Sugar - the "Some Like It Hot" musical
29th April - 4th May 2019
Based on the classic 1959 film, this sizzling comedy musical premiered in 1972 and features songs by the classic Broadway tunesmith, Jule Styne.
Two unemployed musicians, bass player Jerry and saxophone player Joe, inadvertently witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago. To escape the gangsters, they dress as women and join an all-female band about to leave town for an engagement at a Miami Beach hotel. Complications arise when Joe (as Josephine) falls in love with beautiful band singer, Sugar, and Jerry (as Daphne) finds himself pursued by wealthy and elderly Osgood Fielding. Total chaos erupts when the gangsters descend upon the hotel and realize who Josephine and Daphne really are!
|Musical Director||Tim Power|
|Sweet Sue||Vicki Wilson|
|Sugar Kane||Adrienne Wormald|
|Spats Palazzo||Andrew Turton|
|Sir Osgood Fielding||Mike Taylor|
|1st Hood||Rob Slater|
|2nd Hood||David Perks|
|3rd Hood||Paul Duckworth|
|Mary Lou||Steph Kay|
|Sweet Sue's Society Syncopaters|
|Jane Bickerstaffe, Beverley Charlson, Barbara Martin, Ruth Prescott, Eileen Reeves, Maria Sharrocks, Joyce Walters|
Photographs by John Tustin
|NOMINATION||Best Actor in a Musical||BATS||Steve Benson|
|NOMINATION||Best Actress in a Musical||BATS||Adrienne Wormald|
|NOMINATION||Best Costumes||BATS||Mary Pycroft|
It is sixty years since the perennial favourite “Some Like It Hot” hit the movie screens starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, and the much-loved story is recreated faithfully in this light-hearted, entertaining musical – interspersed with appropriate jaunty songs, of course!
The Bolton premiere (with book by Peter Stone, music by Julie Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill) tells the story of Joe and Jerry, two musicians looking for employment who unwittingly witness a mob killing on St Valentine’s Day in Chicago and have to go on the run to Florida avoid a similar fate from the pursuing gangsters. The only trouble is that their only point of refuge is an all-girl band!
Cue for two uncannily convincing portrayals of female musicians by the talented Steve Benson and David Wilson, who combine effortless singing with great comic acting to provide two very entertaining characterisations indeed. Benson also portrays the “Tony Curtis as Cary Grant” suitor “Jew-nior” with ease, whilst Wilson’s excellent facial expressions are Jack Lemmon reborn.
Also excelling is Adrienne Wormald as the sweet and sexy Sugar Kane, again reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe’s character from the film, combining a delivery of innocent charm with a certain world wise pragmatism and a lovely singing voice.
Wonderful support comes from Mike Taylor as a very amusing Sir Osgood Fielding (delivering a great punch line at the end of the show), Vicki Wilson as the alternately sycophantic and acerbic Sweet Sue (owner of the girl band), David Witt as the downtrodden myopic band manager Bienstock and Andrew Turton as cigar-chewing gangster leader Spats Palazzo. The chorus have some catchy numbers which they perform with aplomb, and provide a range of ancillary characters including gangsters, elderly millionaires, chorus girls and hotel staff.
Notable praise is due to Mary Pycroft’s costumes. From the opening number displaying a dazzling array of sparkling ruby red, through a wonderfully colourful set of beach outfits and ending with a royal blue ensemble, the costumes were both appropriate and eye-catching. Lara Sydall’s choreography, John West and team’s efficient stage management, lighting by Norman Bowers and John Cocking and appropriate properties from Anne Cocking all added to the slick success that was this production.
Director Nora Howcroft and Musical Director Tim Power (assisted by Tom Bowes and with a wonderful orchestra) should be justifiably proud of this colourful, entertaining offering from a talented society. Runs until Saturday.
Sugar, music by Jule Styne of Gypsy and Funny Girl fame, lyrics by Bob Merrill - best known for novelty songs like How Much Is That Doggy In The Window? An adaptation of the 1959 Some Like It Hot feature film.
Nora Howcroft directs this hilarious, rarely performed musical telling the tale of two unemployed musicians caught up in a gangster world and the various scrapes they get into while trying to escape, making sure all the comedy moments were played out faithfully. Set was very functional and enabled the scenes to work well, skillfully aided by the lighting of Norman Bowers and John Cocking, with sound by Lea Royse and Elodie Perrier.
Costumes, Mary Pycroft looked the part opening up with a glamourous all in red scene, and quite a few outfits that looked stunning, especially the ones worn by Sugar Kane.
Musical Director Tim Power and Assistant MD Tom Bowes plus orchestra took the audience through the jazzy numbers with a touch of Broadway in there for good measure.
Choreographer Lara Syddall added her magic with the cast - I loved the Tear The Town Apart and November Song.
Sugar Kane played by Adrienne Wormald was born for this part - loved her interpretation of the character and she obviously had something “inside her head” to play her. Adrienne had a great vulnerability in playing her and good chemistry with Steve Benson and David Wilson - brilliant!
Joe/Josephine played by Steve Benson was hilarious - loved the nod to Tony Curtis’ Cary Grant voice. Steve looked to be enjoying every minute and great singing voice too - wonderful!
Jerry/Daphne played by David Wilson also hilarious and convincingly hypnotic to watch as a woman - I think at one point I had to stuff my hand into my mouth to stop laughing so loud! . . .never have I seen someone so butch in a dress but it worked! Great comic timing and fabulous faces when being coy. I think the bathing costume image may stay with me for some time, but in a good way…. just fantastic!
I will say again all three worked really well together - I can only imagine great fun was had in rehearsal.Sir Osgood Fielding played by Mike Taylor another strong character with lots of one liners and great timing and he gets his ‘girl’. . . well, sort of!
Sweet Sue played by Vicki Wilson - anything but sweet and strutting her stuff in When You Meet A Man In Chicago. Great performance.
Joe Davies as Dude - inspired casting: I liked the bit when he is not sure whether he knows the men dressed up as ladies – nice double-take technique!
The rest of the cast and ensemble all worked really well to see Nora’s vision through - it was a fun night with lots of belly laughs - congratulations to Walmsley Church AODS cast and crew.
Thank you for inviting me and making my guest and I so welcome.
PS: I am still seeing David Wilson in that bathing costume……….