Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



THEATER 'The Devil Wears Prada' cast members dish about musical's Chicago debut
by Jerry Nunn

This article shared 1480 times since Mon Jul 18, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

"All right, everyone! Gird your loins" as a stage musical version of The Devil Wears Prada is set for a world premiere in the Windy City this July as part of the lineup for Broadway in Chicago.

Tony Award winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone) plays villainess Miranda Priestly and Head Over Heels cast member Taylor Iman Jones personifies Andrea "Andy" Sachs in the new musical based on a movie that's based on a book. The plot follows a young writer named Andy in New York City where she works for a terrifying boss at a prestigious magazine titled Runway.

The cast and creatives represent all the colors of the LGBTQ+ rainbow—on and off stage—with this stylish production. There is music from Tony, Grammy and Academy Award winner Elton John; a book by out writer Paul Rudnick; and dance segments from transgender choreographer James Alsop.

Alsop, who was born in Virginia, started professionally in the dance industry in 2010. She began instructing her siblings at a young age and eventually performed publicly in local talent shows in her hometown. She said, "I knew that was what I wanted to do after seeing Janet Jackson. At age 14 I took my first dance class. It became a defense mechanism for me at the time and people had respect for me even though I was living in a small town."

Alsop described choreographing to John's music: "I was blown away by the process. Coming from the commercial world, I wasn't used to having this much time to come up with dance moves. For Peacock's TV show Girls5eva, I get about 45 minutes with the cast. My wheels started turning immediately when I heard the music in 2019. Elton John's music is so contemporary and on brand with the show. The music is genius and very inspiring. There are so many genres of music that I had to learn to choreograph across the board. I will probably be working on it until the moment we open!"

Alsop is scheduled to work on an upcoming Whitney Houston biopic after the Prada project ,along with a new Transparent musical based on the television show. Her hope for the future is to bring happiness to the world: "If you don't have a voice then move on and invoke change. I want other nine-year-old Jameses to know they can do it too. It will happen one day!"

Cast members Javier Munoz, who plays the character Nigel Owens; and Megan Masako Haley, who portrays Emily Charlton, sat down privately to discuss their characters with Windy City Times at a recent press conference. Haley described Emily as someone who loves fashion and her job: "When Andy comes bumbling in we have a lot of fun!"

Munoz said his version of Nigel is different in some aspects than the movie adaptation, saying, "He's more of a fully developed character and human being. Without giving anything away, people get to meet not just his ambition but what it took for someone like him to get this far in this industry. He has integrity within himself."

He spoke about being an openly gay performer: "I came out of the closet swinging at the age of 17. In 2002 I made the decision as an artist to be a hundred percent myself—take it or leave it. If you leave it, then I don't want to be in the same room with you. That was the way I was going to live and that continues to this day."

At one point Munoz left his career but returned for later success in musicals. "I would tell my younger self that I am enough," he said. "I know I wouldn't have believed it in my teens, but I would try to drill it home, I am enough!"

Haley sent in a video to land her role and it took a year to hear back from the producers. Talk about moving at a "glacial pace" [quote from the script]. She was on the tour for the musical version of Mean Girls at the time, "I jumped on the show [at the] last second," she said. "Some of the cast had been working on it for years!"

Munoz auditioned for The Devil right before the pandemic lockdown, saying, "I was neck and neck with one of my best friends from college who wound up booking it. After he booked a TV show, they came back to me and asked if I was still interested. I said yes immediately! This is a rare kind of role and to jump in last minute, just like Megan, was magic."

The Hamilton and In the Heights star went on to say, "I cannot wait for the LGBTQ+ community to come to see the show and experience the story. There is so much inclusion and diversity everywhere with absolute integrity. I want to see more of this all the time."

Haley stated that she had never been in a show with so many trans and non-binary people onstage and backstage before. "It has created a place where this is supported and not just diversity for diversity's sake. It has been so freeing to see people get to fly. It is a safe place where nothing has been toned down or hidden. Everything is out in the open and celebrated in a way that is groundbreaking. It proves that it can be done when it is prioritized."

When Munoz was asked if Lin-Manuel Miranda wears Prada, he replied, "I'm sure he has. He's worn everything. We don't really talk fashion when we are hanging out, but maybe we should start!"

Visit for more information on The Devil Wears Prada musical running July 19-Aug. 21 at the James M. Nederlander Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. Get tickets before Miranda Priestly leaves the building and heads to New York City's Great White Way.

