Bon Jovi star David Bryan is halfway there with his Princess Diana musical
IT seems an unlikely combination – a member of one of the world’s biggest rock bands and the “People’s Princess”.
But Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan is hard at work putting together a musical about Princess Diana.
Keyboard player David also pens hit shows with pal Joe DiPietro. And, as the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death is marked next month, he wants her musical story on stage.
Simply titled Diana, the show is billed as the story of the woman who “rocked the Royals” and “chose to be fearless, and as a result became timeless”.
It has music by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan, who won two Tony Awards for his stage show Memphis in 2010.
In a review of Diana’s pre-Broadway run in San Diego, the Los Angeles Times said the show was “no more British than The Real Housewives of New Jersey”.
The lead role is taken by Jeanna de Waal, who has previously appeared in American Idiot and Kinky Boots on Broadway.
Speaking about the late princess, the actress said: “She made everyone feel special, from the highest person to the lowest ranking person, and I think we want to celebrate her.”
The LA Times’ critic Charles McNulty said the show was “as American as Applebee’s” – a reference to the US restaurant chain – and “has a generic quality that for all its efficient smoothness seems culturally misplaced”.
He added: “The tone is ironic, the pulse is fast-moving and the tragic ending isn’t milked for tears. The show doesn’t work, but that hardly matters these days for a musical that can draw in the tourist masses.”
The Hollywood Reporter decided the musical “seems to have many of the pieces needed for a hit”.