December 2018/January 2019FEATURE

Diana, The Musical


La Jolla Playhouse will close out its 2018/2019 season with Diana, a world-premiere musical from the Tony Award-winning creative team behind Memphis:Joe DiPietro (book and lyrics), David Bryan (music and lyrics) and Playhouse ArtisticDirector Christopher Ashley (director).

“One of the best things about La Jolla Playhouse is the way it serves as an artistic home to which amazing artists return again and again to develop their work,” said Ashley. “Among my favorite long-time collaborators are Joe DiPietro and David Bryan — their new musical brings to the stage one of the greatest cultural icons in modern history, and I can’t wait to share it with Playhouse audiences.”

In 1981, an assistant kindergarten teacher married the Prince of Wales and, overnight, became the most famous woman in the world. But behind the fairytale, there was a troubled marriage and a young woman struggling to find her voice. Facing an entrenched monarchy and unprecedented media scrutiny, Princess Diana surprises everyone — including herself — as she grows into a global phenomenon and manages to change the world. Christopher Ashley and the writers behind the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis create this highly-anticipated musical, featuring an epic and sweeping contemporary score.

Taking on the title role will be British actress Jeanna de Waal, whose Broadway credits include Lauren in Kinky Bootsand Heather in American Idiot, among others.

“For this iconic role, we were looking for someone who could portray Princess Diana’s incredible warmth and poise, along with her deep inner resolve to forge her own identity in the highly controlled environment of the royal family,” Ashley remarked. “A rising star on Broadway, British actress Jeanna de Waal embodies all these traits and more, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have her on board as we develop this extraordinary new musical at thePlayhouse.”

Following Diana, the Playhouse will launch its 2019/2020 season with the world premieres of Put Your House in Order by Ike Holter, directed by Lili-Anne Brown, andThe Luckiest, by Melissa Ross, directed by former Playhouse AssociateArtistic Director Jaime Castañeda, developed as part of the Playhouse’s 2018 DNA New Work Series. The season will also include the BerkeleyRepertory Theatre production of Kiss My Aztec!, book by John Leguizamo (Playhouse’sLatinHistory for Morons) and Tony Taccone, music by Benjamin Velez, lyrics by David Kamp, Benjamin Velez and John Leguizamo, directed by Tony Taccone, based on a screenplay by John Leguizamo and Stephen Chbosky; and Cambodian Rock Band, by UC SanDiego MFA graduate Lauren Yee, featuring songs by the acclaimed Cambodian-American band Dengue Fever, directed by Chay Yew. Two additional productions and run dates for the 2019/2020 season will be announced shortly.

“The 2019/2020 season showcases four riveting new pieces that represent a multitude of vibrant and vigorous voices, all of which examine — in vastly different ways — how ordinary people attempt to persevere under extraordinary circumstances,”Ashley said. “John Leguizamo and Tony Taccone’s new musical takes us back to the 16th century in a savagely funny and deeply-irreverent piece about the Aztec resistance to the Spanish conquistadores; rising Chicago playwright Ike Holter’s Put Your House in Order is a witty, suspenseful cross between a romantic comedy and apocalyptic thriller; Melissa Ross’sThe Luckiest – developed during our 2018 DNA New Work Series — paints a moving picture of a young woman attempting to re-take control of her life in the face of a serious illness; and UC San Diego MFA alumna Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band is a redemptive and rocking story of a father and daughter finding each other amidst decades-old secrets.”

La Jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what’s new and next in the American theatre, from Tony Award-winning productions, to imaginative programs for young audiences, to immersive and interactive experiences outside its theatre walls. Currently led by 2017 Tony Award-winning Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and ManagingDirector Debby Buchholz, the Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, DorothyMcGuire and Mel Ferrer.

More information on La Jolla Playhouse’s current and upcoming seasons is available at or by calling (858) 550-1010.


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