Review: Broadway’s ‘Some Like It Hot’ blazes righteous path

The comedy “Some Like It Hot” would appear too warm to revisit in recent times. Easy laughs on the idea of guys sporting attire after which hitting on horrified other guys? No thank you. Broadway — ever inclusive, all the time revolutionary — might never touch that antique, irredeemable chestnut, would it not?

Gloriously it’d, and in a musical no less, a massive excessive-kicking, splashy show. And amid the scenes of ever-dashing gangsters, Art Deco set designs and rolling baggage carts, it’s been turned it into a sweet, full-hearted include of trans rights — a retelling that flips the authentic 63 12 months-vintage Billy Wilder film on its head.

The musical that opened Sunday on the Shubert Theatre captures the anarchic spirit and humor of the Tony Curtis-Jack Lemmon film however takes it to a better area, someplace preceding guys-in-get dressed shows like “Tootsie” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” have been unable or unwilling to head.It’s as though the innovative group took to coronary heart a lyric from the songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman: “Perhaps it’s time to exchange the key/If wherein you’re at ain’t sounding first-rate.”

Christian Borle and J. Harrison Ghee step into the shoes of Curtis and Lemon, musician buddies who disguise themselves as ladies and be part of an all-woman band to flee Chicago after witnessing a mob hit. Their comedian timing is as best as their tapping.And if the film “Some Like It Hot” made a star out of Marilyn Monroe, then the musical version has firmly announced the arrival of Adrianna Hicks within the Sugar position. “You have been born for the close-up,” Hicks is advised and she or he genuinely is, sublimely belting “A Darker Shade of Blue” in addition to wistfully singing “At the Old Majestic Nickel Matinee” and the mournful “Ride Out the Storm.” She additionally receives Monroe’s well-known line: “I usually get the bushy cease of the lollipop.”

Book writers Matthew López and Amber Ruffin have moved the timing barely up to the mid-Thirties during Prohibition and the Great Depression and haven’t shied far from the consequences that means for a multi-racial cast. “We headin’ south?” asks one member of the band. To which the Black impresario (an imperious NaTasha Yvette Williams) shoots again “It’s 1933. Look at me and ask that once more.”

Shaiman and Wittman drench the rating in ersatz Cab Calloway and Cole Porter, not often leaving 2nd gear and leaving the show without a massive ol’ show-preventing title music. They even repurposed one in all their old “Smash” songs — “Let’s Be Bad” — a extraordinary piece of regifting due to the fact “Smash” also had a Monroe connection. The pair’s lyrics do a lot better, with “You Can’t Have Me (If You Don’t Have Him)” containing the strains “Can’t have Kipling with out his ‘Kim’/You can’t have Depsy without the health club.”Direction and choreography by way of a top-notch Casey Nicholaw is typical: Precise high-energy dances, crisp scene modifications and romantic twirls, all provided with a understanding twinkle. He has created a farcical quantity with six rotating door frames that characters rush inside and out of as well as tap-dancing chases, and a sweeping dance with a dozen performers proposing drill-team accuracy. Ukuleles cross flying on this display. Couples do, too.

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