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re: Diana
Posted by: ShowGoer 11:09 am EDT 10/12/21
In reply to: re: 50% feels about right. - ryhog 07:13 pm EDT 10/11/21

I want to be clear, I wasn't and am not in any way praising or endorsing the Diana producers for anything, whether as a model of producing acumen or as a stellar example of streaming theatre.
But, unless you're referring to producing the show in the first place, or the idea of a Princess Di musical to begin with, I HIGHLY disagree with you that "what they did will be taught in school as a monumental fuck up."

They had an $18,000,000 show in previews at the time of the shutdown that had next-to-zero advance sales even PRE-pandemic, and was being speculated as one of the fastest closings of that season over a year and a half ago. Then they were sitting on the sets, orchestrations, costumes, etc. with no guarantee whether Broadway would come back in 6 months or 2 years, and with a company that had already been in previews and might soon be forgetting the show. Lastly they were lucky enough to have a producer known mostly for film experience (Frank Marshall) and a streaming service already invested in and doing well with The Crown and other royal-family content.

Had the pandemic not come along the show would have opened, run for a few months, and (maybe?) gotten a little bit of that 18 mill back from (maybe?) a tour and other post-NY productions.
But as it now stands, while the show will likely have the same, if not an even grislier, fate, they've at least already made some sort of partial return on their investment from the Netflix sale, which has only enhanced the show's notoriety, and by being on that service in perpetuity, could THEORETICALLY keep the show in people's minds and theoretically spur a few more future productions than a 6-week Broadway flop with no movie otherwise would have.

Will this be a model for the future? (Debuting a show on TV before it opens on Broadway.) Hardly. Will it prove successful here? Absolutely not. But, given the response to the show on TV, would the show have been received differently if it wasn't filmed, would it have fared differently at the box office, and was this a bad idea for them to take advantage of the opportunity? No, no, and no, and once again I'm surprised at anyone shortsighted enough to think so.

And, regarding our ongoing conversation.... per the Hollywood Reporter: "Marshall says the experience of filming Diana has convinced him to pursue a similar course with future theatrical productions, even if or when COVID is no longer a consideration."
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