New Ross Musical Society last week served up a colourful, big dancing show, with Some Like It Hot! At St. Michael’s Theatre. There was some excellent leads and cameo performances and a large and mostly young singing and dancing chorus from a show that is a poor stage vehicle in its adaptation from a 1950s movie. Anne-Marie Stafford, as choreographer, made the show zip past the clunky scene changes and with a range of Nomac costumes and snazzy lighting from Paul Browne, this show was Hot! And the finale was sizzling.
From the pre-curtain intro, Tom Reddy, as Spats Palazzo, set the fun-tone with a great gangster ad-lib. His gang could shoot and tap-dance with style and James O’Connor, as Hood and Bellboy added to the fun.
The storyline about Valentine’s Day massacre, gangsters and two hapless male musicians who witness the slaughter and hide away with an all-female touring orchestra in Florida is just a catch-all for glitzy entertainment and Nick Cooney’s pit jazzed up the action with hot-licks and peroxide tunes.
In supporting roles Catriona Maher was a snappy Sweet Sue and Eamon O’Connor was a much put-upon Bienstock. John Aspel hit the spot with a nifty Train Announcer.
Ken Moroney was splendid as the rich codger with a todger. Sir Osgood Feelgood and his November song was excellent.
But this show shone in its two men dressed as women and director, Bill Stafford, was a witty Joe/Josephine. His Doin’ It For Sugar was such fun and his I’m Always Love was a gem of style. Ordinarily, I don’t think it is a good idea to have a director play a major role but in this company, his choreographer is more than his eyes and ears, she is his wonderful wife as well.
Derek Shannon deserves an AIMS nomination for his ringadingding Jerry/Daphne. Time and again he lit up the stage with great characterisations, quality singing and acting and amazing legs or should that bee, amazing dancing skills.
Sometimes the Marilyn Monroe part of Sugar Cane gets lots in dumb blonde pastiche and an off voice, but in this production, Sinead Goggin was impressive especially her duet What Do You Give A Man Who Has Everything with Bill Stafford. She gave the part fun, zip pathos and romance.
I didn’t like the bitty set, the awful two-bed set up, but in the closing line of the movie – Well Nobodie’s perfect.