NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s a big American musical about British royals, and a bright star who left royal life and died too young.
The musical will hinge on the believability of its lead character, as played by Jeanna de Waal.
“The audience is gonna learn pretty much the whole story in a new way,” de Waal said. “Take that audience down that route so they completely buy into the fact that you are that character.”
David Bryan, of Bon Jovi fame, wrote the songs, and Joe DiPietro did the book and lyrics.
“The legacy of what she did impacted then and impacts now,” Bryan said.
When Bryan and DiPietro teamed up before, they won a Tony for the musical “Memphis.”
Actor Roe Hartrampf plays Charles.
“I’ve approached this with a lot of empathy for him because he’s a person who’s stuck in a really unique situation,” he said.
More than 20 years after Diana’s death, fascination endures, particularly in America.
The musical begins with her meeting Charles and ends with her release from the Royal family.
History appears to repeat.
Diana’s son Harry and Meghan Markle, the daughter-in-law she did not live long enough to know, are likewise making their own royal exits.
“Without Diana, Meghan would never have had any sort of example of how to leave the monarchy,” DiPietro said.
This production arrives on Broadway after a tryout in San Diego. CBS2 has been told changes were made and now the show is bigger with new costumes, a revamped set and more.
Some fans of the royals at the Tea and Sympathy shop in the West Village are a little leery.
“I hope they handle it with respect,” one man told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
“It’s good to celebrate her life,” shop owner Sean Cavanagh-Dowsett said.
“Gosh, this young girl went through this and how would we view that today?” de Waal said.
Charting the peaks and pitfalls of Diana’s fame, the loving mom and tireless charity worker.
You won’t see a car crash on stage, but there is one promised, chilling moment where she’s gone in a flash.
The show’s creators are betting “Royal Mania” will take hold at Broadway’s Longacre Theater on 48th Street. Previews for “Diana: A True Musical Story” begin March 2.