We all could use some unabashed fun to end our 2020, and that’s what we hope to get from Ryan Murphy’s star-studded Netflix adaptation of the bouncy Broadway musical The Prom next month. The 2019 stage production garnered seven Tony nominations, including one for lead actress Beth Leavel, who starred as a Broadway diva in search of good PR who travels to a small town resistant to hosting an LGBTQ-friendly prom. In Murphy’s version, the role is played by Dame Meryl Streep (we know she’s not a dame, but it just sounds like she should be). It appears much of the original The Prom will be translated directly to screen, but Murphy and company could not resist going for those Best Original Song awards and have added a tune to the soundtrack in which Dame Meryl Streep raps.
It’s maybe not out of character for Murphy to push an established powerhouse like Streep into something completely different and new (Kerry Washington sounds great on the film version of the show’s main theme, “Tonight Belongs to You”) but the rapping still came as a shock when listening to “Wear Your Crown,” which was released this morning. The notes listed Streep as a featured voice on the track, but the first half of the song is like something off of a Carly Rae Jepsen album, with Ariana DeBose and Jo Ellen Pellman (who play the girlfriends in want of a prom) taking the lead. It’s not until around the 1:50 mark that Dame Streep steps in to wax poetic.
“Gotta wear your crown or your tiara / It’s the time to bust out the mascara / Who needs shade? / There’s nothing duller / We livin’ life in Technicolor / But if your sparkle starts to fade / Go out and start your own parade / And if somebody starts in with new drama / Just go high like Michelle Obama”
At least we think that’s what she’s saying. Dame Streep could work on her flow.
The Prom—starring Streep, Washington, James Corden, Andrew Rannells, Keegan-Michael Key, Awkwafina, Tracey Ullman, and more—is available beginning Dec. 11 on Netflix.
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