Jeanna de Waal as Diana. Photo by Evan Zimmerman

It’s been a really rough year for the British Royals. Now, along comes “Diana, the Musical,” for all the world to see… and Broadway, too.

The show, which premiered in 2019 at the La Jolla Playhouse, was scheduled to open on Broadway last March. It was two weeks into previews when it was forced to shutter because of the pandemic.

“Diana the Musical” celebrates the life of Princess Diana and chronicles her stratospheric popularity, her troubled marriage to Prince Charles (and the love triangle she endured with Camilla Parker Bowles), as well as her struggles to endure a spotlight that was perhaps, brighter than any the world had known.

Tony Award-winner Christopher Ashley directed the original, the Broadway production and the special pre-Broadway Netflix premiere.

The musical features a book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, and music and lyrics by David Bryan (keyboardist for the rock band Bon Jovi), the collaborators behind the 2009 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, “Memphis,” which also premiered at the Playhouse under Ashley’s direction (and for which he won his Tony).

Leading the cast, as in La Jolla and on Broadway, is Jeanna de Waal as Diana. Roe Hartrampf plays Prince Charles, Erin Davie is Camilla Parker Bowles, and two-time Tony Award winner Judy Kaye portrays Queen Elizabeth. 

While many shows have turned to the digital landscape in the wake of theater shutdowns, primarily with Zoom readings and online performances, this is the first production to offer an in-person/filmed hybrid model.

The musical will premiere on Netflix on Friday, Oct. 1. Pending Broadway’s anticipated reopening, with government approval, and following all requisite health and safety guidelines, the New York production is scheduled to begin previews on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. Opening night will be Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021.

Tickets for the Broadway engagement are now on sale (through November 2022) at telecharge.com.

Pat Launer, a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, is a long-time San Diego arts writer and an Emmy Award-winning theater critic. An archive of her previews and reviews can be found at patlauner.com.

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