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!