Based on the film “Some Like It Hot,” SUGAR chronicles the zany lives of two musicians, of the prohibition era, who witness a gang slaying. Forced to disguise themselves as women, they join an all-female orchestra, and the games begin! Memorable musical numbers include Penniless Bums, The Beauty That Drives Men Mad, We Could Be Close, Doin’ It for Sugar, What Do You Give (To a Man Who Has Everything?), Beautiful Through and Through and November Song. This show is both outrageous and touching.
From the hilarious screen success “Some Like It Hot” SUGAR comes to the stage with the same memorable characters that made the screenplay so popular. Joe and Jerry, two musicians down on their luck while wandering through Chicago, by chance witness a gang rub-out in the Clark Street Garage. The rub-out was ordered by Spats Palazzo, a notorious Chicago hood. Spats and his boys immediately chase after Joe and Jerry, determined to silence them as witnesses to the crime. Desperate for a quick way out of town, Joe and Jerry hear about jobs available for a saxophone and a bass player, which are their specialties. And coincidently, the band is scheduled to leave at once for Florida. There is only one problem; the band is all female. As Joe and Jerry they haven’t got a chance, but with a bit of costuming, padding, makeup and slight voice adjustments, they become Josephine and Daphne. They are hired by “Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopators.”
Joe (Josephine) and Jerry (Daphne) find themselves getting well acquainted with Sugar, the gorgeous blonde who is the featured singer with the band. As difficult as it is for them not to reveal their secret to Sugar, they know that one slip could lead Spats Palazzo to them. Moreover, if Mr. Bienstock the show’s manager, discovers their true identities, they could be in an even worse spot. Mr. Bienstock had already warned the “girls” that he would not tolerate drinking or men on the train between shows. Joe and Jerry are definitely in a jam, but it looks as though Sugar’s company is going to make it an enjoyable, if risky, experience.
It turns out that Sugar has a drinking problem which she keeps secret from Mr. Bienstock. As she explains it, she drinks to forget about the countless saxophone players she has fallen in love with, and who have left her. This is quite interesting to Josephine, whose interest in Sugar is becoming more than sisterly.
Sugar confides to Josephine and Daphne that she plans to find a millionaire in Florida and get married. She even tells them what he will look like. Hearing this, Joe develops a plan; he convinces Jerry that they need to look after Sugar, so they need to stay with the band in Florida until they find a suitable millionaire for her. What Jerry does not know is that Joe has already chosen Sugar’s match. By disguising himself as her “dream-man,” Joe is confident that he can win her heart. After she falls in love with him, he plans to tell her the truth about himself.
While Joe is busy impressing Sugar with his newfound wealth, Jerry (alias Daphne) has attracted her own millionaire. Sir Osgood Fielding is determined to woo and win Daphne. She is not quite certain how to break the bad news to him, especially since he showers her with lavish gifts.
With the unwitting help of Sir Osgood, Joe makes a big impression on Sugar. Now Joe only needs to tell her the truth about his identity, since he thinks that if she really loves him it won’t matter that he is not a millionaire, but another saxophone player. Unfortunately, before he gets the opportunity to tell her, Spats Palazzo and his gang arrive in town and recognize Josephine and Daphne in the band. The chase is on. Eventually the villains get what they deserve, and the lovers are reunited.
Book by Peter Stone
Based on the Screenplay “Some Like It Hot”
by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Based on a Story by Robert Thoeren
Music by Jule Styne Lyrics by Bob Merrill
Produced for the Broadway Stage by David Merrick
Directed and Choreographed for the Broadway Stage
by Gower Champion
Such credits, for all purposes, of all of the authors’ names and the name of David Merrick and Gower Champion shall be in the same size, style and prominence of type, except that the billing credit to Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond shall be 50 percent of the size used for the authors and that the billing credit to Robert Thoeren shall be 25 percent of the authors and that no persons connected with the production shall be billed in type of greater size, style or prominence than the authors. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.
The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:
is presented by arrangement with
MusicScope & Stage Musicals Ltd. of New York
1 Reed I: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone (Optional: Alto Flute & Soprano Saxophone)
1 Reed II: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone (Optional: Soprano Saxophone)
1 Reed III: Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone (Optional: Oboe & English Horn)
1 Reed IV: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone & Baritone Sax (Optional: Bassoon)
1 Trumpets I & II (Trumpet I optional double: Flugelhorn)
1 Trumpet III
1 Trombone I
1 Trombone II (with Bass Trombone attachment)
2 Percussion I & II:
Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
Cymbals: 2 Suspended
Timpani (2 Drums)
Xylophone (Soft & Hard Mallets)
Machine Gun Sound
Piano-Celeste (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material)
Note: All Stage Band music is cued in the pit orchestra parts.
Sir Osgood Fielding
The Girls in the Band, Garage Mechanic, Gangsters, Photographers, Newsreelmen & Millionaires
SUGAR played for 505 performances on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre starring Robert Morse, Tony Roberts and Elaine Joyce.