The title of the new dance musical – conceived, directed and choreographed by ZooNation artistic director Kate Prince, who has also been appointed as an associate artist at Sadler’s Wells – is inspired by Billy Wilder’s 1959 Hollywood classic Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis.
While it pays a cross-dressing nod to Some Like It Hot, as well as Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the story is not based on the Hollywood film; it’s about two women trying to make it in a futuristic man's world.
Teneisha Bonner, who created the role of Spinderella in Into the Hoods and starred in the film Streetdance 3D, leads the cast alongside So You Think You Can Dance finalists Lizzie Gough and Tommy Franzen.
Some Like It Hip Hop has original music and lyrics by DJ Walde, Josh Cohen and Kate Prince. Other choreographers who have contributed to the piece, which was workshopped and showcased at Sadler’s Wells in September, include Tommy Franzen, Ryan Chappell, Carrie-Anne Ingrouille and Duwane Taylor.
Founded in 2002, ZooNation first established a relationship with Sadler’s Well with their first work, Box Beat, which was performed in the Lilian Baylis Studio. In 2004, the company featured in the theatre’s inaugural international festival of hip-hop dance theatre, Breakin’ Convention.
ZooNation’s breakthrough hit Into the Hoods, a hip-hop version of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods which was also conceived and directed by Kate Prince, was performed at the Peacock Theatre in 2006, prior to success at the Edinburgh Festival, the Wales Millennium Centre and a transfer in 2008 to the Novello Theatre, where it became both the first-ever hip hop dance show to open in the West End and the longest-running dance show in West End history and went on to win the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Ensemble Performance. Since finishing in the West End, it returned to London twice for stints at the Southbank Centre and international productions are in the pipeline.
Some Like It Hip Hop is a ZooNation and Sadler’s Wells production, co-produced with Curve Theatre, Leicester. Prior to London, it has a tryout week at Birmingham Hippodrome from 11 to 15 October 2011.