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Suffs Creator Shaina Taub Takes On the Legend of Miranda Priestly

The writer and composer of the latest off-Broadway smash gets some help from Elton John for The Devil Wears Prada: The Musical.

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Illustration: Claire Merchlinsky

Shaina Taub became a critical darling with Suffs, her Hamilton-esque musical about the women’s suffrage movement. Not only was its run at the Public Theater extended, seats are now flipping for double their box office price. A few weeks after Suffs closes at the end of May, she’ll move on to her next project, The Devil Wears Prada: The Musical, featuring music by Elton John with her own lyrics. It stars Beth Leavel as the imperious fashion editor Miranda Priestly and Taylor Iman Jones as Andy Sachs, her trend-challenged new assistant. We caught up with Taub to chat about working with John, the movie, and what it’s all done to her Google algorithm. The Devil Wears Prada runs at the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago July 19-Aug. 21. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

You started writing this in 2018, based on a movie that came out in 2006. A lot has changed since.
We were in our final stages of development when everything shut down. At first it was so crushing, but we tried to look at it as an opportunity to deepen the show. We’d already cast Taylor Iman Jones, who plays Andy and is such an exciting young talent and a Black woman. It was important to us that it’s not color-blind casting, that our Andy is intentionally and unapologetically Black. So it became how to create a script and a score that honors that.