There's always a lot of pressure when creating a new musical, and even more so when it's based on a beloved property, and that property already exists as a musical. Such was the challenge faced by Tony-winning songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Tony-winning playwright Matthew López, and Emmy-nominated writer and comedian Amber Ruffin as they sought to bring the film Some Like It Hot to the stage of the Shubert Theatre. Here, this hilarious quartet talk about what it took.
How did you all come to be part of this project?
Matthew López: I was summoned to the Shubert offices, and I thought they caught me sticking my gum under the seat at some show and they were going to ban me from seeing Broadway shows forever. Instead, I met with [producers] Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and they were like, "How would you like to write a musical?" That was seven years ago now.
Marc Shaiman: We had just finished working with them on Smash, and we came to mind, as we had been writing songs for Marilyn Monroe. In one instance, the song "Let's Be Bad" on Smash was actually in the multiverse version of Some Like It Hot. It made sense to ask us, but we had had our share of working on iconic properties at that time.
Scott Wittman: We had just done Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Mary Poppins Returns. But then they bandied about Matthew López and Casey Nicholaw, and that made it interesting. I had been a fan of Matthew's play The Legend of Georgia McBride, so as soon as he was on board, it became a new universe to explore with him, and that was thrilling.
Amber Ruffin: I started three years ago. When I found out that all the heaviest hitters were writing a show together and they asked if I wanted to be part of it, I was like, "Absolutely. Everyone does." I've written a couple of musicals, but they're more like hourlong comedy goof-abouts. This is the first real musical I've written with people who can, like, sing and dance, instead of comedians...READ MORE