Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman Writing the Score
In 1959, the film Some Like It Hot was released to widespread acclaim, earning six Academy Award nominations. Since then, it has become one of the most beloved comedy films of all time, ranking first in a 2017 BBC poll among hundreds of top film critics as the best comedy in film history. Starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, is the story of two musicians who dress in drag in an all-female band to escape from gangsters after witnessing them commit a crime. As one of the earliest films to showcase cross-dressing and themes of homosexuality, it made a major dent in helping make the code more lenient that regulated the content of American motion pictures. For its part, the film Some Like It Hot the film is based off a French film called Fanfare of Love. In 1972, Some Like It Hot was adapted into a musical called Sugar, which ran for 519 performances, produced by David Merrick, directed by Gower Champion, with a book by Peter Stone, lyrics by Bob Merrill, and music by Jule Styne. In 2002, a revamped version of Sugar toured the U.S., called Some Like It Hot: The Musical. Nevertheless, this production of the musical adaptation of Some Like It Hot will be entirely different. The book will be written by Matthew Lopez, a British playwright whose works include The Inheritance. Meanwhile, the music and lyrics will be written by top musical theater writers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, whose works include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Catch Me If You Can, and Hairspray. The director and choreographer will be Casey Nicholaw (Mean Girls, Tuck Everlasting, Something Rotten!, Aladdin, Elf, The Book of Mormon). The producers are the Shubert Organization, along with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, whose producing credits include NBC’s slate of live musicals, several years of the Academy Awards ceremony, and Broadway shows including How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
NBC’s television series “Smash” may not have lasted more than two seasons, but it was certainly a memorable television show for musical theatre fans. Produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, the first season of the show dealt with a fictional Broadway musical called Bombshell, which told the life and story of Marilyn Monroe through song. These songs, in real life, were composed by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. In fact, there have long been reports of a real musical production of Bombshell, with choreography by Joshua Bergasse, and involvement by Steven Spielberg, who was an executive producer of “Smash.” Whether or not Bombshell makes it to the stage anytime soon, Some Like It Hot is slated to premiere on Broadway in 2020. While Bombshell is the story of the real-life Marilyn Monroe, Some Like It Hot is a fictional story based off a film that starred Marilyn Monroe. In the story, the two men who dress in drag, while plotting their escape, become enamored with the band’s singer and ukulele player, who is named Sugar, and who was played by Marilyn Monroe in the film. (Hence the name of the first musical adaptation, Sugar). These entirely different projects are therefore related, and it is a delightful coincidence that they share both a duo of producers and a duo of songwriters. Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman are also the songwriters behind the upcoming Disney musical film Mary Poppins Returns, directed by Rob Marshall, which stars Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, to be released on Christmas Day 2018.
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