Thursday, February 2, 2023

Movie comes alive on Wharton stage

March 13, 2003
Timothy Guilan, left, and Tony Curtis star in the stage remake of "Some Like It Hot." The musical opens Tuesday at Wharton Center. —

It was more than 40 years ago when Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe hit the big screen in "Some Like It Hot."

The movie, which follows two musicians who are forced to disguise themselves because they're being chased by the Chicago mob, captured six Oscar nominations. Now, the story is taking aim at the stage.

"Some Like It Hot" starring Curtis comes to Wharton Center's Great Hall on Tuesday.

The stage show is a reprise of the movie, but Curtis, who plays one of the musicians on the screen, debuts in his first singing and dancing role as millionaire Osgood Fielding III.

Fielding falls for Daphne, an especially homely member of an all-girl band. But Daphne is really Jerry, one of the musicians on the run.

"The music is great and it's sort of a good, old-fashioned musical where you don't have to think so much. It's just funny." said Timothy Gulan, who gender-bends his way through the role of Jerry. "The part is great. It's just absolutely hysterical and I love it."

Gulan auditioned for the show about four times before he got the part (in the movie his character is played by Lemmon). He's also played Jesus in "Jesus Christ Superstar" and was on Broadway in "The Lion King."

"I'm sort of a goofy person and I do this a lot - not dressing up as a woman, but doing these sorts of goofy comedies," he said. "And I'm a Jack Lemmon fan."

Gulan said the show has played well before older audiences and younger groups, which could give it an advantage coming to a university community.

And one of the show's main gags - men in drag - isn't expected shock audiences now as much as it might have when the movie opened.

"The humor in the show is not really risqué - it used to be, but it's not," Gulan said.

The musical is scheduled for a six-day run at Wharton.

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