We’ve spent the last few months reporting on the many headaches that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the film and TV industry. But while having almost every big blockbuster delayed is a huge setback, it pales in comparison to the nightmare Broadway is going through. Live shows with packed audiences simply aren’t going to happen for the foreseeable future and that (in combination with the already pretty thin profit margins) is causing a lot of misery in the industry.
All of that’s why the much-hyped Diana: A New Musical, which was due to open on Broadway days after the COVID-19 shutdowns began, is going to make its debut on Netflix rather than on the stage. According to a report from Decider, the show will now open on Broadway on May 25th, 2021, but will be shown on Netflix before then.
Here’s a statement from the producers announcing the decision:
“We speak for the entire company when we say that we couldn’t be more excited to finally be able to share our show with theater lovers everywhere. Though there is no substitute for the live theater, we are honored to be a part of the quality entertainment that Netflix provides its subscribers worldwide.”
It’s an odd decision, as one of the big selling points of these Broadway musicals is that the only way to experience them is to attend in person. Sure, many eventually get cast recordings like Hamilton recently did, but those come long after the premiere date.
In any case, the Netflix recording will feature the original Broadway cast, including Jeanna de Waal as Princess Diana, Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles and Tony Award winner Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth, and will be filmed without an audience in the Longacre Theatre. Hopefully we’ll get an exact release date very soon.