Photo: ‘Diana The Musical’
Peak at Broadway
The latest Netflix special takes on the biggest stage, Broadway. A sneak peek at the latest production is ‘Diana The Musical’ that is opening their doors on November 2nd. With films trying out streaming services premieres, it’s interesting that live theater is doing the same. Most likely looking at the success of ‘Hamilton’ coming to Disney Plus, Netflix tries to do the same with ‘Diana’. Sadly the hype around the show is not as popular as one might expect. There’s one thing for sure that Broadway is live for a reason, there’s nothing like seeing actors perform on stage at the moment.
Watching stage performances through a screen takes away the excitement and the risk of messing up in front of an audience. Though this is a great opportunity for the people who are unable to make it to the theater to see the show, there is a touch of magic that is missing when performances are filmed. For one thing, there was no audience during the taping. I’m not one who enjoys a laugh track, but it makes the comedy come off as flat without the audience’s live reaction. It was an overall disappointing introduction to what could be a great live performance.
Overall the musical ‘Diana’ left me with more questions than answers. Why is there a musical about the devastation of Princess Diana? Based on the true story of her legacy, there is only one ending to it. With the daunting thought of the show ending with her tragic death, it was hard to think of anything else throughout it. Another question that came to my mind was, why are there so many jokes? Of course, this was written as a straightforward comedy, but the comments and song choices were written that way. It seemed poorly timed and left a bad taste in my mouth.
‘Diana The Musical’ – Obsession With The Royals
The royal family has been in the spotlight since the spotlight was invented. All around the world people are drawn with the royals’ every move. Personally, I don’t identify with the entire obsession, but that doesn’t stop anyone else. Film and television have been covering the royals more frequently than ever. With the recent 5 time Emmy winners of Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ has been feeding into people’s fancy. The latest season covering the arrival of Princess Diana in the show. The next thing up to the plate is the highly anticipated film ‘Spencer’ where Kristen Stewart plays the role of the Princess that is deciding to leave her husband, Prince Charles. With the release date of the film coming up in November, it seems almost fitting that there was another Princess Diana-related project to be made.
‘Diana The Musical’ is a project that doesn’t overall make any sense as to why it should be made. Out of all creative endeavors that are being made by new artists around the world, the repeated revival of the royal family drama seems overplayed and unnecessary. Though the musical was written in her favor and showing the horror of being involved in the strict royal family, it seemed odd that it was accompanied by dance moves and singing paparazzi. Diana was performed by Jeanna De Waal and she did a wonderful job, there is no denying her acting and musical talent, but from the start is set up for cringy moments and uncomfortable laughter.
Diana’s Point of View
As stated before, the musical focuses on the “people’s princess” point of view but also sheds a light on other key members like her husband Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, and of course Queen Elizabeth II. The story begins with Charles trying to find an appropriate wife, but also establishes his love for Camilla. This makes the audience immediately hate him and have absolutely no empathy for him. Making him out to be the bad guy from the start gives Diana more power as a protagonist, but also doesn’t give the audience a chance to like the antagonist. Again this is a true story based on real people, but storywise it is a flatline. There is only one hero and it just shows the ups and downs of being transitioned into royalty.
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The timeline is the start until the end which unfortunately in this case they should have listened to the phrase “less is more”. Focusing on more of the love triangle between Diana, Charles, and Camilla, the victories of Diana as a princess were more or less sprinkled into the storyline. It felt like a SparkNotes history lesson as real events kept going on, but not enough time focused on each one. For example, when she gave birth to William and Harry there were only scenes with baby dolls, but then only spoken about “the boys” afterward. It was an odd focus to choose the sad romantic life that she had rather than her successful time being a mother. If the writer decided to pick a brief moment in her life and dive into it, it would have given the audience a better chance to have a moment and connect with the characters.
‘Diana The Musical’ is unfortunately not the best ode to the late Princess of Whales. With the nonstop content pump that focuses on the Royal family, this musical couldn’t keep up. From the start was set up for an odd idea for a musical, Diana was once again put in the spotlight unwillingly. The music is forgettable and the storyline strange, the Broadway show only offers a nice real-life fashion show of Lady Diana’s wardrobe.
Where to Watch
Stream ‘Diana The Musical’ on Netflix here.
By Jack Colin
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Jack Colin is a playwright and screenwriter with an immense love for film & television which drives him to learn from and share his passion with anyone willing to listen. Living life as a trans man, Jack wants his writing to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members and share the positive stories that are so often ignored through his work at The Hollywood Insider, he is eager to give readers a confident outlook on life. The storytellers of the world are the ones who decide what happiness can be. Jack takes pride in The Hollywood Insider’s mission statement to stray away from gossip and to lift up voices in entertainment with supportive and meaningful stories that will promote strength and unity.