On March 16, 2019, Sugar, performed by Clovis High School Theater Arts students, completed a successful run at the Mercedes Edwards Theater. The production was based on the 1959 screenplay written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, for the classic movie, “Some Like it Hot,” that starred Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Marilyn Monroe.
Who could guess that an infamous event like the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre would foster a humorous script, songs, and lively dancing and laughter? This stage version was a definite hit with those who saw it.
“Many people know and love the film and therefore I hoped they would love seeing the musical as well,” says the director, Megan Hamilton. “I found the script very humorous and entertaining and believed audiences would feel the same way. I also knew I had a group of very talented students with a knack for comedy that I believed could shine in this particular show.”
The storyline opens in Chicago, February 1931. Two out-of-work musicians, Joe (Micah Nicholson) and Jerry (Luke Colvard), unintentionally witnessed a gang shooting in a car garage. Strobe lights, used to visually simulate gunfire, were an exciting touch.
Desperate to escape gangsters who were equally desperate to eliminate any witnesses to the shooting, Joe, and Jerry disguised themselves as women in order to join an all-girl band that was leaving for Miami Beach. Shenanigans ensued as the “girls” had to continue their charade, complete with make-up, wigs, dresses, and high heel pumps.
“There were some very silly and entertaining moments that occurred as my two male leads, Micah Nicholson playing Joe and Luke Colvard playing Jerry, had to learn to walk and dance in heels!” said Hamilton. “Let’s just say it really helped them channel their character as they quickly learned that, as Jerry says in the show, ‘high heels are murder.’”
“The sight of guys trying to dance in heels is hilarious,” said Mandy Burch, a student at Clovis East. “I think the actors did a really good job; I wonder how long they had to practice.”
Choreographer Katie Green and Vocal Director Jennifer Appleby did a terrific job. The song and dance numbers, including “The Beauty that Drives Men Mad, “Doin’ It for Sugar” and “When you Meet a Man in Chicago,” were beautifully performed and kept the audience laughing.
Joe (Josephine) – Micah Nicholson
Jerry (Daphne) – Luke Colvard
Sugar Kane – Clarysta Ochs
Sweet Sue – Brianne Avina
Sir Osgood Fielding- Tyler Murphy
Mr. Bienstock – Carson Gray
Spats Palazzo – Joshua Dixon
Dude – Atticus Boone
Knuckles Norton – Nico Diviccaro
Society Syncopators Dancers and Bandstand Members
Coming to the Mercedes Edwards Theater May 24-25, 2019 is The Wonderful World of Dance, presented by the Clovis High School Dance Repertory and featuring Break the Barriers Aerial Performers. Performances start at 7:30 pm. Presale tickets are $10 and available at CHS main office. Tickets purchased at the door are $12. For more information, visit clovishighdance.com.