“Everybody wants to be us,” ruthless editrix Miranda Priestly says at the end of “The Devil Wears Prada.” And on Tuesday morning, the Broadway-bound musical adaptation announced just who would be playing Miranda and the rest of the 2006 film’s characters onstage.
Meryl Streep’s fashion magazine chief Miranda Priestly will be portrayed by Beth Leavel, a Tony Award winner for “The Drowsy Chaperone” whose credits include “Hal Prince’s Show Boat,” “Mamma Mia!” and both the original and revival stagings of “42nd Street.” She most recently appeared on Broadway in “The Prom” — in a role that will be played by Streep in a Netflix adaptation.
The role of her wide-eyed and not-so-stylish assistant, Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway in the movie), will be taken on by Taylor Iman Jones, who turned heads for her standout performance in Broadway’s “Head Over Heels” and also appeared in “Groundhog Day.”
The casting of an actress of color for the role of Andy reflects the discussion within the fashion industry about diversity and inclusion since the movie’s release.
“Everyone is fiercely dedicated to creating an updated version of the much-loved tale,” said David Furnish, one of the musical’s producers. “The show needs to reflect the cultural and societal changes that have redefined the fashion world since Lauren Weisberger wrote her novel over 16 years ago.”
Anna D. Shapiro is directing the production, based on the hit film and Weisberger’s bestselling 2003 novel. The creative team includes Elton John as the composer (and a producer), Shaina Taub as lyricist and Paul Rudnick as book writer. James Alsop — known for her work with Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Janelle Monáe — has joined the production as choreographer.
The musical will make its world premiere at Chicago’s CIBC Theatre from July 13 to Aug. 15, 2021. Additional casting and creative team members for the Chicago production and future Broadway plans will be announced later.