Thursday, April 25, 2024

Broadway: Tony Winner Beth Leavel Will Play Meryl Streep’s Part in “Prada” Musical, Streep Will Play Leavel’s Role in “Prom” Movie


I don’t know if Meryl Streep and Beth Leavel know each other, but they should.

Leavel, a 2006 Tony winner for “The Drowsy Chaperone,” will play Meryl Streep’s role of Miranda Priestley in the Broadway musical of “The Devil Wears Prada.” The musical will have a Chicago run in summer 2021, with an eye on a Broaadway opening in spring 2022.

The irony is that Leavel’s role in “The Prom” musical, directed by Ryan Murphy for Netflix, is being played by Meryl. Leavel was nominated for a Tony as DeeDee Allen, a faded Broadway star who’s finagled into appearing in a musical staged in Cleveland.

Even though “The Prom” cast from Broadway was superior, Murphy decided to replaced them all with Stars, capital S.

“Prada” was supposed to hit Chicago a lot earlier, but it’s been postponed until July 2021. Producer Kevin McCollum said in a statement, “We realized that we wanted more time to work on the show. Our creative team members are in demand around the world with ridiculous schedules. The new dates mean that not only do we get an ideal theatre in Chicago (the CIBC Theatre), it also allows our New York landlord to confirm the Broadway venue, which means we have more time to coordinate our physical design, marketing, and sales plans accordingly.”

Also cast in “Prada” is Taylor Iman Jones in the Emily Blunt role of Miranda’s put up on assistant. No word yet on the Anne Hathaway or Stanley Tucci roles. But you could see Leavel’s “Prom” co-star Brooks Ashmanskas in that part easily. Any why not? They were great together in “The Prom.”

This Leavel-Streep exchange is not uncommon but a little ironic.  Julie Andrews starred on Broadway as Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady,” but producers wanted Audrey Hepburn for the movie. Of course, Julie became a huge movie star anyway. Show business never makes sense, kids!

But don’t forget this: Leavel will get to sing all new songs by Elton John, who’s written the score with Shaina Taub. It will be worth the wait!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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