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September 10, 2008 > Theater Review: A Sprinkle of 'Sugar'

Theater Review: A Sprinkle of 'Sugar'

"Sugar" entrances and engages the audience with music, dance, and wit.

By Justine Yan

"Sugar," a musical comedy presented by Stage 1 Theatre and adapted from the screenplay, "Some Like it Hot" by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, was graceful and hilarious from beginning to end. With truly enjoyable music, a talented cast portraying unforgettable characters, and the theme of following your heart in spite of uncertain times, this performance of a Tony Award-winning musical moved, amused, and captivated the audience on opening night. Five more performances will be held at Newark Memorial High School during the next two weeks.

Joe and Jerry are a pair of penniless, out-of-work musicians who accidentally become the only witnesses of a gangland massacre. Pressured to leave the "wicked, windy, and wild" city of Chicago as soon as they can, the two join a band composed entirely of sassy, insolent women called the Society Syncopators. Introducing themselves as "Josephine" and "Daphne," they pack their bags full of dresses and brassieres and join the band on the road to Miami. Under the warm sun and surrounded by millionaires, Joe and Jerry strive to disguise their true identities, while falling in love with the band's lead singer, "generous, genial, and gorgeous" Sugar. But the gang members aren't about to let the two musicians get off easy and will stop at nothing to find them!

Highlights of the show included the tap dancing numbers featuring Bryant Cash-Welch as Spats, who expertly executed flips and other smooth dance moves to the audience's delight. Heather Paton (as Sugar), Lee Watson (as Joe), and Michael Campbell (as Jerry) also shined in their acting and singing.

"Sugar" reminds us that making light of difficulties in life can really be funny and encouraging, and that a little bit of wit and hope can go a long way. As the audience follows Joe and Jerry on their journey to Miami in search of a better life, we also see two grown men 'coming of age' under the stage light. Expect this music to bring chuckles and, perhaps, some fond memories to mind.

Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling (510) 791-0287, at The Book End (Thornton Ave & Cedar Blvd, Newark), or at the door.

Friday, Sept 12 - Sat, Sept 20
8 p.m.
Newark Memorial High School Theatre
39375 Cedar Blvd, Newark
(510) 791-0287

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