During Its Chicago Engagement, The New Musical 'The Devil Wears Prada' Encountered Some Difficulties
The producer of " The Devil Wears Prada " is openly supporting the Elton John-composed musical after it received such harsh criticism from reviewers, saying on Page Six that COVID-related problems meant it never stood a chance to succeed.
Broadway veteran Kevin McCollum informed Page Six that the cast and crew's apparently unending cases gave substitutes only a few hours to learn their roles prior to the performance, wasting time that could have been spent perfecting the play.
The fact that the show's out-of-town run in Chicago had more cases of the virus than a polka dot print has spots, according to McCollum, who has won Tony Awards for "In the Heights," "Avenue Q," and "Rent," was a contributing factor in the issue.
During the brief five-week run at the James M. Nederlander Theater, the team spent more time instructing substitutes than they would have typically been working out problems.
"In a new show, if you miss the department head—whether it's for props, wardrobe, or music—there aren't two people waiting. The production had 24 coronavirus infections among cast and crew on opening night, he said, adding that you need to find someone to substitute them and also get them up to speed.
He explained to us that some actors were given only "three hours to prepare and play that night." It was breathtaking to witness.
According to McCollum, including orchestration to a dance number would have had a "domino effect" because it affects clothing changes, microphone setups, sound editing, and other factors. And they simply couldn't take the chance of making significant (if desperately needed) changes in an already chaotic scenario.
The experience is compared to "attaching plywood while in the storm," he says. It was similar to an outdoor sport, but with daily rain, he claims. In relation to COVID-19, Actor's Equity regulations can be stricter than Kim Kardashian's corset, as per McCollum, who expects that things will lighten up.