A Princess Diana Musical Is Coming to Broadway
The musical, simply titled "Diana," made its world premiere in early 2019, Playbill reported, in La Jolla Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre. The play received such rave reviews that its now planned for a run on Broadway beginning in March 2020.
The show focuses on Diana’s life and her marriage to Prince Charles, however, it does not cover her tragic death. Instead, the play begins in 1981 just as a young Diana meets Prince Charles to begin her whirlwind royal romance. It goes on to cover the couple’s wedding, Charles’ very public affair with Camilla, their subsequent divorce, and Diana’s contentious relationship with the press. The Broadway production will continue to star actress Jeanna de Waal as Princess Diana.
"To bring Diana to life onstage is obviously a huge privilege,” de Waal told 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, Playbill reported, came to life thanks to lyricist Joe DiPietro, composer-lyricist David Bryan, La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley, and Tony-nominated choreographer Kelly Devine.
“I was reading a book about her and I thought, ‘This is an amazing story about an amazing woman.’ She has this aspirational aspect to her where she really wanted to do good. I thought it was a great idea for a musical,” DiPietro told LondonTheatre.co.uk. “I asked around to see if anyone was doing it — no one was — so David and I just jumped into it.”
As DiPietro noted, the story is “very much about marriage.” He added, “the four main characters are [Diana], Charles, Camilla, and the Queen,” which couldn’t be a clearer description of Charles and Diana’s entire marriage.
Previews for "Diana" begin March 2, 2020 at the Longacre Theatre in New York City. Buy tickets for the upcoming show here.