Oscar E Moore

From the rear mezzanine theatre, movies and moore

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December 15th, 2022 by Oscar E Moore

This new musical adaptation of the classic Billy Wilder 1959 comedy starring Jack Lemon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe should be herewith subtitled – Thoroughly Modern Daphne or How Jerry/Geraldine aka Daphne finds her inner true self and lives happily ever after.

After all, J. Harrison Ghee, tall, lanky, totally honest and believable comes out smelling like roses as Daphne and is the true breakout star of this valiant but flawed show.   They all try so hard.  Too hard.  That’s one of its problems.

Also it is a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth business.  Everyone and their moms seem to have given their individual input – including Christian Borle (additional material).  Book by Matthew Lopez and Amber Ruffin (sometimes amusing; hardly uproarious).  Music by Marc Shaiman (I defy anyone to remember one tune).  Lyrics Scott Wittman & Marc Shaiman (repetitive hooks).  The songs are bombastic to the eardrums and immediately forgettable.  Only a constant rhythmic throbbing echo remains.

There is a calculated creative attempt to lure both a young liberated audience along with the older folks with good old fashioned Broadway razzmatazz.  This co-mingling of classic Wilder and new wave woke is a strange match.

Daphne wins.  Along with her newfound love Osgood.  A wily, zany, lovable, scene stealing and altogether charming Kevin Del Aguila who at times seems to be channeling Michael Jeter from Grand Hotel.

But I am getting ahead of myself.  Chicago.  The depression.  Joe plays the sax.  Does magic.  Jerry plays an upright bass.  They are buddies.  Looking for work.  Unfortunately they witness a gangland killing and need to escape the thugs.  They do so by donning drag, becoming a dowdy Josephine and a delightful Geraldine right before our eyes until Geraldine decide she is Daphne.

They are hired by Sweet Sue (NaTasha Yvette Williams – a big brassy mama, protective of her all girl band where its star attraction is Sugar Cane (a comely Adrianna Hicks who can BELT to the rafters).  They are on their way to California via train.  Unfortunately a repetitive and somewhat boring “I’m California Bound” not “On the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe”.  And so the chase commences.

Finally (and I do mean FINALLY) arriving in California where we meet Osgood and Osgood meets Daphne and Joe/Josephine pursues Sugar as Kip von something or other with a fake German/Austrian accent influenced by Mrs. Malaprop where the chase continues.  Tapping right along.  To Mexico where Osgood woos Daphne with a mariachi band in tow.  Still with me?

Aided and abetted by director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw whose frenetic pace and bombastic delivery of songs becomes almost numbing while wearing out its welcome much too soon.  The numerous numbers had my mind wandering – not a good thing – thinking how all could be improved or what they reminded me of.  Despite the colorful costumes of Gregg Barnes and Deco set by Scott Pask.  Shame on Brian Rohan’s sound design – louder is not better!

All this havoc culminates with a Jerome Robbins/Keystone Kops inspired hectic, door slamming thugs and bellhop and everyone else tap dancing finale.  But not before we have three 11 o’clock numbers for each star that are a bit much of a not so good thing.

SOME LIKE IT HOT is well intentioned but not so terrific in its execution.  No pun intended.  I absolutely adored Daphne.

2 hours thirty minutes with one intermission.  MASKS are advised and encouraged.


For old times sake:


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