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New Musical Version of ‘Some Like it Hot’ Is Headed for Broadway

“Some Like it Hot,” the classic cross-dressing caper often hailed as among the best movie comedies ever, is being re-adapted as a Broadway
-bound musical six decades after it first hit the big screen.

The project is the first result of a development deal announced in 2014between the Shubert Organization, which is the largest landlord on Broadway, and the producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who have backed a number of musical-themed stage, film and television projects, including last month’s successful live concert version of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

“Some Like it Hot” tells the story of two male musicians who witness a mafia murder and then, in an effort to disguise themselves, dress as women to join an all-female band. A series of romantic mix-ups, and more mob mayhem, ensue.

The film, released in 1959, starred Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon. A previous musical adaptation, “Sugar,” opened on Broadway in 1972, and a traveling version of that musical, now called “Some Like it Hot,” toured in 2002 starring Mr. Curtis at age 77.

The new stage adaptation will feature an entirely new score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, a songwriting team that won a Tony Award in 2003 for “Hairspray” but has since had two unsuccessful Broadway ventures, “Catch Me if You Can” in 2011 and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” last year. The songwriting team and the producers have had a long and successful collaboration, including on the “Hairspray” film and on the television show “Smash.”

“We love and revere the original film, and always thought it would be a terrific musical,” Mr. Meron said. Mr. Zadan added, “We have a team that knows how to make it feel like you’ve never seen it before.”

Asked whether it would be set in 1929, like the film, Mr. Meron said, “It’s going to be period, but whether it’s the period of the movie is being explored right now.”

The “Some Like it Hot” musical will mark the Broadway debut for its book writer, Matthew Lopez, a playwright who has previously explored drag in “The Legend of Georgia McBride” and who has a current hit in London, an ambitious two-part play called “The Inheritance,” about the legacy of AIDS.

The musical’s director and choreographer will be the razzle-dazzle maestro Casey Nicholaw, currently represented on Broadway with “The Book of Mormon,” “Aladdin” and “Mean Girls.”

In addition to the Shuberts, Mr. Zadan and Mr. Meron, the producing team includes Roy Furman (“King Kong”), Robert Greenblatt (the chairman of NBC Entertainment) and the Nederlander Organization (Broadway’s second-biggest landlord).

The producers hope to bring the show to Broadway in 2020. They said they had not yet chosen a cast or made a decision about whether there would be a pre-Broadway production.

By Michael Paulson // NY Times 

Follow Michael Paulson on Twitter: @MichaelPaulson.