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Review Roundup: THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA Pre-Broadway Run Opens in Chicago; What Did the Critics Think?

Review Roundup: THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA Pre-Broadway Run Opens in Chicago; What Did the Critics Think?

Read all of the reviews for The Devil Wears Prada here!

The world premiere production of The Devil Wears Prada, The Musical has officially opened in Chicago! The production began performances on July 19th, and celebrated opening night last night, August 7th. The production runs through August 21st at Broadway In Chicago's James M. Nederlander Theatre.

What did the critics think of the production? Read the reviews below!

Plus, watch a video from the opening night curtain call here.

The Devil Wears Prada, The Musical stars Tony Award winner Beth Leavel as Miranda Priestly, Taylor Iman Jones as Andy Sachs, Javier Muñoz as Nigel Owens, Christiana Cole as Lauren Hunter, Megan Masako Haley as Emily Charlton, Tiffany Mann as Kayla Ward, Michael Tacconi as Nate Angstrom, and Christian Thompson as Christian Thompson.

The ensemble includes Kyle Brown, JoJo Carmichael, Olivia Cipolla, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Audrey Douglass, Hannah Douglass, Madison Fendley, Cailen Fu, Michael Samarie George, Henry Gottfried, Marya Grandy, Jessie Hooker-Bailey, Liana Hunt, Amber Jackson, Chris Jarosz, Carlos A. Jimenez, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Anthony Murphy, Jim Ortlieb, Johnny Rice, Sawyer Smith, Terrance Spencer, and CJ Tyson.


Chris Jones, The Chicago Tribune: The show first has to deliver a more legitimate runway experience: Arianne Phillips' costumes are fine as theatrical design but I suspect the audience for this will expect something that feels more like the work of actual fashion houses. Neither of the two leads, played by Beth Leavel and Taylor Iman Jones, have enough of their own distinct style and, weirdly, the show blows right past the big switcheroo in the movie when the geeky Andy reinvents herself as a stylist of high couture. Act 2 is stronger in this regard - it helps a lot when the show leaves New York and hits Paris - but it's still a major issue.

Brian Hieggelke, New City Stage: The book is more problematic than the music, with issues that date back to the original novel. This material lends itself best to a satire of the culture of vanity, a subject more in vogue than ever. The offices of Runway magazine crackle in director Anna Shapiro's vision, a perpetual fashion show, popping with wit and color and energy. But the story insists on grounding itself in the maudlin morality tale of Andy and her friends, earnest and striving but, well, dull, a tone the production design reinforces by setting their scenes in dark and drab palettes at a pool hall or in a dingy apartment, with songs that sink as soon as they are sung.

Johnny Oleksinski, The New York Post: No convincing artistic effort has been made to reinterpret the film and book into something new that makes logical and compelling sense onstage. Just about every plot point is identical to the 2006 film that was slick, sexy and satisfying and earned Meryl Streep a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

Misha Davenport, BroadwayWorld: Where the show really limps as if walking on broken Manolo Blahnik heel is the score. I'm not sure if Elton John was intentionally trying to top the worst musical he's ever made (LESTAT), but mission accomplished. At most, there are three serviceable songs here and none of them are sung by the show's leads. Munoz brings some much needed glitz to Andy's well-anticipated remake scene with the tune "Dress Your Way Up."

Dean Richards, WGN9: With a beautiful style and clever stage presentation, there are even better performances here, especially from its leads Taylor Iman Jones as Andy [...], Tony Award Winner Beth Leavel as Miranda [...], and Javier Muñoz as Nigel. There's also a terrific ensemble of trendy dancers and singers who add to the very chique look and feel.

Alexis Soloski, NY Times: At times, I wondered what a writer who takes bigger, more trenchant comic swings - Bess Wohl, say, Jocelyn Bioh, Halley Feiffer - might have done with this material. Would a score that acknowledged the last 40 years of popular music have made a difference? This version takes Jones, a charismatic actress with a lithe, flexible voice, and gives her little to do except stress and dither. (She glows, by the way, no exfoliant needed.) And though magazines like Vogue have finally admitted a lack of diversity, the musical never acknowledges that everyone mistreated by Miranda, who is white, is a person of color.

 

To read more reviews, click here!
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