Before making her Broadway debut, Lady Di is heading to Netflix.
“Diana,” a musical based on the life of the Princess of Wales, will premiere on Netflix next year ahead of its opening on the Great White Way.
The show was in previews, and expected to premiere on March 31, when Broadway shut down in mid-March to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Theaters will remain closed through the rest of 2020. “Diana” is now set to open on the stage on May 25, 2021, over a year later than originally planned.
“We speak for the entire company when we say that we couldn’t be more excited to finally be able share our show with theater lovers everywhere,” the producers of “Diana” said in a statement. “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.”
While lights on the main stem have been off, theaters have been trying to offer up more content digitally. Disney Plus recently had a big hit with a taped version of “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s show about one of America’s Founding Fathers and the country’s first treasury secretary.
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Netflix has been home to numerous theatrical works before, including “American Son” with Kerry Washington, “Springsteen on Broadway” and Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s “Oh, Hello.” Ryan Murphy is currently working on a film adaptation of the Tony-nominated musical “The Prom” for the streaming service. But “Diana” represents a first in that the show will be available to the public on Netflix before patrons can buy Broadway tickets.
Directed by Christopher Ashley, “Diana” will be filmed without an audience on the stage of the Longacre Theater and will feature the original Broadway cast, including Jeanna de Waal as Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles and Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth. The producers have worked closely with Actor’s Equity Association, the labor union representing professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, on health protocols to ensure the set will be safe during the pandemic.
“Much of the work that Equity staff is currently doing involves collaborating with producers on health and safety protocols,” said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors’ Equity Association. “Today, we can announce that we have approved a safety plan for ‘Diana.’ Now comes the hard part — taking a safety plan from the page and putting it into practice. The work to provide the safest workplace possible in this environment will require everyone to work together, from the employer to every employee.”
Joe DiPietro wrote the book and lyrics to “Diana” and David Bryan penned the music and lyrics. The show was choreographed by Kelly Devine (“Come From Away”) and scored with music supervision and arrangements from another “Come From Away” alum Ian Eisendrath.