The Princess Diana Musical Is Coming to Netflix Before Broadway Debut

Erica Gonzales, Emma Dibdin
·5 mins read

From Harper's BAZAAR

Update, 8/12/2020:

Diana, the musical following the late Princess of Wales, was supposed to premiere on Broadway in March 2020—but then the coronavirus pandemic swept through the country, forcing a change of plans. With Broadway closed through the end of 2020, viewers will have to wait until next year to see Diana on stage, but they may be able to watch it on Netflix before the curtains officially open.

The cast and crew will reunite to film a performance of Diana in an empty theater and release the recording on Netflix next year before the show's opening night on May 21, 2021, according to Associated Press. And since the pandemic is ongoing, actors and producers will follow health and safety guidelines, such as recurring testing, isolating performers, and ensuring proper ventilation in the theater.

Diana focuses on the princess's journey as she marries Prince Charles, grows into her role as a beloved royal, engages in charity work, becomes a mother of two, and grapples with the public breakdown of her marriage. Jeanna De Waal, whose Broadway credits include Kinky Boots and American Idiot, stars in the titular role.

Update, 12/21/2017:

The Princess Diana musical is officially headed to the stage—but not on Broadway just yet. The production, titled Diana, will premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in southern California during the 2018-2019 season, Playbill reports. It’s already been added to the playhouse’s roster on the official website.

Its synopsis is as follows:

It’s 1981 and the world is ready for a royal wedding — but is the 20-year-old bride ready for what comes after? Following her fairytale union, Princess Diana faces a distant husband, an unmovable monarchy and constant media scrutiny. But her unabashed honesty, modern perspective and gentle compassion galvanize a nation, even as it threatens the royal family’s hold on England.

The show seems to be in good hands with the creative team from the Tonny-winning musical Memphis. It’s directed by Christopher Ashley (who recently won a Tony for directing Come From Away), and the music, book, and lyrics are by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan.

The original music is “eclectic,” according to La Jolla Playhouse, with songs ranging from “classical melodies to 1980s-inspired pop and rock music.”

In a statement, Ashley said the Diana musical “brings to the stage one of the greatest cultural icons in modern history, and I can’t wait to share it with Playhouse audiences next season.”

Original story, 6/21/2017:

A musical focusing on the life of Princess Diana may soon be coming to Broadway. The New York Post reports the musical is currently in development at Vassar College's New York Stage and Film, with a full reading of the show to be held on July 23.

While a Broadway deal is nowhere near official, the pedigree behind the show stacks up: the director is Christopher Ashley, who just won a Tony award for his work on Come From Away, and the show's music and book are written by David Bryan and Joe DiPetro, who won a Tony for Memphis in 2010. The Diana musical was completed at the end of 2016, and the July 23 reading is expected to draw interest from several Broadway producers. A three-week workshop of the musical will also take place in the fall at California's La Jolla Playhouse.

"With some shows, the doors open very quickly," DiPietro told The Post. "They are opening very quickly with this one. People are fascinated by Diana and her legacy.”

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

The show will focus on Diana's tempestuous marriage to Prince Charles, the strange process by which that union was orchestrated by the palace, and the canny way in which she used her celebrity to empower herself. "She was a blue blood, she was beautiful and she was a virgin, which was hard to find in 1980s London," said DiPietro, who was inspired by reading Tina Brown’s The Diana Chronicles.

The first act of the show will reportedly end on Diana singing a song called "A Pretty Girl in a Pretty Dress," during which she realizes how to go from being the palace's pawn to a power player in her own right. “She was manipulated, used and misunderstood, but she rose to the occasion and then used her popularity to gain power," DiPietro adds. "The royals never thought this uneducated woman could accomplish what she did. I thought she’d make a wonderful lead character in a musical.”

The show's main characters are Diana, Charles and Charles's lover Camilla Parker-Bowles, and producers are reportedly hoping to cast a fresh face as Diana.

The 20th anniversary of Diana's untimely death this year has inspired a slew of TV projects in both the UK and US, while the second season of FX's Feud will focus on Diana and Charles's marriage. Netflix's royal drama The Crown will also introduce Diana at the end of its third season.

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