Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  2w, 4m

Book by Peter Stone
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Bob Merrill

Based on the Screenplay Some Like It Hot by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Based on a Story by Robert Thoeren
Produced for the Broadway Stage by David Merrick
Directed and Choreographed for the Broadway Stage by Gower Champion

This zany musical adaptation of Some Like It Hot captures the heart and hilarity of the hit film and features a thrilling, jazzy score from Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, the composing team behind Funny Girl.  

Image: Sam Norkin

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2w, 4m
  • Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Farce, Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
  • Nominee: Four 1973 Tony Awards, including Best Musical
    Winner! 1972 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance (Robert Morse)
    Winner! 1972 Theatre World Award (Elaine Joyce)



Based on the film Some Like It Hot, Sugar follows the zany antics of two male musicians of the Prohibition era who witness a gang slaying. Hoping to hide from the mob, Jerry and Joe disguise themselves as "Daphne" and "Josephine" and join an all-female orchestra. Complications ensue when Joe falls for Sugar Kane, the group's lead singer. Memorable musical numbers include "Penniless Bums," "The Beauty That Drives Men Mad," "We Could Be Close" and "Beautiful Through and Through."

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Sugar opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre on April 9, 1972, starring Robert Morse, Tony Roberts and Elaine Joyce. The show played for 505 performances, closing on June 23, 1973.

Joe and Jerry, two musicians down on their luck while wandering through Chicago, by chance witness a gang rub-out in the Clark Street Garage. The rub-out was ordered by Spats Palazzo, a notorious Chicago hood. Spats and his boys immediately chase after Joe and Jerry, determined to silence them as witnesses to the crime. Desperate for a quick way out of town, Joe and Jerry hear about jobs available for a saxophone and a bass player, which are their specialties. And coincidentally, the band is scheduled to leave at once for Florida. There is only one problem; the band is all female. As Joe and Jerry they haven't got a chance, but with a bit of costuming, padding, makeup and slight voice adjustments, they become Josephine and Daphne. They are hired by "Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopators."

Joe (Josephine) and Jerry (Daphne) find themselves getting well acquainted with Sugar, the gorgeous blonde who is the featured singer with the band. As difficult as it is for them not to reveal their secret to Sugar, they know that one slip could lead Spats Palazzo to them. Moreover, if Mr. Bienstock, the show's manager, discovers their true identities, they could be in an even worse spot. Mr. Bienstock had already warned the "girls" that he would not tolerate drinking or men on the train between shows. Joe and Jerry are definitely in a jam, but it looks as though Sugar's company is going to make it an enjoyable, if risky, experience.

It turns out that Sugar has a drinking problem, which she keeps secret from Mr. Bienstock. As she explains it, she drinks to forget about the countless saxophone players she has fallen in love with, and who have left her. This is quite interesting to Josephine, whose interest in Sugar is becoming more than sisterly.

Sugar confides to Josephine and Daphne that she plans to find a millionaire in Florida and get married. She even tells them what he will look like. Hearing this, Joe develops a plan; he convinces Jerry that they need to look after Sugar, so they need to stay with the band in Florida until they find a suitable millionaire for her. What Jerry does not know is that Joe has already chosen Sugar's match. By disguising himself as her "dream-man," Joe is confident that he can win her heart. After she falls in love with him, he plans to tell her the truth about himself.

While Joe is busy impressing Sugar with his newfound wealth, Jerry (alias Daphne) has attracted her own millionaire. Sir Osgood Fielding is determined to woo and win Daphne. She is not quite certain how to break the bad news to him, especially since he showers her with lavish gifts.

With the unwitting help of Sir Osgood, Joe makes a big impression on Sugar. Now Joe only needs to tell her the truth about his identity, since he thinks that if she really loves him it won't matter that he is not a millionaire, but another saxophone player. Unfortunately, before he gets the opportunity to tell her, Spats Palazzo and his gang arrive in town and recognize Josephine and Daphne in the band. The chase is on. Eventually the villains get what they deserve, and the lovers are reunited.

