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Will Meryl Streep Be the Best Witch Ever?

By Jerry Portwood

Rumors that Meryl Streep might be playing the Witch in Rob Marshall's screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's beloved Into the Woods (which received lackluster reviews during last year's summer staging at Shakespeare in the Park), have been swirling.

So now we hope we can believe composer David Krane, who previously worked with Marshall on Chicago and Nine, when he leaked the news that Streep was already cast in the movie veresion. As Krane discussed his new stage musical, The Road to Qatar, to the Litchfield County Times, he mentioned: "They are doing a movie of the musical Into the Woods. Disney is going to make the movie, and I will do the arrangements. Meryl Streep will be the witch and it will be the first time I have worked with her since 1977 when we did Happy End.”

Maybe he didn't realize that news hadn't been made official, but that was enough to set off a storm of online chatter. We know she's played "witches" with a "b" before—and we're not just talking about The Devil Wears Prada—but this would be her first "true" witch role. But since she did perform in Happy End, a Broadway musical that earned her a Drama Desk Award for her portrayal of Lieutenant Lillian "Hallelujah Lil" Holiday, and we've heard her croon as an Abba-lovin' momma in Mamma Mia, we are confident that Streep can pull it off. 

The way Bernadette Peters, who originated the role, must be cursing the gods at this moment, we'd pay money to see. Plus, can't you just imagine Streep's internal diva gloating: "Eat it, Anne Hathaway! And take THAT, Jennifer Lawrence!"

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