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British Royals

Diana, Princess of Wales musical hopes to bring royal fever to Broadway


John Mathew Smith/CC/Wikimedia Commons

The inspiring and eventually tragic life of Diana, Princess of Wales will be played out on the Broadway stage when Diana: A True Musical Story makes its debut next month.

Described as an “electrifying new musical about a woman who chose to be fearless, and as a result became timeless,” the show will begin previews on 2 March at Broadway’s Longacre Theatre with opening night on 31 March.

Written by the Tony Award-winning team of Joe DiPietro and Bon Jovi’s David Bryan, the musical covers Diana’s life from the time she met Prince Charles until her departure from the Royal Family. For those worried about her death being portrayed, there is no car crash scene depicted in the show.

“The legacy of what she did impacted then, and impacts now,” Bryan told New York’s CBS 2 news.

Diana is played by actress Jeanna de Waal, who previously starred in Broadway productions of Kinky Boots and American Idiot.

“The audience is gonna learn pretty much the whole story in a new way,” de Waal said to CBS 2. “Take that audience down that route so they completely buy into the fact that you are that character.”

Roe Hartrampf will make his Broadway debut this March in the role of Prince Charles.

“I’ve approached this with a lot of empathy for him because he’s a person who’s stuck in a really unique situation,” he said.

The Queen will be brought to life on stage by Broadway veteran and two-time Tony winner Judy Kaye and Erin Davie plays Camilla Parker Bowles.

Whilst you’d probably think the West End would be a natural fit for a Royal Family musical, Broadway does make sense. Americans’ fascination with Diana continues to this day, and one could argue the Royal Family is even more popular in the States than they are in Great Britain. But how will Diana fare with U.S. audiences?

Sharon Adler, who lives in Manhattan and runs a royal style account on Instagram, told Royal Central she thought Diana: A True Musical Story would be a hit.

“I think it will definitely be popular because she is so beloved around the world. And especially now, with the renewed interest in the royals, I think a new generation of people who may not have ‘known’ her will be interested as well. I’m not a huge Broadway fan and this is the first show in years that I’m really excited to see.”

Another New Yorker, Sarah of the popular Instagram account theroyalwatcher, said she was initially concerned about how Diana would handle the late Princess’s memory but was relieved to learn her accident isn’t shown in the musical. “As a huge fan of Diana and of the theatre, I’m excited to see how her life is portrayed on the Broadway stage. Two of my favourite things rolled up in one!”

About author

Kristin is Chief Reporter for Royal Central and has been following the British royal family for more than 30 years. Kristin has appeared in UK and U.S. media outlets discussing the British royals including BBC Breakfast, BBC World News, Sky News, the Associated Press, TIME, The Washington Post, and many others.