Vanessa Williams attends the GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton on March 30, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for GLAAD)

Vanessa Williams to Play Miranda Priestly in Elton John's 'Devil Wears Prada' Musical in London


Who can sing and dance in Meryl Streep's Jimmy Choo's?

One of Streep's 21st century signature roles is Miranda Priestly, the icy, invincible editor of a major fashion magazine in "The Devil Wears Prada." The character was said to be based on Vogue's Anna Wintour from experiences novelist Lauren Weisberger had as the editor's assistant. In the film, that role was played by Anne Hathaway.

This weekend it was announced that Vanessa Williams will be playing Priestly in the musical version of the novel and film in London's West End, reports Playbill.

The musical is set to play London's Dominion Theatre beginning in October 2024.

"The Devil Wears Prada "features a score by Elton John, lyrics by Shaina Taub ("Suffs"), a book by Kate Wetherhead, and direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell ("Kinky Boots," "Legally Blonde," "Hairspray").

"Williams was last seen on the West End stage in the Olivier-winning Donmar Warehouse production of 'City of Angels,' which closed in fall 2020," Playbill writes. "On Broadway, Williams most recently originated the role of Margaret in 'POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive.' She earned a Tony nomination for her performance as the Witch in the 2002 Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's 'Into the Woods'."

Streep had received an Oscar nomination for her performance of Witch in the 2015 film version of "Into the Woods."

The musical follows the employment hell of an aspiring fashion journalist (named Andy Sachs) hired to be the assistant to Priestly, head of the fictional Runway Magazine. The job proves challenging, in part due to the Priestly's authoritative manner and demands.

"'The Devil Wears Prada' had its world premiere at Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre last year. The production was directed by Tony Award winner Anna D. Shapiro, and starred Beth Leavel and Taylor Iman Jones as Miranda Priestly and Andy Sachs, respectively. Full West End casting will be announced at a later date, adds Playbill.

"Mitchell has assembled a totally new creative team for his staging, with the West End bow set to feature scenic design by Tim Hatley, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Bruno Poet, and sound design by Gareth Owen. Casting is by Jill Green."

If the New York Times review of the Chicago production is any indication, much work needed to be done prior to this British production. "This is a show that has tried on everything in its closet. Nothing fits," wrote theater critic Alexis Soloski. "'The Devil Wears Prada' isn't as sumptuous as it should be or as bitingly incisive. If it wants a life beyond Chicago, it could use some alterations."

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