|Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada|
In a rare case of show-biz serendipity, three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep and Tony winner Beth Leavel, queens of their respective media, will switch roles. It was just announced that Leavel will take on Miranda Priestley the dictatorial fashion editor, in the musical version of The Devil Wears Prada
which will open in Chicago in July 2021, presumably followed by a Broadway opening in 2021-22. Elton John will compose the music, Shaina Taub the lyrics, Paul Rudnick the book and Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro directs. Streep won a Golden Globe for the 2007 movie edition.
Meanwhile Streep is playing Dee Dee Allen, the washed-up Broadway star aiming for publicity by supporting a lesbian high-school student, in The Prom
Netflix. Leavel originated the role in the stage version which was named Outstanding Musical by the Drama Desk. There is an extremely funny sight gag involving the DD Award itself. Let's hope it makes the cut for the screenplay and Netflix viewers who are not obsessed with Broadway will get the joke. The Netflix edition will also star Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington, James Corden, Awkafina, Ariana Grande, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells. It will be available for streaming in November.
In other casting news, the potentially controversial Michael Jackson musical, MJ,
has announced its lead. The gloved one will be played by Ephraim Sykes who gave a stunning performance as David Ruffin, the most tormented Temptation in Ain't Too
(he got my Tony vote for Best Featured Actor in a Musical). MJ
which features a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, is scheduled to open at the Neil Simon Theater on Aug. 13. There is no word on how the show will address accusations of child molestation against the music legend, if at all. According to People Magazine, the story takes place in 1992 when Jackson is releasing his Dangerous
album. The allegations of abuse did not begin until 1993. Convenient, huh?