This article shared 1480 times since Mon Jul 18, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Peppermint barks while Broadway bangs, and all the other dish to start the week 2022-11-28
- "I love Broadway. I love what they do—Broadway Cares, but I also want to say the show is extraordinary!" —Nicole Kidman's impromptu speech after bidding $100K to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for Hugh Jackman's hat after ...

Gay News

New York theaters bounce back: Four shows ask questions about identity 2022-11-22
- All theater critics worth their salt should take a bite of the Big Apple now and then, savoring the bright lights of Broadway and a soggy slice of what passes for pizza. On my first visit in nearly three years, Broadway ...

Gay News

Gay man to head Chicago Latino Theater Alliance 2022-11-15
- The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) announced the appointment of Jorge Valdivia as its new executive director, according to the Lawndale News. Valdivia's previous position was director of performing arts at the National Museum of Mexic ...

Gay News

Theater Review: Porchlight's Rent is a winner 2022-11-09
By Jonathan Abarbanel - Title: Rent. Playwright: Jonathan Larson (book, music, lyrics) At: Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center. Tickets: 773-777-9884;; $25 and up. Runs through: Dec. 11 From its 1996 premiere ...

Gay News

Mister International Rubber takes the stage at Center on Halsted, Riviera Theatre 2022-11-07
- The MIR26 (Mister International Rubber) competition took place at the Center on Halsted and the Riviera Theatre over the Nov. 4-6 weekend. Pusckatt Pumera Onyx won the competition. The event was co-emceed by Lucy Stoole and ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Gay racer, GALECA, Lena Waithe, 'Chicago,' LGBTQ+ films 2022-11-06
- Gay motorsports racer Zach Herrin made his long-awaited debut in a NASCAR-affiliated race in Phoenix, The Advocate noted. "I know I have a lot of eyes on me, and all I want to do is get out there and blur everything ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Nathan Lane, gala, Beyonce, Kevin Aviance, Henry Cavill, Shania 2022-10-30
Video below - Nathan Lane is returning to Broadway this winter to star in the debut run of Pictures of Home, per The Hollywood Reporter. Based on the photo memoir by Larry Sultan of the same name and adapted ...

Gay News

Young trans playwright queers Shakespeare in new production 'Malapert Love' 2022-10-29
- The Artistic Home will debut Malapert Love on Nov. 5-Dec. 11 in Wicker Park at The Den Theatre's Upstairs Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. The gender-bending, Shakespearean romantic comedy was written by 18-year-old Siah Berlatsky, who's ...

Gay News

THEATER 'The Golden Girls' holiday special Nov. 26-Dec. 30 2022-10-27
- Hell in a Handbag Productions is in The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, The Obligatory Holiday Special, playing Nov. 26-Dec. 30 at The Hoover-Leppen Theatre at The Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. Dorothy, Rose, ...

Gay News

'Cirque Dreams Holidaze' to take place Dec. 22-24 2022-10-26
- Cirque Dreams Holidaze is set to dazzle Chicago audiences with a Broadway-style production infused with contemporary circus arts. The production will play for six performances on Dec. 22-24 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 Ida B. Wells ...

Gay News

16th Street Theater to close at the end of the year 2022-10-26
- The board of Berwyn's 16th Street Theater announced that the award-winning, nationally acclaimed Equity theater company will close at the end of 2022. A statement read, "For 15 inspiring seasons, plus two years of the pandemic, ...

Gay News

Cody Estle to step down as Raven Theatre artistic director 2022-10-24
- Raven Theatre's board of directors announced that Cody Estle will step down as the company's artistic director at the end of November. Estle has been the company's artistic leader since 2017. He will join Milwaukee's Next ...

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: COVID book, 'Wicked' cocktails, 'A Taste of Hope' and more 2022-10-24
- —COVID-19, the LGBTQIA+ Community and Public Policy: As studies emerge to help us understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on every facet of modern life, it is critical that the effect of the pandemic on ...

Gay News

Chicago Theatre Week 2023 to take place Feb. 16-26 2022-10-21
-- From a press release - Chicago—Chicago Theatre Week (#CTW23), an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatergoing in Chicago during which visitors and residents can access value-priced tickets, will take place Feb. 16-26, 2023. ...

Gay News

'Lady Day,' 'Rock of Ages' part of Mercury Theater Chicago's 2023 season 2022-10-21
-- From a press release - Chicago — Mercury Theater Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter, Managing Director Kristi J. Martens and Executive Producers L. Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizon announced the 2023 Mercury Theater Chicago season ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.