hold, and the lyrics are disappointingly generic rather than displaying the wit the farcical storyline deserves. And while Nicholaw keeps things moving briskly and energetically, whipping the large ensemble into one dynamic production number after another, eventually they begin to feel formulaic. There’s so much tap dancing that you start to wonder if he’s being paid by the tap, and a frenzied chase scene, complete with doors being brought onstage just for the purpose of being slammed, is expertly orchestrated but so reminiscent of Jerome Robbins’ 'Bathing Beauty Ballet' from High Button Shoes that his estate should be seeking royalties.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway! Juan A. Ramirez, Theatrely: But any qualms I might have with the production are insignificant compared to the unadulterated, toe-tapping fun there is to be had here, especially considering the quality (and quantity!) of Shaiman and Wittman’s music. You don’t have to squint too hard to see how often and heartily it cribs from Anything Goes, another travelin’ caper where old mores get soaked in gin and come out with a Jazz Age pep in their step. The tap dancing duo’s early ode to their platonic partnership is a fun riff on that stalwart’s 'Friendship' and 'You’re the Top,' and the south-of-the-border 'Fly, Mariposa, Fly' marries its predecessor’s 'Be Like the Bluebird' and 'The Gypsy in Me' at nearly the exact same mark. So if the Hairspray creators’ take on Cole Porter’s best score is a red flag for you, this show might not be for you.

Review Roundup: SOME LIKE IT HOT Opens on Broadway!
Average Rating: 73.3%

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