‘Some Like It Hot,’ Including Students at Greensboro College
More than two dozen students at Greensboro College have been hard at work, bringing to life the prohibition era and the exciting life of gangsters in their production of Sugar, a musical based on the film, Some Like it Hot. Two students, in particular, have taken the lead by literally snagging the lead roles as freshman.
Based on the Billy Wilder film, Sugar is set in the late 1920s and chronicles the zany lives of two musicians who witness a mob slaying. Forced to disguise themselves as women, they join an all-female orchestra. Memorable musical numbers include “Penniless Bums,” “The Beauty that Drives Men Mad,” “We Could Be Close,” “Doin’ It for Sugar,” “What Do You Give (to a Man Who Has Everything?),” “Beautiful Through and Through” and “November Song.”
William Hodgdon, who performs the co-lead role of Jerry, the struggling bass player, says it’s both exciting and terrifying to be given such a task as a freshman. “Nothing like this has ever happened to me before,” said Hodgdon, a theatre major. “Usually I’ve had to work with a director or organization a while before getting a lead. I am very grateful for the opportunity and I hope I can live up to the challenge.”
The role certainly is a challenge, too, considering he’s dressed in drag for the majority of the play. Though Hodgdon says that’s one of his favorite parts about his character because it gives him great comedic material.
Austin Flewell, a freshman theatre major, shares a similar sentiment at being shocked yet excited to be cast as a first-year student.
“When I found out (I got the role), I kind of isolated myself at first because I didn’t know if everyone would be like, ‘You’re a freshman and you stole our roles,’” he said. “It was overwhelming and very intimidating, especially since I’m at a college-level now. I really have to work hard and do an even better job now. But the support that came with it was also overwhelming and incredible.”
Flewell is also performing in a dress, with his character, Joe, the saxophone player, and though Flewell is new to walking in heels, he says he can still relate to his character.
“Joe is a man that definitely knows what he wants, and he wants acceptance, which is something I also strive for, especially in theatre. I’ve never seen anyone rejected just for being themselves in the realm of theatre.”
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is throwing caution to the wind,” Flewell added. “I’m entering another aspect of that (with this show). I’m wearing heels and a bra, and a dress, wig and makeup. That’s a whole new idea I’ve never delved into.”
“But I know how to walk in heels, now,” he laughed.
Judging from the rehearsals just two weeks ago, the show is sure to be a comedic hit. Flewell has a clear and strong presence on stage and does a great job delivering his comedic lines with a punch, but without going over the top.
Caroline Meisner, a sophomore, heats up the stage in her role as Sugar, dressed in furs and sheer confidence.
Wanna go? Greensboro College theatre performs Sugar Thursday through Saturday at Gail Brower Huggins Performance Center in the Odell Memorial Auditorium, 815 W. Market St. Tickets are $10. For tickets and more information visit Greensboro.edu/theatre.