Based on the screenplay of the movie ‘Some Like it Hot’, the musical comedy ‘Sugar’ hits every spot on the pleasure spectrum. It’s very funny, farcically zany, fast-paced, engaging and, above all, entertaining.
Wellington Operatic Society’s production opens at The Wellesley on 10 May. As in the movie – which starred Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe – the narrative involves two hapless musicians, Joe and Jerry, who inadvertently witness the St Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago and have to go on the run to escape the vengeful mafia boss Spats Colombo and his gang. Disguised as females, they join an all-girl band, Sweet Sue and Her Society Syncopators, in which Sugar Cane Kowalczyk is a vocalist and ukulele player.
Things get complicated when the band boards a train bound for Florida and the two men, now Josephine and Daphne, struggle to keep their female personas intact, both being attracted to Sugar’s ‘charms’ and her vulnerability. Her dream of meeting and marrying a millionaire gives the plot a further twist once the band arrives in Florida when Joe takes on the persona of Junior, heir to Shell Oil, to woo her. Juggling two different impersonations demands some farcical capering as he exploits the attraction of real millionaire, Osgood Fielding III, to Jerry – aka Daphne – to ‘acquire’ the trappings of wealth.
‘Sugar’ makes use of the film script by Billy Wilder and I.A.L Diamond and music by Jule Style and lyrics by Bob Merrill creates a piece of exceptional stage entertainment – a combination of wild action, dance routines, songs and lots of laugh-out-loud moments.
OpSoc has gathered a cast of talented performers who aim to fill The Wellesley with 1920’s razzmatazz. Audiences who know the film – one of the most successful of all movies – know they’re in for a some fun; those who don’t will be find it a joy, not least for its play on cross-dressing which, in 1959 when the film was produced, challenged a powerful taboo.
From the evidence of rehearsals, the whole cast is having a great deal of fun with a wonderful script; there’s no doubt that the audience will too.
‘Sugar’ opens at The Wellesley on Tuesday 10 May and runs until Saturday 14 May at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday 14th at 2.30pm. Tickets from Odette’s Tea Room in the High Street, Wellington, or online from www.ticketsource.co.uk.