Thursday, July 18, 2024

“Diana: The Musical” Opens on Netflix to Seven Out of Eight Negative Reviews, A Month Ahead of Broadway


Yesterday was October 1st. And believe it or not, “Diana: The Musical,” began playing on Netflix.

The Broadway show was in previews before the pandemic. It’s scheduled to begin previews again on November 2nd.

In between the producers had the idea to show it on Netflix. The whole show. What did they know that we didn’t?

There was no press release from Netflix or from the show. There was no ballyhoo. It just…happened.

The result: just eight reviews. Seven of them are negative. That’s 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not good.

The only positive review isn’t really that great. Stefan Kyriazis of the Daily Express (UK) wrote:

“Sure, it’s superficial and tells us nothing new but, really what can any of those other films and TV series actually reveal that isn’t already out there? At least this whips by in two hours with some catchy tunes.”

The other reviewers are not insubstantial. They are CNN, The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, Christy Lemire from They are brutal. Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian wrote: “Not since the Cats movie have I literally shouted from my seat: “What? What? WHAT?”

Will “Diana” come to Broadway after all? So far there is little advance sale. I’ve checked a number of dates in November, there are mostly empty houses. Of course, all of Broadway is suffering right now. There’s not much of an advance sale for any show except “The Music Man.” Even “Hamilton” has lots of availability starting in December. COVID and prices are the two reasons, but the former is more than the latter. “Aladdin” opened, closed, re-opened and closed again until October 12th because of COVID. Uncertainty should be the name of a new musical.

It’s possible the “Diana” producers figured they’d sell to Netflix, run the show up to its opening night, and then use COVID as an excuse to close. They can always do a national tour next summer. Away from Broadway, a musical about Princess Diana could have a life. But so far, even critics’ apathy doesn’t spell a promising future.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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