Home Arts In Defense of ‘Diana,’ the Show We Didn’t Deserve

In Defense of ‘Diana,’ the Show We Didn’t Deserve

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Broadway’s comeback season was a hurricane. Even a grand prize-winning comeback of Sondheim’s favorite productions like “Company” could not withstand the volatile ticket sales brought on by a pandemic-warning theater-going community.

There was still much to admire and much to remember. But more than most other musicals that came out last season, its songs and sheer audacity have the best chance of living in my heart, and the shower playlist musical has a great deal of violence. It is something that shines temporarily in the flood.

One that ran just 59 performances and won five Razzie Awards for its Netflix presentation: the ill-fated “Diana, The Musical.”

This week, Roh Hartrum, the show’s villainous Prince Charles, 2 night engagements under 54, Gianna De Waal (who played Princess Diana) joined the cast on the first night, and Erin Davey (Diana’s rival for Charles’ affections, Camilla Parker-Bowles).

Although they do not sing from the score, Hartramf said the musical is cheekily referenced.

Ironically, at a club act rehearsal in the Midtown studio across from their once reigning Longacre Theatre, the trio recalled a mix of humor and workmanlike acceptance. I was. concert propaganda, After all, it’s a deliberate nod to Hartramf’s Razzie nomination and brief appearance on Broadway.

It also refers to the Netflix debacle that followed after the musical premiered on the streaming service months before its Broadway opening. landed with a bang, the reaction of which helped determine its ultimate fate.

“Part of the struggle was that audiences didn’t know what to expect from a musical about Diana.” ’ They were waiting for us to say, they had to show what this piece was going to be.”

when “Diana” reviewed In November, I called it “Theatrical “Excessive dizzying orgies”.

By the time they attended the musical’s premature final performance just a month later, the cast was bent on absurdity. The hyperactive ensemble (some of his most all-out on-point dances this season) was as cocky as ever, but the lead actors also looked fun. De-no-waal’s mischievous winks become more and more flashy, and the performers rejoice in her extravagant song, which includes her swearing about the dress Diana wore to show her romantic rivalry. did.

“It was always supposed to be a rock show, always humorous, always uplifting,” said de Waal.

The Razzies loser named her Worst Actress, but Dewar’s extraordinary, vocally gymnastic performance earned her a Drama Desk nomination. A special quote to Grace Under Internet Fire. She had already apologized for the Netflix special by the time the show started and was avoiding social media its running.

De Waal’s performance sees Diana Spencer as a 19-year-old robbed of her comfortable young adulthood, ironically plucked for good looks by stifling royalty, and discarded when her personality gets in the way. (That issue has not been resolved.) Her Diana was capricious, petty, and surly, but ultimately a winner.

The music, by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan, is predictably arena-friendly, recalling Andrew Lloyd Webber’s early marriage of rock pretentiousness and theatrical silliness (exhibition A: “Evita”). Bryan and Joe DiPietro) could hardly have been more profound than the “Live Laugh Love” poster, but they sang with all their might and stuck together like Super Glue. Diana’s “I could use a prince to save me from a prince” came across as a silly but primitive cry on paper.

And “Come From Away” Tony Award-winning director Christopher Ashley keeps “Diana” moving as seamlessly and hypnotically as the frantic, tabloid-ready life of the princess. (Nathan Lucrezio, who played her biographer Andrew Morton on Broadway, will also appear in the Heartrump act.)

Among the criticisms directed at “Diana” was that it exploited the tragic story of a real woman for pop consumption. For director Pablo Larrain and actress Kristen Stewart’s cinematic portrayal of Diana as the “final girl” in the horror film (2021’s Spencer) ( Understandably) I don’t see why this musical should be punished if it can win love. Shape the source material to fit the glittering structure of the foam.

Was “Diana” atmospheric or poetic? Absolutely not. But it was fun. Do you remember having fun? So many productions this season have not, instead set their sights on scoring political points, resulting in mixed success and an even darker sense of play.

You have to take the piece on its own terms, and “Diana” sets them to ten minutes, and soon the princess will take over the cello duties from Mstislav Rostropovich, just as Prince Charles did. I stage-dive into the royal crowd.Robot.this fantasy sequence — showing how Diana would rather date at a disco than a boring classical concert — reflects the show’s unapologetic commitment to pop maximalism.

Biographical duties sometimes strangled the book, but even that narrative failure was salvaged by the quirky directorial choices. (In case you somehow forgot the dizzying tone of the intermission, Act Two opens with Diana’s secret lover, riding instructor James Hewitt, shirtless, astride the saddle, Intense high-E screams.)

Count the glamorous shows among the works that allow youth.kill: Highlights the improbable achievements of the underdog (usually women) with the delicacy of a six-foot sword and double the brilliance.

That’s what makes Dolly Levi’s arrival at Harmonia Gardens so compelling. Evita’s “Rainbow High” fashion is very decadent. Mama Rose’s Ambition is so delicious. The spectacle of someone transcending a given situation is woven into the fabric of musical theater. Diana made a few quick outfit changes with her one number when she announced plans to regain her visibility.

But Davey conceded. As much as there were people in this group who loved it, others were like, “How about you?”

As with many critically-criticized musicals on Broadway, those who loved it banded together and gave it the nickname “Difana.” They clung to gowns, belts, and the insane audacity of an AIDS patient singing to a princess.

one of those fans Lizzie Milanovic (using the they/them pronouns) designed a custom “Diana” sweater and tweeted the offer in hopes of getting some inquiries. They told me they ended up processing 180 orders, including one for Hartramf.

“Twitter has a lot to thank for creating the audience we had,” Hartlamp said. “Twitter was rough the week the movie came out. The backlash on backlash has been so great because people have championed our show, taken ownership of the material, and understood what the show stands for.”

Final performance participants It was girl and gay — theater aficionados, writers, and performers can go down enough of the YouTube rabbit hole to know a diamond when they see it, no matter how rough it is.

Mark my words: The show is gearing up for another look. please think about it. love for social media Its original, bubblegum pink production.

Or consider the recent interest in fixing the narrative around stars like Britney Spears, who were devalued and discarded until a new generation happened to “rediscover” their own worth. (Moss’s own “Six,” which depicts the early series of royals who are the wives of Henry VIII, is ahead of its time by directly addressing this schism.)

I can’t wait to see a group of downtown drag queens start producing “Diana” low-budget high camp within a decade. They know exactly how to play it.Maybe that’s why the local queen bring dewar to the stage It felt very appropriate to sing the musical’s opening solo, “Underestimated,” on show tune night at the Fire Island Pines Club, and on Tony Awards night.

Her soaring vocals in the great finale live on through my headphones. I get a good night’s sleep thanks to Sondheim’s work, but it’s moments like this that wake me up in the morning.

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