DIANA THE MUSICAL Returns to The Stage at Frederick's Way Off Broadway

Way Off Broadway's production of Diana opened Friday evening, March 23rd and will run through May 18th.

By: Mar. 24, 2024
DIANA THE MUSICAL Returns to The Stage at Frederick's Way Off Broadway
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For the first time since the show premiered on Broadway in 2021, the musical Diana has returned to the stage.  This time in a brand new staging at Frederick's Way Off Broadway as part of the theatre's 30th Anniversary Season. 

The theatre's producers were thrilled when they were able to obtain the rights to the new musical because not only would the show be the “crown jewel” of Way Off Broadway's milestone season, but also because WOB would be the very first theatre to produce a regional production of the show.

In the show, it's 1981 and the world is hungry for a royal wedding — but is the 20-year-old bride prepared for what comes after?  Following her storybook union, Princess Diana faces a distant husband, an unmovable monarchy, and overwhelming media scrutiny.  But her modern perspective and remarkable compassion galvanizes a nation, even as it threatens the royal family's hold on England. 

Though countless books have been written about the late princess and a number of film and television shows have been produced chronicling her life, Diana is the first Broadway musical to bring her rise from relative obscurity to worldwide fame to life on the stage.  The musical premiered at the La Jolla Playhouse in California in February 2019 with an eye toward a Broadway run.  After the limited West Coast run was extended twice, following additional workshopping, the show began previews at Broadway's Longacre Theatre on March 2, 2020.  Ten days later, the show was suspended due to the Covid pandemic.

One year after the show was supposed to open, on March 30, 2021, it was announced that the production would resume later that year in December.  However, a filmed version of the production was released on Netflix before it returned to the stage.  The Broadway production, directed by Christopher Ashley and starring Jeanna de Waal as Diana and Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth, received four Drama Desk Award nominations including one for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for de Waal.

Way Off Broadway's production is led by Lizzie Bartlett in the title role.  Bartlett returns to the WOB stage after first appearing at the theatre during the 2022 Season in another premiere production where she played Elly May Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies – The Musical.  Joining her as the British Royal family are Shane Lowry as Prince Charles and Anna Phillips-Brown as Queen Elizabeth.  Both of whom are making their Way Off Broadway debuts. Completing the well-known love triangle in which Diana and Charles found themselves will be Megan Elizabeth West as Camilla Parker-Bowles. 

Joining royals on stage are Katie Bellingham, MacKenzie Brannen, Amy Cajigas, Kyle onovan, Bob Gudauskas, Austin Ianneo, Jonah Milam, Wil Spaeth, Steve Steele, Jordan B. Stocksdale, Melissa Valdivia, and Laura Walling. 

Diana has a book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, with music and lyrics by David Bryan.  Way Off Broadway's staging, which runs now through May 18th, is under the direction of the theatre's executive producer, Bill Kiska, with choreography by Dee Buchanan and music direction by Tina Marie Bruley.  

Way Off Broadway's production of Diana opened Friday evening, March 23rd to a sold out house.  Prior to the performance, Frederick City Mayor Michael O'Connor honored Way Off Broadway and the Kiska family for the theatre's long-standing contribution to the city and the entertainment community. 

Those interested can learn more about Way Off Broadway by visiting www.wayoffbroadway.com. 

The Way Off Broadway Dinner Theatre, under the direction of the Kiska family since 2002, is currently celebrating its 30th Anniversary Season of producing live theatre. Since it first opened in 1995, the theatre has been a leader in the area's theatre community, proudly bringing both classic musicals, as well as regional and area premieres to the Frederick stage. Productions have included Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia!,  Disney's Beauty & the Beast, Sister Act, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Monty Python's SPAMALOT, Noises Off, The Addams Family, Les Misérables, Sunset Boulevard, Legally Blonde, Dolly Parton's 9 to 5: The Musical, Hairspray, South Pacific, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Mel Brooks' The Producers, CATS, The Wedding Singer, Evita, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Grease, La Cage aux Folles, Guys & Dolls, Steel Magnolias, …Forum, Lend Me a Tenor, Joseph…, Blood Brothers, Mame, and 42nd Street. In addition to its regular Mainstage season, Way Off Broadway produces a number of special events throughout the year, including family theatre productions and an annual Breakfast with Santa (and Mrs. Claus). Through its outside producing brand, WOB LIVE! Entertainment, Way Off Broadway also presents Marquee Mysteries - an interactive murder mystery series where the audience helps solve the case - not only at the theatre, but regularly on the Walkersville Southern Railroad and other venues through the area for private functions.