2 hours 15 minutes with one intermission. At the Longacre Theatre at 220 W. 48th St.
The time is now, and the Di is here!
After releasing a Netflix special that was widely ridiculed, and enduring three weeks of boozy, expletive-filled previews at Longacre Theatre, it was finally released a month later. “Diana: The Musical”Broadway finally opened Wednesday night.
So, royal subjects, this is my last dispatch on the show – unless Meghan Markle, another Netflix employee, comes to see it. Then I’ll buy a season pass.
What’s the difference between streaming “Diana”Sitting through at home “Diana” live? At the latter, you feel a bit like you’re gagged and in a straitjacket.
The choppy musical by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan about the tragic life of Princess Diana (Jeanna de Waal) includes a handful of intentional jokes — at one point Prince Charles (Roe Hartrampf) calls Duran Duran “Duran Duran Duran” — that are appropriate to laugh at, but what really makes you howl are the extremely serious parts. In person, unless you’re a jerk, you can’t make a peep. (Some do.)
For example, Dame Barbara Cartland, romance novelist/narrator (Tony-winner Judy Kaye), sings a soft ballad as Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles (Erin Davie), and Princess Diana (Gareth Keegan), canoodling on opposite sides of stage in beds.
“There’s him, there’s her, there’s him, there’s her. Yes, sir, it’s a blur of him and her!”She goes.
When the dame croons the soothing description of a Netflix orgy, you just roll on the floor. You can only smile behind your mask at the theater.
Same thing when Camilla (also Kaye) and Charles sing about Di. “She moves in the most modern ways!”
Or, after Diana gives naissance to William and says “Happiness! Happiness! You find a way to face the day when you find happiness!”
Camilla Parker-Bowles (Erin Davie) and Prince Charles’ (Roe Hartrampf) affair was not well-received by audience members at “Diana: The Musical”Broadway.Matthew Murphy
The Caesars Palace Buffet of Camp “Diana”The story tells the story about a young, innocent Diana Spencer who meets Prince Charles at a party and marries him quickly. She then becomes trapped in the cold, oppressive royal family. Her death in Paris in 1997 was due to the fame.
In the show, Di suffers from postpartum depression, commits self-harm, has extra-marital affairs, visits an AIDS ward and is hounded by the paparazzi — Lifetime Channel-sized events paired with some of the silliest lyrics you’ve ever heard.
The cast is caught in the midst of all this chaos, but they manage to do decent work. What de Waal brings to Diana is Emma Corrin (“The Crown”Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”) don’t is her inner light and optimism. Even at her lowest points, the princess believes she’ll find a way out.
De Waal also sings the show’s best song, “Simply Breathe,”Its most appealing melody, lyrics and music. “Undone yet undeterred” — simple and poignant.
Charles is written to be Disney villain-level evil, but Hartrampf’s velvet voice makes him more digestible than Jafar.
Queen Elizabeth II (Judy Kaye) is harsh on Princess Diana (Jeanna De Waal, right). “Diana the Musical.” NETFLIX © 2021
Director Christopher Ashley moves actors and sets around efficiently, if not artistically, and William Ivey Long’s recreations of Di’s iconic looks get entrance applause. But Kelly Devine’s choreography for every character — from aristocrat to servant — harks back to Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan in “A Night at the Roxbury.”The dancers are rhythmically able to move their heads forward and do things to their shoulders, which would make a chiropractor shiver.
Or laugh, if he’s at home watching on Netflix.