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The witch and the wardrobe: Comedians combine ‘Devil Wears Prada’ and ‘Wicked’

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This show will be wicked funny!

A group of comedians and musicians will spend the first night of the new year performing a muddled musical version of “The Devil Wears Prada” in a Williamsburg comedy venue, with songs from the Broadway hit “Wicked.” The cast will have less than a day to prepare for the show — but the worse they do, the bigger the laughs, says the show’s producer.

“The first time we did this, it was pretty sloppy in both the storytelling and the songs, but the energy was so silly and ridiculous that everyone, including the audience, had a blast,” said Henry Koperski, who also wrote the piece.

The production is a mash-up of scenes from the popular Meryl Streep flick about a domineering fashion magazine editor and her personal assistant, with musical bits inspired by the “Wizard of Oz” prequel “Wicked.” Koperski decided to have the film and the musical work in tandem because he was drawn to the tunes in “Wicked”, including “Defying Gravity,” “Popular,” and “Dancing Through Life,” and he saw similarities between the witchy songs and the bitchy characters in the movie.

“I chose ‘Wicked’ as the next musical I wanted to do, because the songs are so fun and really popular, and then I just thought ‘What’s a show with some great evil characters?’ ” he said.

The show does not have a proper script, however. Before the show, Koperski will tell the actors which story beats they should aim for and when the songs should kick in, leaving them to invent all of the dialogue on the fly.

“People might say some key quotes from the movie, popular references, but overall it’s improvised,” he said.

Koperski has tested the movie-and-musical mash-up before, most notably with a version of “Star Wars” with songs from “Annie.” The result, he says, is a delightfully dysfunctional mess of drama and show tunes that leaves everybody happy — except the show’s creator.

“When I talk to people after the show, I seem to be the only one who thinks it’s a really big train wreck,” said Koperski. “The audience thinks its great.”

“The Devil Wears Prada: the Musical featuring Wicked” at the Annoyance Theatre [367 Bedford Ave. at S. Fifth Street in Williamsburg, (718) 569–7810, www.theannoyancenewyork.com]. Jan. 1 at 9:30 pm. $5.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 11:50 am, December 24, 2015
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