Back in June all you Anglophiles got your knickers in a twist over the news that Kristen Stewart was cast as Princess Diana in the upcoming biopic. While I was a little upset that they didn’t go for someone with a statement nose (a la Dorinda Medley), I shouldn’t have worried, because we’re already getting new Diana content!
Because Hamilton was a huge hit for Disney+, Diana: A New Musical, which was COVID-pulled right before its Broadway debut, is headed to Netflix ahead of its return to the stage next year. The production, which is directed by Christopher Ashley and stars Jeanna de Waal as Diana, will be filmed for Netflix without an audience. This will be the first time a Broadway production premieres on TV before its official opening night.
“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 said in a statement today. “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.”
Um, the “quality entertainment” part might be bullshit. Diana did a Broadway tryout at The La Jolla Playhouse last year, and the L.A. Times said, “in today’s degraded theatrical marketplace, the show should give fish and chips a run for its money”.
Here are some of the song titles, via Wikipedia:
“Snap, Click” – Ensemble (clearly about the paps)
“Only The Monarchy Is on the Line” – Queen Elizabeth and Ensemble (I picture this one as very “Peron’s Latest Flame” from Evita)
“I Miss You Most On Sundays” – Camilla (I guess Sundays were C&C’s special fuck day?)
“Here Comes James Hewitt” – Barbara Cartland, James, Ensemble (about Di’s five-year affair with that retired army guy who later tried to sell her love letters)
And here’s a clip of “If”, the final song in the musical, in which Diana looks hopefully to the future after her divorce. Now, what this video lacks in Diana-wig, it more than makes up for in wind machine and a pianist who may or may not be Michael McKean in full Spinal Tap drag:
I transcribed my favorite verse:
“I’ll have another child, an answer to my prayer
Perhaps a baby girl, or better yet, a pair
If Charles steps aside, I’ll let my William reign
Then all this suffering, will not have been in vain”
Diana’s cheesy, on-the-nose lyrics are giving me some very unfortunate flashbacks to the time I attempted to write a September 11th musical. On September 11th. 2001. Yes, the actual day. The opening song was called “The Day the Towers Fell (The Whole World Fell With It)”, and when I sang it to my mother in bed that night, she very politely replied, “Maybe don’t show this to anyone at school tomorrow, OK?”