Friday, May 24, 2024

Broadway: Will “Diana: The Musical” Actually Open? Reviews are Scathing, Sales are Minimal


A lot of really smart, good people are involved in “Diana: The Musical.” So I’m hesitant to say this:

Will this show really open on November 17th? Only to close the next day?

In an odd twist to this delayed show, “Diana” is currently on Netflix, filmed for TV before it opens. No one likes it. On Rotten Tomatoes the score fluctuates between an 8 and 13. And that’s being kind.

Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t account for all the reviews, as many others across the internet are just as scathing but those critics aren’t party of the online platform. The New York Post, which doesn’t have the highest standards, compared it to”Moose Murders,” an infamous show that closed as soon as it opened years ago. It was that bad.

Public interest in “Diana” is minimal. When previews begin November 2nd, the Longacre Theater’s seat map on Telecharge is full of yellow and blue — almost the whole theater is for sale. Nothing is different on November 18th, the day after the official opening. “Diana” is available every day at every price, and will soon be on TKTS and other ticket discount platforms. Checking Saturday, November 27th — the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, same thing.

You have to feel bad for the producers, especially Frank Marshall, who never backs a loser. Long time producer of “Star Wars” films, Marshall is married to LucasFilms president Kathy Kennedy. He’s got the terrific Bee Gees documentary from HBO and lots of grade A projects. “Diana” is just something that’s gone very wrong, and it’s not going to get any better.

The only good news on the bad reviews is that those who’ve seen it, like this writer, won’t go back for more. It’s sheer torture. So the fallout on opening night will be curtailed a little bit. And hopefully the producers got some of their money back from the Netflix showings.


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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