When two out-of-work musicians witness the 1929 St Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago, their only escape route from the mob is to join an all-girl band bound for Florida. Joe and Jerry become Josephine and Daphne and a now-legendary and hilarious chain of events ensues. Wilder’s film starred Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as Joe and Jerry, with Marilyn Monroe as sexy band member Sugar Kane Kowalczyk.
Funny Girl composer Jule Styne and lyricist Bob Merrill’s original version of the film, entitled Sugar, premiered in 1972 at Broadway’s Majestic Theatre, where it ran for over 500 performances. The title was changed back to Some Like It Hot for a 1992 UK production, directed by and starring Tommy Steele, which had a three-month run at the Prince Edward Theatre following a regional tour.
In 2002, a then 77-year-old Tony Curtis made his musical debut in a stage production in the US – not reprising his screen role as the spry, cross-dressing Jerry but rather playing the libidinous old millionaire Osgood Fielding Jr. Some Like It Hot has a book by Peter Stone, with extra material by BT McNicholl.
Director Jerry Zaks’ myriad Broadway credits include La Cage aux Folles, Little Shop of Horrors, The Man Who Came to Dinner, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Smokey Joe’s Café, Guys and Dolls, Six Degrees of Separation, Lend Me a Tenor, Anything Goes and The Front Page. His last London outing was 2005’s Kevin Spacey-headed production of The Philadelphia Story. No further creative team details or casting have yet been announced.
Some Like It Hot is presented in London by Paul Coxwell, whose production of Underneath the Lintel starring The West Wing’s Richard Schiff opened earlier this month at the West End’s Duchess Theatre.
- by Terri Paddock