Diana: A True Musical Story, a new production about the late Princess of Wales, had to postpone its opening due to the coronavirus outbreak. While originally set to open March 31, the show is now scheduled to debut on Broadway this December. The musical originated at the La Jolla Playhouse in California and in 2021, it will play at the Longacre Theatre to a much larger audience. However, you'll be able to see the new musical from your own home at an earlier date. Here is everything we know about Diana:
The musical will premiere on Netflix ahead of the Broadway opening.
A filmed version of Diana will be available to stream on Netflix starting Friday, October 1, 2021, two months ahead of the show's Broadway run. Diana will be filmed without an audience at the Longacre Theater and feature the original Broadway cast.
“The chance to share our show, first with Netflix’s global audience, and then welcoming a live audience back on Broadway, is something we’ve all been dreaming about for more than a year. We could not be more thrilled to finally share both the film and the Broadway musical with the world,” the Diana producers said in a joint statement.
The musical was put together by a gaggle of Broadway veterans, but it stars some up-and-comers. Christopher Ashley, who won a Tony award for his work on Come From Away, directs, and the show's music and book are written by David Bryan and Joe DiPetro, who won a Tony together for Memphis in 2010. (Bryan is also the keyboardist for Bon Jovi.) Kelly Devine, who did Come From Away’s musical staging, is choreographing the show.
Actress Jeanna de Waal plays the late Princess of Wales.
While she has numerous theater credits to her name—Kinky Boots on Broadway, and Carrie off-Broadway, to name just two—this will be de Waal's first time premiering a role on Broadway. She also played Diana at the La Jolla Playhouse, so she’s familiar with the part, but not necessarily the massive spotlight.
"To bring Diana to life onstage is obviously a huge privilege,” de Waal said of the role, according to Marie Claire. “I feel very daunted by the prospect, but I hope people who didn't know about her and weren't aware of her journey leave the theatre with an idea of what she did for the world. She made everyone feel special, from the highest person to the lowest-ranking person, and I think we want to celebrate her."
The musical also stars Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, and two-time Tony winner Judy Kaye as a stern Queen Elizabeth.
What will the musical be about?
The script was greatly informed by Diana’s interviews and life story. Unsurprisingly, the show is centered around her personal life, and the famous love triangle between Diana, Camilla, and Charles. That said, the writers were careful not to vilify any one person and also to modernize the show for a 2021 audience, hinting at some parallels to the current moment.
DiPietro, who was originally inspired by reading Tina Brown’s The Diana Chronicles told the Post that "[Diana] was a blue blood, she was beautiful and she was a virgin, which was hard to find in 1980s London."
While the musical (which features plenty of pop-rock numbers) will center on her life, Diana's 1997 death in a Paris car crash is addressed in an epilogue.
One thing we know for certain is that a specific dress will anchor the show's story. This is Diana's infamous "revenge dress"—a plunging black Christina Stambolian gown that she wore to the Serpentine Gallery summer party in 1994, the same night that Prince Charles confessed to his affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles in a televised documentary.
There’s a whole song about it—one of the show’s 23 musical numbers—entitled “A Pretty Girl in a Pretty Dress.” And we know that this outfit will be one of the 39 looks award-winning costumer William Ivey Long designed for Diana to wear on stage.
“Before Act 1’s 11 o’clock number, Diana learns clothing choices are weapons. She changes style from simple girl to Act 2 goddess and wears that famous sexy black dress. It’s a statement. Her fuck you revenge dress. The word’s used to describe it. The queen doesn’t say it. She mumbles it,” Long told Page Six. So, if you’ve already finished The Crown and are dying to see what comes next in the royal story, look into Diana. And, have no fear, “I steered clear of shoulder pads,” Long said.
Where can I get tickets?
They're for sale right now on the show's website.
Order tickets now.
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