Diana A New Musical Review – A Worldwide Fascination

photo courtesy of theatremania.com

By Kathy Carpenter


 Jeanna de Wall as “Diana” and Roe Hartrampf as “Prince Charles” (with Tomas Matos as photographer) in La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere musical DIANA, book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, music and lyrics by David Bryan, directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley; photo by Little Fang

La Jolla Playhouse presents the world premiere of Diana, A New Musical, Thru April 14, 2019. Written by Joe Dipietro, created by artistic director Christopher Ashley, focuses on the triangle of love between Diana, Charles, and Camilla. Showing us much of what we have gleaned over the years. Not painting any villains but letting us garner opinions on our own, Showcasing the naive young Diana, who married Prince Charles, as she developed into the strong woman many of us remember.

Courtesy of playbill/com

Diana was shaped by her life but not molded into the woman Charles and Camilla hoped. Interesting fact, Diana and Prince Charles were married 15 years. Divorce was something that did not happen with British Royalty. A tradition not taken lightly. The musical is done with an 80’s punk rock vibe, as this is the music Diana loved. She was a normal girl before she married the Prince, after only 12 dates. Swept up in the Fairytale. Back then every girl wanted to marry a prince. For Diana, the dream became a reality. One that did not end happily ever after.


(L-R) Jeanna de Wall as “Diana,” Erin Davie as “Camilla Parker Bowles” and Roe Hartrampf as “Prince Charles” in La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere musical DIANA, book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, music and lyrics by David Bryan, directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley; photo by Little Fang

For me, I grew up in the Diana era. I was fascinated with the mystic that was Diana, from the fairytale to her tragic unresolved death. For the millions of people in the same category, we still wonder and are still fascinated to find out any new tidbit. A musical about her life, a must-see for Diana fans. This show will give you insight into living life as a royal.

One of the important things in a show about Diana is her costumes. A challenge costume designer William Ivey Long took seriously. As a fan of English Royalty and Diana, he had accrued a collection of books and pictures of Diana fashion icon, actively pursuing the job. The show more or less features 32 costumes for Diana. Based on actual outfits she wore. Many you may recognize, with a slightly updated take. The show starts with her gorgeous wedding dress and follows Diana’s styles as she emerges from her modest high neck bowed look to the mature strong woman she became.

Three of the four main actors, Erin Davies, as Camilla Parker Bowles, Jeanna de Waal, as Diana, and Judy Kaye, as Queen Elizabeth, are Broadway actresses and bring the talent reflecting the experience. Roe Hartrampf, plays Prince Charles, hailing from off Broadway. Excellent performances by all. Jeanna as Diana has a tremendous voice. Kaye brought us much of the humor. Davies and Hartrampf, although not portrayed as villains did an amazing job showcasing the disdain most of us feel toward the couple.

The stage reflects an upscale lifestyle, with a curtain of beautiful multi-colored roses to remind oi Diana’s love of the flower, covering the front of the stage, for us to reflect upon waiting for the show.

My favorite numbers came towards the end of the show. “The Dress,” A payback number. And, “An Officer’s Wife,” sung by the Queen. Shedding new insight into Queen Elizabeth.

(L-R) Jeanna de Wall as “Diana,” Erin Davie as “Camilla Parker Bowles” and Roe Hartrampf as “Prince Charles” in La Jolla Playhouse’s world-premiere musical DIANA, book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, music and lyrics by David Bryan, directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley; photo by Little Fang.
photo courtesy theatremania.com

Diana’s impact is felt today, as she changed British history, a fact that allowed Megan Markle, a divorced, part black, American, to marry Prince Harry. And also through her many philanthropic works.

Be the first to see this Broadway bound hit.

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