You can finally watch the ‘Diana’ musical on Netflix this October

Judy Kaye, left, Erin Davie, Roe Hartrampf and Jeanna de Waal star in the Broadway production of "Diana."
Judy Kaye, left, Erin Davie, Roe Hartrampf and Jeanna de Waal star in the Broadway production of “Diana,” which will premiere on Netflix ahead of its long-delayed New York opening.
(Courtesy of Gavin Bond)

The musical’s Broadway opening was delayed by the pandemic, but plans to open on Dec. 1


“Diana,” the La Jolla Playhouse-born musical whose Broadway opening was canceled by the pandemic last spring, will stream on Netflix Oct. 1, two months before it returns to live performances at the Longacre Theatre in Manhattan this fall.

“The chance to share our show, first with Netflix’s global audience, and then welcoming a live audience back on Broadway, is something we’ve all been dreaming about for more than a year,” the Broadway producers of “Diana” said in a statement on Tuesday. “We could not be more thrilled to finally share both the film and the Broadway musical with the world.”

The Princess Diana-themed musical had its world premiere at the Playhouse in 2019 and was just 19 days from its Broadway premiere when it closed in March 2020. If health codes permit, it is slated to resume live performances on Dec. 1.

Netflix signed a deal with the show’s Broadway producers, Grove Entertainment (Beth Williams), Frank Marshall and the Araca Group to bring the show to life in a filmed-on-stage production similar to the “Hamilton” film that has been a smash for the Disney+ streaming network.

La Jolla Playhouse’s Christopher Ashley directed both the stage production of “Diana” and the Netflix film, which was recorded last September. Ashley said the production involved 20 Zoom sessions doing final rewrites and a Zoom workshop with the cast. Then they all quarantined together at a hotel in New Jersey, where they rehearsed in the ballroom for two weeks. Next they recorded the Broadway soundtrack and then shot the movie in four days at the empty Longacre Theatre.

The musical has book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by David Bryan, with choreography by Kelly Devine and musical supervision and arrangements by Ian Eisendrath.

The filmed “Diana” musical arrives at a time great public interest in the British royal family. Netflix’s “The Crown” series just finished up its fourth season, which focused on the courtship and unhappy marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. And on March 7, their son Prince Harry was featured in a controversial television interview with Oprah Winfrey, where he talked about leaving his royal duties and moving to the U.S. because he felt his family didn’t support his marriage to American actress Meghan Markle, and that the British press harassed them in a way that revived painful memories of his late mother’s demise.

Ashley, who won a Tony Award for direction another La Jolla Playhouse-born musical, “Come From Away,” is now at work on a similar live-capture of that musical, which is based on the true story of how residents in a small town in Newfoundland sheltered more than 7,000 stranded airline passengers in the wake in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. No release date or network has been announced.