Saturday, April 5, 2008

Elton to Work on Diana the Musical?

Millions of words have been written about the remarkable life and death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Now there may be a few songs as well.

Diana's life story could be about to be turned into a Broadway musical.

Any production trying to cash in on the tragic Royal is certain to cause controversy.

But one of Diana's closest showbusiness friends, Elton John, who sang at her funeral, is being touted as a possible musical consultant, although U.S. reports linking him to the project do not say whether he has been approached.

Diana biographer Tina Brown is said to be behind the proposal to write a stage show or opera based on the princess's colourful life.

Theatre sources say 54-year-old Brown's dream director is Stephen Daldry, who is bringing the musical version of Billy Elliot to Broadway later this year. Elton John wrote the music for Billy Elliot as well as The Lion King, Aida and Lestat.

British-born former Vanity Fair editor Brown's 2007 book, The Diana Chronicles, topped the best seller charts, but a musical could hit a nerve with a public still raw from the harsh realities of the London inquest into Diana's death after a high speed car crash in Paris in August 1997.

"The obvious choice to do the music is Elton John (perhaps too obvious), and his name is certainly being bandied about," wrote the New York Post's theatre correspondent Michael Riedel.

"The idea is certainly titillating and you can bet the press coverage of a Princess Diana musical would be intense. Still, Diana's story, well told by Brown, is compelling drama. Done tastefully, it could make one hell of a stage show," he added.

One Broadway executive said there would be "very strong interest" in a Diana musical both in London and New York

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