Sunday, November 13, 2022

Some Like It Hot

I saw Some Like It Hot too early to give it a full review, but I do have some comments. 

At first I was put off by the show. It's so energetic, and so enthusiastic, and so cheerful that it feels like an attack. But eventually I surrendered and embraced its hyperactive broad-stroke old-fashioned Broadway-ness. (It would have been a big hit in 1980.) 

Many of the songs are catchy and fun (though there too many of them). The ensemble work their collective butts off. The choreography is clunky. For example, there's a farce-type extended number that lacks logic and rhythm and ends up abrasive and annoying. However, the ensemble sells everything with that wonderful Broadway-triple-threat energy and skill. 

The main performances make or break a show like this, and Some Like It Hot features two kick-ass, star-making turns. Adrianna Hicks as Sugar and J. Harrison Ghee as Daphne have all the skills you could possibly ask for, topped with great charm and likeability. They are both consistently delightful. Christian Borle is ok; I don't think he is well-cast.

There has been some controversy in the chat rooms about this being a "woke" musical. "Woke" is often used judgmentally, so I don't want to go there. However, the way that the show embraces the existence of people of color and differing sexualities and identities is lovely

The show needs polish. I hope that they will use the rest of previews to fix the timing on one-liners (give them a moment to breathe!), balance the sound (50% of the lyrics are not intelligible!), trim the show, and dial the vibe down from 125% to, oh, 110%.

Some Like It Hot is not great. It is fun. And Ghee and Hicks are fabulous.

Wendy Caster