Entertainment

‘Diana: The Musical’ brings the stage to Netflix, however ‘The Crown’ hangs over its head


Joe DiPietro (who wrote the e-book/lyrics) and David Bryan (music/lyrics) beforehand collaborated on the Tony-winning “Memphis,” and so they’ve teamed once more with “Come From Away” director Christopher Ashley. But the method of filtering Diana Spencer’s journey from wide-eyed 19-year-old by her divorce from Prince Charles feels a bit of too been-there, seen-that, regardless of the energetic use of the massive solid to inhabit all kinds of roles.

“Flashbulbs fill the air,” Diana (Jeanna de Waal, whose voice shines all through) sings on her first go to to the palace, earlier than being reminded later by the ravenous press corps — in sequences that recall to mind “Evita” — that if she indicators up for the horrible job of marrying into the Royal household, “Honey, we’re a part of the deal.”

Prodded by Queen Elizabeth II (Judy Kaye) that it is time to wed, Charles (Roe Hartrampf) awkwardly professes a sort-of love for Diana, adopted by marriage and parenthood. But he stays distant, persevering with his infatuation with Camilla Parker Bowles (Erin Davie), who, with the advantage of TV closeups, reveals quiet unease because the couple change their marriage ceremony vows.

If all of it sounds acquainted it clearly ought to, which ratchets up stress on the music and staging to carry one thing lustrous and distinctive to this template. Regardless of flashes of wit and ample expertise, a primary viewing would not discover a lot that rises to that stage, as Diana sings about being “Underestimated,” strained rhymes pair “Camilla” and “Godzilla” and extra intelligent ones articulate “A lifetime of desperation within the Windsor company.”

As with “Come From Away,” Ashley does a exceptional job of creating the solid really feel like multitudes, and the costumes (together with a very spectacular quick-change second) are appropriately dazzling, reflecting Diana’s realization that glamor and elegance have been usually the simplest weapons she possessed within the courtroom of public opinion.

Logistically, it is price noting the challenge involves Netflix after a Covid-induced delay. The musical was filmed final September on the Longacre Theatre with out the advantage of a reside viewers, which makes the solid’s vitality admirable underneath these circumstances, with de Waal capturing Diana’s class in addition to her ache and heartbreak.
Royals completists will seemingly think about this a essential addition to their collections, with “The Crown” having simply cleaned up on the Emmys and “Spencer,” starring Kristen Stewart because the princess, due out in November.

Nonetheless, the sheer abundance of that watch listing represents a double-edged sword. “Diana: The Musical” may make for a advantageous evening out on the theater, however seen on Netflix, what’s billed as a “particular presentation” turns into one other shiny bauble that finally would not really feel notably particular.

“Diana: The Musical” premieres Oct. 1 on Netflix.

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