“The Devil Wears Prada,” Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 novel about a demanding, diva-like fashion editor and her struggling, well-meaning personal assistant, which was turned into a hit 2006 film starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, is being developed into a musical with music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Paul Rudnick. In a statement, John said that he is “a huge fan of both the book and the feature film, and a huge aficionado of the fashion world.” John’s prior stage musicals include “The Lion King,” “Aida” and “Billy Elliot.” Rudnick’s many credits as a writer include the play “Jeffrey” and the screenplay of “In & Out.”
‘Waitress’ musical breaks even
“Waitress” did not win any Tony Awards last year (it was, after all, the year of “Hamilton”), but the musical, about a woman who makes creative pies and finds herself in the midst of an affair and unplanned pregnancy, and which has a score by singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, has caught on with audiences. On Thursday morning, its producers announced that the show has recouped its $12 million investment costs, less than 10 months into its Broadway run. “Hamilton” and “Waitress” are now the only new musicals from last season to have recouped.
‘Concert for America’ to become a monthly series
Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, who produced the sold-out “Concert for America” last week at Town Hall to raise money for nonprofit groups that protect women’s health, the environment and civil liberties, intend to keep producing benefit concerts featuring Broadway celebrities on a monthly basis. The next concert will be held at Town Hall on Feb. 25, followed by a concert in Chicago on March 19. Wayne Brady, who is currently playing Aaron Burr in the Chicago production of “Hamilton,” will take part in the March 19 concert.
Miranda releases ‘Hamilton’ demos online
Lin-Manuel Miranda has released eight demo versions of “Hamilton” songs for free online, including early recordings of “Guns & Ships,” “The Story of Tonight” and “My Shot.” They are available for listening via SoundCloud. “The Hamilton Mixtape” also includes demos of songs that got cut during the musical’s development process.
Stone wants to do more theater but not musicals
Emma Stone, who played Sally Bowles in “Cabaret” on Broadway before going on to star in the acclaimed movie musical “La La Land,” wants to do more theater but not necessarily more stage musicals, according to the Evening Standard. Stone told the London newspaper that she cannot vocally handle the demands of stage musicals “but straight plays, there’s like a million of those I’d love to do.”
Baitz assaulted before D.C. march
Playwright Jon Robin Baitz was violently assaulted by an intoxicated male who Baitz believes was a Trump supporter last Friday night in Washington, D.C., as reported by Vanity Fair. According to Baitz, a confrontation occurred after the “redheaded linebacker guy” made anti-Semitic remarks to Baitz. “He picked me up like I was a sack of rice, threw me down and I was covered in blood,” Baitz told Vanity Fair. Baitz is best known for dramas like “The Substance of Fire” and “Other Desert Cities.” He recently premiered a Trump satire titled “Vicuna” in Los Angeles.
Motion to dismiss denied in ‘Anastasia’ copyright lawsuit
A copyright infringement lawsuit involving the new Broadway musical “Anastasia” (which is based on the 1997 animated movie musical) took a new turn this week. As per Playbill.com, the New York Southern District Court denied a motion brought by the defendants (including the producers and playwright Terrence McNally) against the plaintiff (the heir of a playwright whose version of the Anastasia story ran on Broadway decades ago). In an Order, Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein wrote that it was too early for him to make a “complicated comparison” between the two works and the historical facts upon which both are based.
New Jersey high school wants to censor ‘Ragtime’
A high school in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, intends to remove language that it deems offensive from an upcoming student production of the 1998 musical “Ragtime.” There is no indication that the school received permission from Music Theatre International (which controls the performance rights to “Ragtime”) to alter the script. Brian Stokes Mitchell (who starred in the original Broadway production) told arts blogger Howard Sherman that “to take the ugly language out of ‘Ragtime’ is to sanitize it and that does it a great disservice.”
Whoopi Goldberg making a one-night-only cameo in “Aladdin” … John Legend and Ben Vereen at “Jitney” … Patti LuPone at “A Bronx Tale.”