It’s been a very rough year. We’re almost at the end, folks, but if you thought we were going to make it to 2021 without having to hear Meryl Streep rap, you were sorely mistaken. Streep is one of the cast members of The Prom, Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Chad Beguelin, Bob Martin, and Matthew Sklar‘s award-winning, Tony-nominated Broadway musical, and as is par for the course with most stage-to-screen adaptations, there’s a new original song not featured in the Broadway production. It’s called “Wear Your Crown,” and for the most part, it’s light, poppy stuff. And then, more than halfway through the tune, Streep comes in and starts rapping. It’s…something.
The Prom – Wear Your Crown
Whenever there’s a big movie adaptation of a Broadway musical, the original musical writers are brought back in to write a new song specifically for the film. Why? Because that’s how you win an Oscar, baby! Or at the very least score an Oscar nomination. The Academy rules stipulate that if they’re going to give a song an Oscar, it has to be a song composed specifically for the movie. Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix movie The Prom, which is based on the Broadway musical of the same name, is following that tradition with the new song “Wear Your Crown,” which was written by Adam Anders, Peer Astrom, and original Prom creators Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin.
It’s a harmless little ditty – for the most part. And then, around the one-minute-and-fifty-second mark, in comes Meryl Streep, busting out some rhymes. Look, we all love Meryl Streep. She’s one of the best actresses of her generation, if not the best. So I mean no disrespect to Ms. Streep when I say that this song is a Lovecraftian nightmare that broke the last vestiges of my fleeting sanity. Streep can clearly sing – she’s done it before in other movies. But hearing her rap lyrics like, “And if somebody starts in with new drama, just go high like Michelle Obama,” is more than a little unsettling.
Per USA Today, Murphy wanted the movie to “end on a high,” and Anders says they took those marching orders and wrote a song “that would encompass all of the emotions of the film, but wrap it all in an uptempo banger you can dance to. Of course, we had to do this all during COVID, so it all had to happen via Zoom sessions as we were locked down.”
In The Prom, “To support a high school girl who wants to bring her girlfriend to the prom a group of self-obsessed theater stars goes to a small conservative Indiana town.” In addition to Streep, the big cast includes James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells, Ariana DeBose, Kerry Washington, and Jo Ellen Pellman. Will Nicole Kidman rap in the movie, too? We can only hope.
The Prom hits Netflix on December 4.
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