Netflix will stream Broadway musical Diana before it opens on stage

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Angela Lang/CNET

Netflix is bringing a model of Broadway to streaming screens subsequent yr: The service will premiere a filmed model of recent Broadway musical Diana: A True Musical Story someday within the first 5 months of 2021 earlier than the present formally opens on stage. 

New York Metropolis’s Broadway theaters have been shuttered since March, when the coronavirus epidemic was uncontrolled within the metropolis. Anticipated to stay closed for at the least the remainder of this yr, Broadway going darkish for months has been devastating to New York’s theatrical trade. 

In the meantime, the streaming of filmed theatrical productions had a second within the solar final month, when Netflix-rival Disney Plus premiered a stage-capture film of the blockbuster musical Hamilton. Hamilton spurred a surge of Disney Plus subscribers, and one agency estimated streaming demand for Hamilton far outstripped anything Netflix released that month. 

The staged model of Diana had begun previews on March 2, which refers to a time period when a present is carried out for audiences however continues to be be adjusted previous to its official opening. The present — which is about Diana, the Princess of Wales, a British royal who captivated public consideration — had been scheduled to open on the finish of March on the Longacre Theatre, however that opening date was postponed till Might 25 due to the virus. 

To document a model of the musical to stream on Netflix, Diana shall be filmed with out an viewers on the stage of the Longacre with the unique Broadway forged.

Netflix, alongside different streaming video providers, has been experiencing document progress in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. With film theaters are shuttered, big-budget film releases delayed, and reside sports activities having rocky outcomes as they try and restart, streaming has grown in recognition for folks to entertain themselves in lockdown.

Netflix, with its eye-popping slate of unique content material and its stream-at-home mannequin, is already ideally positioned to maintain serving up new programming to folks caught at residence and determined for leisure. However including a Broadway present, particularly one which hasn’t formally opened but, is an enormous departure not just for Netflix but in addition for Broadway norms. 

Netflix has streamed stage captures of theatrical productions earlier than, however these are often long-established reveals which have already closed. And it is extremely unusually for Broadway to broadcast or stream any of its productions whereas they’re nonetheless working, not to mention earlier than a present has even opened. 

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Joan E. Solsman