The cast of Diana has been living in a bubble for the past two weeks, rehearsing for the filmed capture of the Broadway musical. On a recent episode of Stars in the House, Judy Kaye—who plays Queen Elizabeth II in the show—shared what returning to the Broadway stage amid the coronavirus pandemic (without an audience) has been like.
The two-time Tony winner gave a number of updates, including that the cast album would be recorded September 12, that they've been rehearsing new material, and that the entire production will reconvene at the Longacre Theatre (where the show played nine previews prior to the Broadway shutdown) in the coming week.
“We tech all that new stuff and we get in front of nine cameras and film this thing,” Kaye says. “It’s the same group of people that filmed Hamilton, but it’ll be done somewhat differently because we can’t have an audience.”
The star also shared what Equity-approved safety measures were being taken to protect the cast and crew: “When we entered the bubble, we were tested twice, and then we get tested once a week after that. It’s very stringent; once we had passed the third test, we were allowed to be on stage on deck together without masks.”
The filmed version of Diana will debut sometime prior to the musical’s planned reopening May 25, 2021. The musical also stars Jeanna de Waal in the title role opposite Roe Hartrampf as Prince Charles and Erin Davie as Camilla Parker Bowles.
Diana is directed by Christopher Ashley and features a book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by David Bryan (the two won Tonys for their 2009 collaboration Memphis). The creative team also includes choreographer Kelly Devine, music director Ian Eisendrath, scenic designer David Zinn, costume designer William Ivey Long, lighting designer Natasha Katz, and sound designer Gareth Owen.
Rounding out the cast are Zach Adkins, Tessa Alves, Ashley Andrews, Austen Danielle Bohmer, Holly Ann Butler, Stephen Carrasco, Bruce Dow, Richard Gatta, Lauren E.J. Hamilton, Emma Hearn, Shaye B. Hopkins, Andre Jordan, Gareth Keegan, Nathan Lucrezio, Tomǡs Matos, Chris Medlin, Laura Stracko, and Bethany Ann Tesarck.
The musical made its world premiere last year at La Jolla Playhouse in California, where Ashley serves as artistic director.