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Review Roundup: What Do the Critics Think of DIANA: THE MUSICAL on Netflix?

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The new musical is streaming today on Netflix before its premiere on Broadway.

Diana

The filmed capture of Diana: The Musical is now streaming on Netflix! The show, filmed live on stage at the Longacre Theatre, celebrates the life of Princess Diana and her legacy.

The production will come to Broadway this fall, with previews on November 2, followed by opening night on November 17.

The musical has book and lyrics by Tony winner Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Bryan. Direction is by Tony winner Christopher Ashley, choreography by Olivier Award winner Kelly Devine and musical supervision and arrangements by Olivier winner Ian Eisendrath.

Diana: The Musical stars Jeanna de Waal as Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles and Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth.

The complete cast of Diana includes Zach Adkins, Tessa Alves, Ashley Andrews, Austen Danielle Bohmer, Holly Ann Butler, Stephen Carrasco, Richard Gatta, Lauren E.J. Hamilton, Emma Hearn, Shaye B. Hopkins, André Jordan, Gareth Keegan, Nathan Lucrezio, Tomás Matos, Chris Medlin, Laura Stracko, and Bethany Ann Tesarck.

The creative team also includes scenic design by Tony Award winner David Zinn, costume design by Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony Award winner Natasha Katz, sound design by Tony Award nominee Gareth Owen, orchestrations by Tony Award nominee John Clancy, and casting by Telsey + Company.

The critics have spoken...


Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian: "Not since the Cats movie have I literally shouted from my seat: 'What? What? WHAT?' Only by having Diana ride on stage on the back of a Jellicle cat could this be more bizarre. If it was deliberate satire it would be genius, but it's not. It's a saucer-eyed retelling of the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, with bobbing chorus lines of footmen and flunkies who with a costume change morph into step-in-time phalanxes of snarling tabloid hacks, while Diana solemnly warbles downstage about her loneliness and determination in a pool of follow spotlight."

Brian Lowry, CNN: "'Diana: The Musical' might make for a fine night out at the theater, but viewed on Netflix, what's billed as a 'special presentation' becomes another shiny bauble that ultimately doesn't feel particularly special."

Jessie Thompson, The Standard: "So yes, it's cringey, but it's also confused about what it's doing. It does one of the ickiest things you can do when dealing with the story of a woman who died prematurely, by treating her life as though it was some kind of tragic preordained prophecy. It turns the royals into panto villains who act as cold symbols rather than humans, but then turns Diana into a symbol herself. In one song we hear that "the stories girls are taught to believe are not the stories a girl should believe." All of her complicated corners are cleaned away: this is Diana as an empty female empowerment figure."

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: "It's not grand opera; "Diana: The Musical" is just trying to give audiences a good time, a quick-time trot through a young woman's too-short, too-scrutinized, too-too life. But that way, in these songwriters' hands, lies glibness and the undertow of camp."

Lily Janiak, Datebook: "It's Diana's show, and [Jeanna] de Waal especially excels in letting a revelation shatter her countenance. She's still trying to hold onto a frozen smile, but behind it is panic or rage or emptiness or bottomless hurt. If Bryan's music is anodyne, like 'Schoolhouse Rock' when it tries to rock and seemingly stuck on a tonic chord even when it's not, de Waal's voice gives it an edge, with a weathered bellow that wouldn't be out of place in a Melissa Etheridge torch song."

Maureen Lee Lenker, Entertainment Weekly: "The filming, as directed by Christopher Ashley does it no favors either, often obscuring the sets (which are sparse to begin with) and ensemble with strange angles, ill-timed cutaways, and poor framing. There's no sense whether the choreography could be a selling point for the proceedings since we can't catch more than a glimpse of it at any given moment. While productions such as Hamilton and What the Constitution Means to Me have showcased the possibilities of filming stage shows and enhancing their existence in this liminal space between theater and cinema, Diana is the poster child of its pitfalls."

Stefan Kyriazis, Express: "People should lighten up. It's certainly not trying to break any new artistic or biographical ground. You know how lots of (American) TV shows throw in a bonkers musical episode? Well, this is like The Crown with cheesy dialogue, power ballads and big key changes. Oh yes, and a singing Barbara Cartland. It can absolutely only be taken with a gigantic pinch of salt and tongue firmly in cheek, but somehow, I rather think Diana would have loved it."


Watch the trailer here:

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