Critics, Crowds Dis Diana Musical
The musical "Lady Diana -- A Smile Enchants the World" premiered in the southwestern German town of Saarbruecken this weekend to a not very full house and what one critic generously described as "polite" applause. But, reports Reuters, the show's producer, Karl-Heinz Stracke, is confident that the production will one day tour the world. He's particularly pleased with the song "Only Love Counts," which he considers "really catchy." However, Oliver Schwambach, who reviewed the show (which is performed entirely in German) for Saarbruecker Zeitung newspaper, found the music surprisingly old-fashioned, especially since Diana was known to like pop music. Karen Gillingham, the actress who plays Diana, won some critical praise. She said she was happy to play the part because it treats Diana with respect. As for the show itself, the story begins and ends with the 1997 Paris car crash that killed Diana. There's also some passing references, when food appears onstage, to her battles with bulimia, as well as to her gradual estrangement from her husband, Prince Charles -- though lawyers reportedly advised the producers to avoid portraying living members of Britain's royal family. This could possibly explain why the actor portraying Charles keeps his back to the audience during all of his scenes.
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