A Broadway Musical About Princess Diana Is Headed To Netflix, Could More Stage Productions Do The Same?

Hamilton was a massive hit for Disney+, bringing the Tony-winning musical into living rooms around the world. So with plenty of stage theaters still shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, it only makes sense that streaming services would want to cash in on the desire to see more shows from the Broadway stage. Well, Netflix is the next streaming service to take the plunge by striking a deal to bring a new Broadway stage musical about the late Diana, Princess of Wales to their streaming library.Diana: A New Musical was slated to open the day after Broadway went completely dark due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down all stage productions. Though Diana was seen in previews starting n March 2, its official opening night was meant to be on March 31. So Netflix will now bring a live recording of the show, without an audience, to their streaming library sometime next year before its new Broadway opening day in May 2021.

Here's the synopsis for the show from the show's official website:

A princess thrust onto the world stage. The tabloid media captivated by her beauty and vulnerability. The globe's most celebrated monarchy disrupted. This is the story of the most famous woman of the modern age as she struggles to endure a spotlight brighter than any the world had ever known. Leading fiercely with her heart, Princess Diana stood up for her family, her country and herself. She defied expectations, she rocked the royals and she created a legacy that will endure forever.

The show is directed by Christopher Ashley (Broadway's Come From Away) with a book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by David Bryan, the duo behind the stage musical Memphis. Jeanna de Waal stars as Princess Diana along with Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles, Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles, and two-time Tony Award winner Judy Kaye as Queen Elizabeth.

Though Broadway isn't open right now, Deadline says the show will be filmed on stage at the Longacre Theater in New York without an audience. The producers have been working with the Actor's Equity Association on all health and safety protocols to ensure the safety of all cast members. This spans from rehearsal through recording an album for the show, and finally, the live performance on stage that will be filmed for Netflix.

In a joint statement, the show's producers said:

"We speak for the entire company when we say that we couldn't be more excited to finally be able 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."

This deal with Netflix makes this the first show to return to Broadway, albeit without an audience, since the pandemic started. And it's also the first musical to debut on screens before officially opening on Broadway. Perhaps other stage productions can find a way to strike similar streaming deals so audiences can still see these shows while Broadway and other stage theaters around the world are still shut down. It might be a good way to help keep theaters afloat during this difficult economic time. Wouldn't it be great if something like the Back to the Future musical ended up on Netflix? We'll keep our fingers crossed.