“Some Like It Hot,” a philharmonic adjustment of nan classical film, arrived connected Broadway successful December pinch sizzling reviews and backed by immoderate of nan astir salient names successful drama and theater. And yet, for nan first fewer months of its life connected stage, nan show struggled to ignite astatine nan container office.
“Word-of-mouth has taken a longer clip to seep retired into nan world than we expected,” says Neil Meron, 1 of nan show’s producers. “One point we’re still struggling pinch successful this post-pandemic play is it has changed people’s buying habits. It utilized to beryllium if nan critics liked you, you’d beryllium trading out. But now, location isn’t nan aforesaid level of tourism and group aren’t going to nan agency arsenic much, truthful they aren’t seeing a show aft work. And we haven’t gotten those suburban theatergoers back. So it’s week-to-week, being connected nan edge-of-your-seat, hoping to get capable group to support nan lights on.”
On paper, “Some Like It Hot” had different things going for it that mightiness person moved nan needle. Its imaginative squad includes “The Inheritance’s” Matthew López and late-night comic Amber Ruffin, who wrote nan book, arsenic good arsenic nan “Hairspray” duo of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman handling euphony and lyrics. They created a jazzy, dance-heavy accumulation group successful nan waning days of prohibition. Like nan movie, nan show follows a brace of musicians who disguise themselves arsenic members of an all-female set to hide from nan mob, but updates it for nan coming day. The punchline isn’t astir men successful drag, but thing that reflects a much modern knowing of gender and sexuality. Beyond those salient names and a skillful update of a tried-and-true plot, nan formed performed energetic numbers connected nationalist shows for illustration “Good Morning America” and “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” Still thing seemed to break through. In March, for example, summons income hovered successful nan $660,000 play range, pinch nan show playing to houses that were little than 65% full. That’s disastrous for a show pinch a sprawling cast.
And then, a gift from nan awards play gods arrived. “Some Like It Hot” was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, nan astir of immoderate show this season. The consequence has been a singular container agency comeback. For nan first clip this year, “Some Like It Hot” had 2 consecutive weeks of much than $1 cardinal successful summons sales, and has hovered astatine aliases astir that benchmark for nan remainder of May and into June.
“Thirteen Tony nominations is what turned it around,” says López. “It’s validating, because we knew that we had a show that worked and that group enjoyed. We conscionable needed nan connection to get out.”
The show caught different break erstwhile nan Writers Guild of America opted not to picket nan Tony Awards, which allows “Some Like It Hot,” “& Juliet,” “Kimberly Akimbo” and different musicals up for apical honors to showcase accumulation numbers connected nan broadcast this Sunday. That benignant of vulnerability typically generates much liking successful nan shows, which leads to reservations.
Both Meron and López dream that “Some Like It Hot” settles successful for a agelong tally connected Broadway, arsenic good arsenic inspires nationalist and world tours. But it whitethorn not beryllium capable to creation disconnected pinch nan night’s apical prize, arsenic “Kimberly Akimbo” is favored to triumph champion musical. Even if it comes up short, nan accumulation squad thinks “Some Like It Hot” whitethorn still beryllium a winner.
“Getting champion philharmonic would beryllium nan icing connected nan cake,” says Meron. “But it’s not each that important to doing business. ‘Wicked’ mislaid nan large prize, and it did alright. Winning Tonys is not nan end-all and be-all.”