Sweet Sue
Sugar Kane
Joe (Josephine)
Jerry (Daphne)
Musicians Contractor
Spats Palazzo
First Hood
Knuckles Norton
Second Hood
Train Announcer
Cab Driver
Mary Lou
Train Conductor
Sir Osgood Fielding
First Henchman
The Girls in the Band, Garage Mechanic, Gangsters, Photographers, Newsreelmen & Millionaires
  • Time Period 1930s
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Additional Features Drag Performance
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Gun Shots
    • Mild Adult Themes



  • Sugar

    Image: Sam Norkin


Act I

1. Overture – Orchestra
2. Chicago Opening: “When You Meet A Girl In Chicago” – Sugar & Girls
3. “Turn Back The Clock” – Girls
4. “Penniless Bums” – Joe, Jerry, & Musicians
5. Scene Change to Garage – Orchestra
6. Gangster Silhouette – Orchestra
7. “Tear The Town Apart” – Spats & Men
8. Scene Change: Chase to Station – Orchestra
9. “The Beauty That Drives Men Mad” – Joe, Jerry, & Chorus
10. Train Sequence – Orchestra
11. Undress Music – Orchestra
12. “We Could Be Close” – Sugar, Jerry
13. Train Party – Orchestra
14. “Sun On My Face” – Jerry, Joe, Sue, Bienstock, Sugar, & Girls
15. Scene Change: Miami World – Orchestra
16. “November Song” – Osgood & Men
17. “Doin’ It For Sugar” – Joe & Jerry

Act II

18. Entr’acte – Orchestra
19. “Shell Oil” – Joe
20. “Hey, Why Not” – Sugar & Men
21. Reprise: “Doin’ It For Sugar” – Joe
22. “Beautiful Through and Through” – Jerry & Osgood
23. Scene Change – Orchestra
24. “What Do You Give To A Man Who’s Had Everything” – Joe & Sugar
25. Reprise: “Beautiful Through and Through” – Jerry & Osgood
26. “Magic Nights” – Jerry
27. “It’s Always Love” – Joe
28. Reprise: “When You Meet A Man In Chicago” – Sue, Sugar, Jerry, Joe, & Chorus
29. Scene Change: Nobody’s Yacht – Orchestra
30. Finale – Orchestra
31. Bows – Orchestra
32. Exit – Orchestra

Full Orchestration


Reed 1: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone (Optional: Alto Flute & Soprano Saxophone)
Reed 2: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone (Optional: Soprano Saxophone)
Reed 3: Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone (Optional: Oboe & English Horn)
Reed 4: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone & Baritone Sax (Optional: Bassoon)

Trumpets I & II (Trumpet I optional double: Flugelhorn)
Trumpet III
Trombone I
Trombone II (with Bass Trombone attachment)

Percussion I & II:
I: Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks), Bass Drum, Wood Block, Cow Bell, Triangle, Cymbals (2 Suspended, Hi-Hat, Choke)
II:, Timpani (2 Drums), Bells, Vibraphone, Xylophone (Soft & Hard Mallets), Wood Block, Bongos, Slapstick, Gong (Low), Bell Plate, Maracas, Machine Gun Sound


Piano-Celeste (also doubles as the Piano Conductor)

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway, Jazz
  • Dance Requirements Moderate
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra Size Large
  • Chorus Size Large

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
25 Libretto-Vocal Book
2 Piano-Conductor
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Reed 4
1 Horn
2 Trumpet 1&2
1 Trumpet 3
1 Trombone 1
1 Trombone 2
1 Guitar
1 Harp
2 Percussion 1&2
3 Violins
1 Cello
1 Bass
25 Libretto-Vocal Book
2 Piano-Conductor


Take a look below at how you can enhance your show!


Peter Stone

Peter Stone (1930-2003) was the first writer to win the Tony, the Oscar and the Emmy. With 15 Broadway productions to his credit, he received Tony Awards for his books to 1776, Woman Of The Year, The Will Rogers Follies and Titanic (all four also winning the Tony for Best Mus ...

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Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder (1906–2002) was an Austrian-born American filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, artist, and journalist whose career spanned more than five decades. He is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of the Hollywood Golden Age of cinema. With The A ...

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I.A.L. Diamond

I.A.L. Diamond (1920-1988) and Billy Wilder began collaborating in 1957. Beginning with Love in the Afternoon, their partnership spanned 25 years and a dozen critically acclaimed films, including Merry Andrew; Some Like It Hot (Oscar nomination); The Apartment; One, Two, Thre ...

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Robert Thoeren

Robert Thoeren (1903–1957) was a German actor and screenwriter. Born in Moravia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Thoeren emigrated to Germany and appeared in leading roles in several German-language films made by Paramount at the Joinville Studios in Paris. He went ...

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Jule Styne

Jule Styne (1905-1994) made Broadway sing for 50 years with shows including High Button Shoes; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Hazel Flagg; Gypsy; Peter Pan; Bells Are Ringing; Do Re Mi; Subways Are For Sleeping; Funny Girl; Fade Out-Fade In; Hallelujah, Baby!; The Red Shoes; and D ...

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Bob Merrill

Bob Merrill (May 17, 1921 - February 17, 1998) was an American songwriter, theatrical composer, lyricist and screenwriter. He was the second most successful songwriter of the 1950s on the UK Singles Chart, with hits such as “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?,” “Mambo Ita ...
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