SUGAR a hilarious romp at 42nd Street Moon.

L-R Tony Panighetti as “Daphne,” Riley Krull as Sugar Kane, and Michael Kern Cassidy as “Josephine” (Right ) Scott Hayes as Osgood Fielding, Tony Panighetti as Daphne, Riley Krull as Sugar, Michael Kern Cassidy as Josephine and Darlene Popovic as bandleader Sweet Sue. (Photo by

SUGAR: Musical book by Peter Stone. Based on the screenplay “Some Like It Hot” by Billy Wilder & I.A.L. Diamond by a story by Robert Thoren. Music by Julie Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill. Directed by Dyan McBride. Musical director Saif Eddin. 42nd Street Moon, Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson St., San Francisco. Box Office: 415/255-8207 or Through April 22, 2012

SUGAR a hilarious romp at 42nd Street Moon.

It was 40 years ago that Sugar was mounted on Broadway. Since that time it has been rewritten at least four times with songs removed, new ones added and old ones restored. Artistic director Greg MacKellan in his program notes writes “we are doing the Broadway version, with four of the LA songs added.” That must be OK since this production moves along at a decent clip keeping the story line of the movie “Some Like It Hot” mostly intact. Even though the songs will not have you humming as you leave the theatre, there will be smile on your face remembering the shenanigans of the mostly top notch cast.

Although the songs are not memorable they are perky, sung with animation and are plot driven. The hilarious film starred Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe with a cameo appearance by Joe E. Brown who has the most memorable line.

It’s all about two Chicago musicians, a saxophonist Joe (Michael Kern Cassidy) and a bass player Jerry (Tony Panighetti) who witness a Valentine’s Day massacre by Spats Palazzo (played by dance captain Zack Thomas Wilde) and his henchmen. In order to escape these intrepid tap dancing mobsters they dress up as women and join “Sweet Sue” (Darlene Popovic) and her Society Syncopaters” an all-female band, about to leave town for an engagement at a Miami Hotel. They become Josephine and Daphne.

In due time Joe/Josephine falls in love with ukulele player Sugar Kane (the gorgeous Riley Krull) and has to disguise himself a second time as Shell Oil Company millionaire in order woo Sugar who has a drinking problem. Alas poor Jerry/Daphne is being wooed/chased being all over by Osgood Feeling, JR (Scott Hayes) a very libidinous mature millionaire with lecherous intentions.

After all this is a madcap musical and complications must arise, and they do. Joe now has to switch back and forth from male to female and back again. If that is not enough, he falls in love with Sugar. Then Spatz arrives, recognizes Josephine and Daphne as the guys who witnessed the massacre. Just as in the movie, there is a lot of chaotic running around as the “girls/boys” seek hiding places. Laughter abounds.

This 42nd Street Moon production is a lot of fun with a bevy of beauties (Erica Kimble, Skye Violet Wilson, Emily Morris and Michelle Drexler) dancing and singing up a storm. There is great singing by all with multiple show stopping scenes. Tony Panighetti steals the show with his full-bodied role as Daphne. He has to share the stage and accolades with cabaret artiste and bon vivant Scott Hayes who matches him laugh for laugh and delivers the infamous line “Nobody’s perfect” with complete aplomb.

A big cheer for Dyan McBride’s inventive direction and big hand for tall handsome musical director Saif Eddin on thepiano and Nick Di Scala on reeds. Running time 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Kedar K. Adour, MD

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