Amber Ruffin has joined the Broadway-bound team of Some Like It Hot as a co-writer of the film-to-stage adaptation. The host of Peacock’s The Amber Ruffin Show will partner with Tony nominee Matthew López on the new musical’s book.
The announcement was made today by producers The Shubert Organization and Neil Meron. In a statement, producers Meron and Bob Wankel also said that Kenny Leon is joining the producing team.
Some Like It Hot, based on MGM’s 1959 Billy Wilder comedy film starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, is targeted to begin performances on Broadway in 2022.
Ruffin, a four-time Emmy-nominated writer for NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, joins a creative team that includes book writer López (Broadway’s The Inheritance), Hairspray composer Marc Shaiman and his co-lyricist Scott Wittman, and director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).
“I am so thrilled to be working with real Broadway legends Matthew López, Casey Nicholaw, Marc Shaiman, and Scott Wittman on this honestly groundbreaking project,” Ruffin said in a statement. “This is truly a different kind of musical and I can’t wait for people to see it.”
Said López, “When I was first approached to write Some Like it Hot, the idea that convinced me it was something worth doing – besides getting to work with Casey, Marc, and Scott – was the opportunity to take a classic comedy about Prohibition-era America and rethink it for a contemporary audience. As a queer BIPOC writer, it is an exciting proposition to create a show with characters whose race is instrumental (and not incidental) to the story.”
“It became apparent to me that if we were to honor our commitment to tell that story with honesty and integrity, it required a Black creative voice on the team,” López continued. “It didn’t take long for all of us to agree that Amber was the person to approach. It is my great joy and pleasure that she agreed to join us. That she’s smart and funny and deeply kind is no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to her work and career these last several years. I cannot wait to huddle in the back of the theatre with her every night and work with her to continue to make this show the thing we all set out to create.”
Casting for the production has not been announced.
As with the classic film, Some Like It Hot begins in Prohibition-era Chicago and follows two musicians forced to go on the run after witnessing a mob hit. The movie starred Lemon and Curtis as the fleeing musicians who disguise themselves in drag to join an all-female big band.
“We are thrilled the brilliant Amber Ruffin is joining Matthew, Casey, Marc, Scott, Bob and Neil for what we all believe will be an incredible stage experience of the timeless Some Like It Hot,” said MGM On Stage’s Michael DeLuca and Pamela Abdy.
Ruffin is a writer, executive producer, and host of The Amber Ruffin Show on Peacock. Other credits include Late Show with Seth Meyers (she was the first African American female to write for a late-night network talk show in the U.S.), and Comedy Central’s Detroiters. She was a regular narrator on Comedy Central’s Drunk History, and was previously a performer at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, the iO Theater and the Second City in Chicago. She was a writer/performer for the 2018 and 2019 Golden Globe Awards and has written for the series A Black Lady Sketch Show. Ruffin is the co-author, along with her sister Lacey Lamar, of You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories of Racism, published by Grand Central Publishing in January 2021.
Some Like It Hot is produced by the Shubert Organization and Neil Meron and co-produced by Roy Furman, Robert Greenblatt, the Nederlander Organization and Kenny Leon.
By Greg Evans // Deadline