A Danish student visits New York City and gives a review of the Broadway musical Some Like It Hot
by Christine Lindberg Stott
On the flight home from New York City, I had one thought bouncing around my head: Let’s Be Bad. Now- this wasn’t some call to action, to get down and dirty. I had no thoughts of causing trouble or anything like that. I simply don’t have that kind of stamina. Rather, it’s a song from the musical Some Like It Hot, adapted from the 2012 TV show Smash. I watched said musical on a Wednesday night at the Shubert Theatre. With music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, it was nominated for 13 Tony nominations and won 4, something that it more than deserved.
Especially! Especially a deserved win was J. Harrison Ghee (pronouns he/she/they) who won the Tony for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, becoming the first non-binary actor to win the award, a milestone created together with Alex Newell who won for their featured role in the musical Shucked. The musical is a pure joy of Queer celebration, not looking down on persons different from themselves.
Some Like It Hot: the Musical is a modern take on the 1959 movie Some Like It Hot, directed by Billy Wilder but more famously known for starring the late and great Marilyn Monroe who I, like many others, am completely enamoured by. I could go on and on about her and the disrespect she went through both alive and dead, but she is not the one in the spotlight this time around- God knows she needs some peace.
Anyway! The musical is a transcending experience, a musical remake for a modern audience done so right and well that it’s hard to let go of. Waiting for the play to begin I quickly chatted to two lovely women who told me it was their 14th time watching the play and, man, I get it now. I truly do now understand the excitement with which they talked about the musical and their particular enthusiasm for leading actor J. Harrison Ghee in their award-winning role as Jerry/Daphne. His performance of ‘You Could’ve Knocked Me Over With a Feather’ was simply stunning. I have no words. Genuinely. Take a listen for yourself and see.
But what I most got out of seeing the musical (and which is quite frankly embarrassing, but typical of me) was something that now has kinda become the main object of my obsessive thinking: the actor Christian Borle, whom I have been spinning around in my head like a rotisserie chicken, thinking about his voice, his performance and his weird face that is so stereotypically what I tend to fall for. Please, please don’t ask how many times I’ve listened to his performance of ‘Hard to Be the Bard’ from Something Rotten! because it’s quite frankly embarrassing. Anywho- he is a two-time Tony award winner, nominated for the Tony for Best Leading Actor for his role as Joe/Josephine in Some Like It Hot.
I won’t say that either the musical or the trip to NYC was life-changing but it certainly gave me some stuff to think about. And I am prone to overthinking so that works just fine for me.
Also, if you want to see the musical, you don’t have long yet- its last performance is on December 30th.
Christine Lindberg Stott is a writer and student who lives in outer Copenhagen with her mad cat