It seems safe to say that “Diana, The Musical” may be the only Patio Playhouse show this year to be name-dropped by the New York Daily News.
The play, which opens Friday (Oct. 20) at the Escondido community theater, made the Big Apple tabloid back in June after La Jolla Playhouse announced it was workshopping its own new musical about the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
The creators of “Diana, The Musical” felt they’d been slighted — their own show has been around for nearly two decades, after all — and wanted to make clear that the Playhouse project wasn’t the only Di tuner in town.
Now their show actually does hit town, in a production directed by Geoffrey A. Cox.
It’s the San Diego-area premiere of the piece by Karen Sokolof Javitch and Elaine Jabenis, and it was inspired by Javitch’s heartbreak over the tragic death of Diana in a car crash in 1997.
The show’s 34 original songs include duets between Princess Diana and Prince Charles, as well as songs featuring the characters of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and the Queen Mum (according to press materials).
The Patio Playhouse production stars Catherine Caldwell as Princess Diana, along with JD Battenberg (Prince Charles), Deborah Zimmer (the Queen), David Guthrie (Prince Philip), Karen Menin (Queen Mum), Cassi Nelson (Camilla Parker-Bowles/Jane/Anne), Jerico Sosbee (Narrator/Michael/Lord Mountbatten), Alicia O’Neil (Fergie), Sierra Sosbee (Carolyn), Peter Johnson (Victor), Jeremy Vigen (Dudley), Anna Simmons (Sarah), Brian Keon (Emcee), Isaac Marchesino (Prince William), William Fisher Jr. (Prince Harry), Shasta Fox (Shoo-Wop Girl/Salon Assistant), Jazmin Sanchez (Shoo-Wop Girl/Beauty Editor), and Michaela Greely and Dylan Lally (Ensemble.)
The show will help raise funds for the Seany Foundation’s free, annual Camp Reach for the Sky, benefiting young people with cancer and their families.