Diana: A True Musical Story, which will focus on a period of time in the life of the late Princess Diana, will premiere on Netflix prior to its official Broadway debut in 2021. The musical, which was in previews in March of this year before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the Great White Way, has found a home on the streaming service, reported People Magazine. It is set to be filmed with its original cast on stage at its home at the Longacre Theater in New York City without an audience. The filmed version will be made available to Netflix users prior to its return to live performances.
Jenna deWaal took on the title role of the late royal. Roe Hartrampf portrayed Prince Charles, Erin Davie starred as Camilla Parker Bowles and two-time Tony Award winner Judy Kaye debuted as monarch Queen Elizabeth. The story is centered on the love triangle between Diana, Charles, and his alleged mistress Camilla. The story also reportedly touched on her life as a mother of sons Princes William and Harry.
“We speak for the entire company when we say that we couldn’t be more excited to finally be able to share our show with theater lovers everywhere. Though there is no substitute for the live theater, we are honored to be a part of the quality entertainment that Netflix provides its subscribers worldwide,” Diana’s producers said in a statement published by People.
Producers have reportedly put into place necessary safety protocols in accordance with the Actors’ Equity Association in order for the taped version of the show to take place, explained The Hollywood Reporter. These rules included testing for actors, an isolation plan for both actors and stage managers, and proper ventilation in the playhouse.
Diana is the first Broadway production to return to its original staging since the pandemic shut down all of New York’s live performances in March. The shutdown will reportedly continue through the early months of 2021 as shows work with the new guidelines for social distancing to ensure the safety of both the stars and those who attend the shows. At the time of the shutdown, there were 31 shows running on Broadway, including eight in previews and eight in rehearsals.
Since the pandemic began, many Broadway stars have found the digital landscape to be an effective way to reach out to their fans, but none have returned to their auditoriums for a full-scale performance of their respective plays until Diana was given the green light.
The show’s music and book were written by Bon Jovi original member David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, who won a Tony together in 2010 for their work on the musical Memphis.