Neil Diamond Surprises Audience at Broadway Opening of ‘A Beautiful Noise’ Musical

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A new musical based on the career of Neil Diamond, A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical, has opened on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre, after a month-long world premiere engagement in Boston. The jukebox musical had its official New York opening on Dec. 4, with a surprise performance from Diamond himself. The show earned mixed reviews. Tickets are available here.

In its review (subscription required), The New York Times called it an “ambitious, often rousing, occasionally heavy-handed biographical show. The New York Post, which in its headline used the word “Awful,” led their review with, “Good times never seemed so dull. So dull. So dull. So dull.” Variety wrote, “A Beautiful Noise is victorious, but not without a few rough bumps along the way — much like the trajectory of Diamond’s life.”

From the show’s official announcement: The story of the legendary Neil Diamond comes to life on stage in a gripping and uplifting new musical featuring a score of his hit songs including “Sweet Caroline”, “America”, and “Cracklin’ Rosie”. The production is directed by Tony Award® winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, Hedwig and the Angry Inch), choreographed by Olivier Award® winner Steven Hoggett (Once, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), and written by four-time Academy Award® nominee Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody, The Two Popes).

Watch Diamond sing “Sweet Caroline” on opening night

As rehearsals commence for Broadway, the production released a behind-the-scenes music video of the cast, band, and creative team at New York’s famed Power Station studio recording Diamond’s classic song “Cracklin’ Rosie.”

The Broadway production features a standout cast led by Tony Award® nominee Will Swenson as Neil Diamond–Then; Tony Award nominee Mark Jacoby as Neil Diamond–Now; Tony Award nominee Robyn Hurder as Marcia; Linda Powell as Doctor; Jessie Fisher as Jaye Posner; Michael McCormick as Fred Colby and Tommy O’Rourke; Tom Alan Robbins as Bert Berns and Kieve Diamond; and Bri Sudia as Ellie Greenwich and Rose Diamond. The cast album also features the chorus, known as “The Noise,” played by Jordan Dobson, Paige Faure, Kalonjee Gallimore, Alex Hairston, Jess LeProtto, Tatiana Lofton, Aaron James McKenzie, Mary Page Nance, Max Sangerman, and MiMi Scardulla.

With his first break into songwriting in the 1960s and his meteoric rise in the 1970s, and plenty of crushing disappointments and heart-stopping triumphs along the way, Diamond has maintained a level of superstardom for five decades. How did a poor Jewish kid from Brooklyn become one of the most universally adored showmen of all time? There’s only one way to tell it: a musical set to his era-defining smash hits that entranced the world.

To complement the launch of the show in New York, the Original Broadway Cast Recording of A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical was released on CD on Dec. 2, via UMe, just ahead of the official opening night. Produced by GRAMMY® Award winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bob Gaudio, who is also one of the show’s producers with Broadway veteran Ken Davenport, the cast album marks Gaudio’s seventh collaboration with Diamond’s work. Gaudio previously produced Diamond’s platinum-selling albums You Don’t Bring Me Flowers (1978), which included the hit title song, a duet with Barbra Streisand nominated for Record of the Year; September Morn (1979); and the soundtrack to The Jazz Singer (1980). The CD booklet also includes exclusive liner notes from Neil Diamond and the book writer, Anthony McCarten.

A Grammy Award®-winning artist, Diamond is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He has been presented with the Johnny Mercer Award, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award, three of the highest honors bestowed on songwriters and artists. He has also been the recipient of the NARAS MusiCares Person of The Year Award and the prestigious Kennedy Center Award for his contributions to American culture.

When the announcement of the musical was first made, Diamond said, in a press release, “I’ve always loved Broadway. The inspiration for many of my early songs came from shows like West Side Story, My Fair Lady and Fiddler on the Roof, so it seems only fitting to bring my songs to the Great White Way.

Watch Diamond receive a huge ovation at the first preview in Boston

In its review, the Boston Globe called it “an electric and sparkling performance!”

Related: Diamond retired from touring in 2018 due to Parkinson’s

The design team for A Beautiful Noise features Tony Award winner David Rockwell (scenic design), Tony Award nominee Emilio Sosa (costume design), four-time Tony Award winner Kevin Adams (lighting design), and Tony Award winner Jessica Paz (sound design).

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  1. Linden Frank
    #1 Linden Frank 8 August, 2022, 13:06

    Neil looks weak…but great to see him out. And hope the musical is a success. What a legend.

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  2. luile
    #2 luile 8 December, 2022, 11:47

    Great to see him in the limelight again, and enjoying his audience love. My all time favorite song from him is “The Story of My Life”; it was not a hit, but should have been one. What a song….

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