Beth Leavel on Meryl Streep, Miranda Priestly, and The Devil Wears Prada Musical

Interview   Beth Leavel on Meryl Streep, Miranda Priestly, and The Devil Wears Prada Musical
 
The Broadway star talked to Playbill while preparing for her upcoming Feinstein’s/54 Below concert.
Tony_Awards_Gala_2019_HR
Beth Leavel Marc. J. Franklin

Beth Leavel is freaking out (her words) about taking on the role of Miranda Priestly in the upcoming musical adaptation of The Devil Wears Prada. The role was originated on the big screen by Meryl Streep, but Leavel gets to debut the character on stage in Chicago when the show opens in 2021.

“Even mentioning my name in a sentence with Meryl Streep freaks me out—in a good way,” the Tony winner told Playbill. As Leavel readies for her fashion honcho gig, she passes on her The Prom reins to Streep, who'll play Dee Dee Allen in the upcoming Netflix adaptation of the musical comedy. “To have Dee Dee in Meryl’s hands and I’m just going to take care of Miranda Priestly for her.... it’s extraordinarily flattering to be connected with her in any kind of circle.”

Meryl Streep in <i>The Devil Wears Prada </i>
Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada ©TM and 2006 Twentieth Century Fox

Leavel is fully aware of the mirroring effect between her and the Oscar winner with the performers switching roles between stage and screen with The Prom and The Devil Wears Prada. But there's also a third shared role that hadn't crossed her mind: “I forgot about Mamma Mia!. So here we go...again!” Get it?

On playing Miranda, the star said she’s most excited to explore the songs (from composer Elton John and lyricist Shaina Taub) that come out of the Runway editor-in-chief. “I can't wait to see what she can no longer speak and has to sing. And my inner child goes ‘Oh! what am I going to wear?’” A reasonable question, given the subject matter.

Before headlining Prada in Chicago, Leavel will play a residency at Feinstein’s/54 Below January 14–20, 2020. “I’m trying to ask permission to debut a song from Prada. I don't know if it's going to happen, but I’ll just call. ‘Elton? Would it be OK?’ Boy, would I love to do that.”

Andy, get Elton on the phone.

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