Call it the anti-Diana musical. Just weeks after the scheduled Oct. 1 opening of Queen of Hearts, an Off-Off-Broadway musical about Princess Diana, Die, Die, Diana will premiere at San Jose State University. The Jef Labes (music)-Scott Sublett (lyrics) tuner is described as "a kind of penny dreadful murder mystery with songs."
The satirical show aims to lampoon the political power of the royal family, the relationship between Diana and the press, and the public's adoration of celebrity. The composing team has penned such numbers as "If Only I Could Breed Them Like my Horses," "I've Always Been Partial to Poisons," and "Yes, Sometimes I Loved You."
"I love Diana," said Sublett, "and I want this play to shatter the sanctimonious cult of death that's grown up around her since her assassination." Die, Die, Diana will open Oct. 23. Danny Scheie directs. For information, call (408) 924-4551.
Queen of Hearts, by composer Claudia Perry and director/librettist Stephen Stahl, begins performances at the Grove Street Playhouse Oct 1.
Opening Oct. 5, Hearts follows the life story of Diana Spencer, who rose from middle-class life to become the Princess of England, but then divorced Prince Charles and died in a terrible car crash with her rich boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. Charles is in the musical (played by James A. Walsh), as are the personages of Diana's two children, Charles' mistress, Princess Grace of Monaco, and various reporters and various Palace officials.
A former student at LAMBDA (the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art), newcomer Kendra Munger plays Lady Di, according to spokesperson Jim Baldassare. "It's a very loving and basically straightforward portrait of Diana," author Stahl said in a statement.
Stahl's previous credits include the Olivier-nominated Lady Day; composer Perry has contributed numerous songs to the NY cabaret circuit.
Designing Queen of Hearts are Robert F. Wolin (set), Dale Beverly (costumes) and Scott Davis (lighting).
For tickets ($20-$35) and information on Queen of Hearts, scheduled for a five-week run at the Grove Street Playhouse (Seventh Ave. & West 4th St.) call (212) 741-6436.