Elton John has won Oscars and Grammys, but he’s also written the scores for three Tony-winning musicals: The Lion King, Billy Elliott and Aida. His latest musical, a stage version of the hit 2006 Meryl Streep/Anne Hathaway film The Devil Wears Prada, opens July 19 in Chicago, but you can hear a preview of some of the new songs he’s written for the project now.
People has a video that features a sneak peek of Elton singing a few of the songs, including the title theme, “When a Legend Is Born” and “Dress Your Way Up.” Elton calls the movie “one of my favorite films,” adding, “The subject matter [the world of high-fashion magazines] screams out for music.”
But speaking to the Chicago Tribune, Elton says some of the elements of the movie — based on the novel by Lauren Wiesberger — have been updated to reflect things that didn’t exist 20 years ago, like social media and #MeToo.
“We thought, we just can’t put in this scenario from 20 years ago. We have to make it modern,” Elton notes. “We have to bring it up to date. And that appealed to me as well because I wanted to make the music modern. And it’s a woman’s story. So I said I’d like to have a woman as the lyric writer.”
Elton co-wrote the score with lyricist Shaina Taub, marking the first time he’s composed with a woman. “She’s brilliant at bringing characters to life,” he says in People‘s video. He predicts that after seeing the finished product, audiences will “walk out elated.”
Elton plays Chicago’s Soldier Field on August 5 and will likely drop by rehearsals. But there won’t be a performance of The Devil Wears Prada that night: the Chicago Tribune reports that the whole cast is going to Elton’s concert.
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