Diana staring into the crowd in Diana the Musical

What If We Adapted Good Musicals Instead of Shows Like Diana: The Musical?

And celebrated the good musical adaptations?

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I love musicals very much, but recently, it’s been hard being a fan when things like Diana: The Musical come out on Netflix and we have to try to justify that not all musicals are like this. From a musical about the Princess of Wales to Dear Evan Hansen and Cats, there are plenty of adaptations going around, but we need to actually adapt good musicals instead of the ones we’ve gotten so far—or ones that aren’t even open on Broadway yet.

In the case of Diana: The Musical, it is a show that has yet to even open on Broadway, and if this is what they’re selling, maybe they should just keep it from opening because it’s a yikes all around. Not only are the lyrics horrendous, but they throw so much of Diana’s life into the span of less than two hours. In act one alone, we go through her meeting and marrying Charles and then giving birth to both William and Harry, all before James Hewitt shows up.

They throw Diana’s life into a bad show, and again, these lyrics are horrid.

Like, no, the lyrics are so bad.

That’s all infuriating to me as someone who would love to see a pro-shot version of American Psycho: The Musical make it to Netflix. Instead, we have something like this, where there’s him and her and him and her because YES SIR, it’s a blur of him and her …

This comes out on the heels of the Dear Evan Hansen movie being horrible and with Cats putting a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. We’re losing sight of musicals that are good that have good adaptations or releases. Both In The Heights and Come From Away were released this year and honor their original shows and are brilliant, but we’re not really talking about either of them because things like Diana: The Musical take up the conversation because of how bad they are.

If this musical were about anyone other than Princess Di, I think it would have been fun to make fun of and sing about, but the fact that this is supposed to honor Diana is an entirely different issue. It’s just a bad show in a long line of bad musical adaptations, and it is exhausting, as a fan of musical theatre, to see over and over again.

Diana: The Musical is on Netflix, and if you want to experience Diana singing about “marrying a Scorpio,” be my guest. But it is definitely a show that needs some work if they plan on bringing this to Broadway.

(image: Netflix)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.