Reviewed by Kerry Cooper
Sugar first came to life on Broadway in 1972; based on the successful movie Some Like it Hot, it was met with critical acclaim. Experienced musical director Leonie Osborn has brought this rarely performed piece to the stage with mixed results.
Set in the 1920s during the prohibition, out of work musicians Joe and Jerry witness a gangland shooting, which results in them joining an all-girl troupe in wonderful drag to disguise their identities. Joe/Josephine is brought to life by the very talented Greg Hart; his voice is a pleasure to listen to and he settles into his role early. His partner in crime Jerry/Daphne is a wonderful combination of feminine wit and bumbling romance and has excellent comic timing. Daniel Fleming is sublime in his three inch heels.
Unfortunately act one suffers from a lack of pace and structure with lines being delivered tentatively and routines clearly needing extra rehearsal time. With ensemble numbers never reaching their potential it all seems rather laboured until a burst of energy in the form of millionaire Sir Osgood Fielding played by Barry Hill hits the stage. His number ‘November Song’ is lots of fun. Act two fares better, but routines still lacked polish.
Attention to detail was lost in this production with sets under-dressed, none more so than the train bunks that revealed a vacant space, with not a pillow or bedding in sight. The set pieces seemed oddly positioned and revealed actors waiting for cues. These over-sights were distracting and overshadowed the potential of this production.