Nobody’s perfect, but the idea of a Some Like It Hot musical just might be.
The musical, based on the beloved 1959 Billy Wilder film of the same name, is aiming for a 2020 Broadway debut and will be produced by The Shubert Organization in partnership with renowned producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Zadan and Meron have overseen hits like the film adaptations of Chicago and Hairspray to television live musical extravaganzas, including the recent Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE on NBC.
Zadan and Meron, along with The Shubert Organization, announced Monday that they have acquired the rights to adapt the comedy film, named the Funniest American Movie of All Time by the American Film Institute. The film tells the story of two jazz musicians, who go on the run after witnessing a mob-orchestrated murder disguised as women in an all-female band. Things get complicated when they start to fall in love. It starred Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.
In a joint statement, Philip J. Smith and Robert E. Wankel (on behalf of The Shubert Organization), and Zadan and Meron said, “Some Like It Hot is one of the greatest film comedies ever made. We are grateful to MGM for allowing us to tackle the challenge of translating the film’s singular energy and magic to the stage.”
The score will be penned by Tony Award winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who earned numerous awards and accolades for their work on Hairspray. Matthew Lopez (The Inheritance) will write the book, while Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Mean Girls) will direct and choreograph.
Casting announcements are still to come, but for long-suffering Smash fans the musical is a long-awaited chance to see Marilyn Monroe brought to Broadway (in a way). Bombshell, the musical within the TV show on Smash, was coincidentally also produced in a concert format by Zadan and Meron.
This is not the first time Some Like It Hot has been adapted into a musical format for Broadway. In 1972, a musical titled Sugar after Marilyn Monroe’s character in the film debuted on Broadway. It featured a book by Peter Stone, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill, and the production earned four Tony nominations but no wins.