Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Broadway’s recent drag musical is tepid

By Lauren Wilson Dec31,2022

Gents desire … the film.

The wobbly high quality of the brand new Broadway musical “Some Like It Sizzling,” which opened Sunday evening on the Shubert Theatre, is made a lot more obtrusive via the indeniable greatness of its supply subject matter.

Theater overview

Two hour and half-hour, with one intermission. On the Shubert Theatre, 225 W forty fourth Boulevard.

The 1959 Marilyn Monroe movie is likely one of the very best comedies of all time. And, so, as most effective Broadway is aware of how you can do, it has churned out a most commonly charmless song-and-dance model of a loved name.  

On the other hand, even supposing you move in utterly chilly — “Who’s Jack Lemmon?” God forbid — the display nonetheless disappoints as a stand-alone piece of theater.

The repetitive songs via Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman gnaw at the ears, there aren’t sufficient giant laughs in Matthew Lopez and Amber Ruffin’s guide and the revised finishing, by which a personality questions their gender id, feels neither truthful nor herbal, however as though it’s been exhaustively focus-grouped to keep away from Twitter backlash. (And, after the “Tootsie” fracas again in 2018, it most definitely used to be.)

“Some Like It Sizzling” quantities to but some other man-in-a-dress musical that’s now not as tuneful, transferring or hilarious as “Los angeles Cage aux Folles.” When musicians Joe (Christian Borle) and Jerry (J. Harrison Ghee) first don frocks and wigs to cover themselves whilst at the run, there’s a collective exasperation of “You once more?”

Daphne and Josephine join Sweet Sue's (Natasha Yvette Williams) Society Syncopators.
Daphne and Josephine sign up for Candy Sue’s (NaTasha Yvette Williams) Society Syncopators.
Marc J. Franklin

The 2 penniless bums finish up in girls’s apparel once they witness an arranged crime hit in Chicago all over the Thirties. Fearing for his or her lives, they get all dolled up, hop aboard the educate to California and sign up for a traveling all-female band known as Candy Sue’s Society Syncopators. Joe and Jerry are not more — now they’re Josephine and Daphne. And their final function is to move the border to Mexico to keep away from being offed.

As Josephine, Borle slaps on some glasses and makes use of a Midwestern brogue that still conjures Mira Sorvino in “Romy and Michele’s Top Faculty Reunion.” A working gag that Josephine seems outdated — offending Joe — is humorous. However the smirky efficiency is just too tongue-in-cheek to be plausible.

Ghee, stuffed with aura, fares higher as Daphne. The actor has a extra emotional storyline than an uproarious one and their giant quantity “You May’ve Knocked Me Over With a Feather” is expressive and thrilling, even supposing it sounds so much like “Large, Blonde and Gorgeous” from Shaiman and Wittman’s “Hairspray.”   

Adrianna Hicks plays Sugar Cane in "Some Like It Hot."
Adrianna Hicks performs Sugar Cane in “Some Like It Sizzling.”
Marc J. Franklin

On board the educate, the duo meet Sugar Cane (Adrianna Hicks), the Syncopators’ singer, and womanizing Joe struggles to tamp down his libido whilst in drag. Taking part in Sugar, Hicks has a formidable voice, however Monroe’s je ne sais quois is overlooked. Such a lot of the nature, we notice, used to be Monroe’s iconic persona — and with out it there’s now not a lot left except for the script now not understanding what to do with Sugar’s consuming drawback.

All through the primary act, particularly, Shaiman and Wittman’s spinoff jazz rating pummels you with generic-ness and quantity. Each and every tune seems like a shouted model of “Honey Bun” from “South Pacific.” Track titles like “Vamp!” and “Zee Bap” scream in our faces like unhinged lunatics on 8th Road, and the duo in the back of “Hairspray” has apparently misplaced the facility to seek out jokes and increase characters with their track.  

They finish the primary part with their tune “Let’s Be Dangerous” from TV’s “Destroy,” which, lest we overlook, used to be a humongous flop for NBC.

Daphne (J. Harrison Ghee) meets Osgood (Kevin Del Aguila) in San Diego.
Daphne meets Osgood (Kevin Del Aguila, middle) in San Diego.
Marc J. Franklin

In Act 2, the band arrives at a grand lodge in California. And, come to consider it, “Some Like It Sizzling” would have the benefit of a director-choreographer like Tommy Track of “Grand Lodge,” who is aware of how you can creatively benefit from a bar or a bellhop. Director Casey Nicholaw doesn’t and, subsequently, packs in unmotivated faucet dancing anyplace he can. To start with the faucet is dazzling, however the shimmer fades to monotony. Scott Pask’s steel length set is Artwork Meh-co.

The West Coast antics are supposed to be farcical. Daphne results in a flirtation with the rich Osgood (Kevin Del Aguila) and Jerry adopts a 3rd character as a German movie manufacturer to woo Sugar. Nicholaw tacks on a protracted madcap “Benny Hill” chase series close to the top with gangsters, law enforcement officials and the band that’s logistically spectacular however hardly ever hysterical. Act 2, for all its plot headaches, is eerily calm.

Christian Borle as Josephine, left, and J. Harrison Ghee is Daphne with the cast of "Some Like It Hot."
Christian Borle as Josephine( left) and J. Harrison Ghee as Daphne with the solid of “Some Like It Sizzling.”
Matthew Murphy

The funniest other people within the display, if truth be told, are NaTashha Yvette Williams as Candy Sue and Angie Schworer because the Society Syncopators’ supervisor of types. Kudos to them, however their prodigious talent and knack for a punchline underlines the lead actors’ missing subject matter.    

I’ve heard “Some Like It Sizzling” described so much as an “outdated musical comedy.” And, sure, it certain feels outdated. However the displays that the ones other folks are referencing, and that this musical aspires to be — “Guys and Dolls,” “The Song Guy,” “The rest Is going” — sparked with innovation of their time (and, ya know, had sturdy ratings and books).

Not like “Some,” they have been scorching.

Supply Through

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