Princess Diana could have stolen the present at Buckingham Palace, but it surely’s Queen Elizabeth II who’s stealing “Diana,” the brand new musical that began previews this week at San Diego’s La Jolla Playhouse.
Everyone’s raving about Judy Kaye’s efficiency as each the sturdy monarch and as Barbara Cartland, the prolific romance novelist and Diana’s step-grandmother. Because the queen, Kaye is “chilly, imperious, a bit scary,” says a supply. As Cartland, she’s “deliciously enjoyable.”
If Kaye is strolling away with the present, how straightforward lies the crown on the top of Jeanna de Waal, the English actress taking part in Diana?
She’s giving a strong efficiency, sources say, it’s simply that Diana isn’t as compelling a personality because the queen or as a lot enjoyable as Cartland. That’s to be anticipated: The younger Diana was a fairy-tale princess however a bit of a cipher. Solely when her marriage to Prince Charles fell aside did she emerge as a mode icon, a shrewd media participant and a thorn within the royal household’s facet.
Directed by Christopher Ashley, “Diana” has a script by Joe DiPietro (“Memphis”) and a rating by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan. It opens March 3, and if the opinions are first rate, sources say, producers hope to deliver it to New York subsequent spring.
It does want work, sources say. The opening quantity encompasses a little one actor taking part in Diana as a ballerina who thinks life should be like a Cartland romance. “Reduce the child,” one supply says. “Get proper into the wedding after which the intrigue.”
Audiences are cheering William Ivey Lengthy’s over-the-top costumes, particularly the marriage gown, which is the topic of a musical quantity.
One other high fashion spotlight is what’s known as the “f - - ok you gown,” the strapless quantity she wore to a celebration in London the night time Charles introduced he cheated on her with Camilla Parker Bowles. The Solar described Diana in that gown as “the thrilla he left to woo Camilla.”
There isn’t a automotive crash. The musical ends with the announcement of her loss of life and pictures of the worldwide outpouring of grief.
One character within the present is Andrew Morton, the British journalist who grew to become Diana’s confessor, and who wrote the guide “Diana: Her True Story — in Her Personal Phrases.” Morton lives in La Jolla, Calif., and whereas he’s but to see the present, I’m advised he’ll be invited to opening night time.
Two characters who’re lacking are Diana’s sons, Prince William and Prince Harry — and a few folks engaged on the present consider that’s an issue.
“The viewers desires to see the boys,” a supply says. “Particularly since they’re within the information on a regular basis now.”
The royal household has mentioned nothing about “Diana.” However I’m advised that, if and when the present involves Broadway, opening-night invites will likely be despatched to William and Harry.
Maybe Charles can rating a ticket to “Hamilton.”
You may hear Michael Riedel weekdays on “Len Berman and Michael Riedel within the Morning” on WOR radio 710.