Neil Diamond stage musical reveals its Broadway veteran star

Mar 4, 2022, 8:00 AM | Updated: 8:08 am

NEW YORK (AP) — A musical about Neil Diamond has found the polished theater gem who will play the icon onstage — Will Swenson.

Swenson has been tapped to lead “A Beautiful Noise, The Neil Diamond Musical” this summer when it makes its debut at Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre. Swenson calls it a not straightforward musical. “It’s unconventional and it’s beautiful,” the actor told The Associated Press.

Swenson’s Broadway credits include “Waitress” opposite Sara Bareilles, creating the role of Javert in the 2014 revival of “Les Misérables,” and starring in “Priscilla: Queen of the Desert” and “110 in the Shade.”

Diamond, 81, is the singer and songwriter of massive hits like “Sweet Caroline,” “Song Sung Blue” and “Cracklin’ Rosie.” He’s also written hits recorded by other artists, such as “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees, “Red Red Wine” by UB40 and “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” by Barbra Streisand.

The musical has a story by four-time Academy Award-nominee Anthony McCarten (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Darkest Hour”), direction by Tony-winner Michael Mayer and choreography by four-time Tony-nominee Steven Hoggett. It will play the Emerson Colonial Theatre from June 21-July 31, and tickets go on sale Friday.

Swenson says Diamond was his dad’s favorite artist, and he grew up knowing every Diamond song. Swenson’s dad went to Diamond concerts and had a signed poster up in the garage. “One of my earliest memories is wearing out the ‘Hot August Night’ eight-track tape,” he says, laughing.

“I never had a music rehearsal because I came in and I knew all the songs by heart, and I’m not even exaggerating,” he said. “I just had it all in my DNA because it was such a part of my upbringing, just constantly on in the car and constantly on at home.”

Swenson has become so adept at singing Diamond that he developed an impression, using it in concert with his wife, Audra McDonald, and at cabarets. So when it was time to play Diamond in front of the man himself, Swenson had an “out-of-body experience.”

“If you want to talk about a surreal moment, try singing 30 Neil Diamond songs while portraying Neil Diamond, 10 feet away from Neil Diamond. It was the most crazy, crazy experience of my life.”

It’s fitting that the musical of Diamond will premier in Boston, where Red Sox fans have embraced “Sweet Caroline.” Swenson grew up in California and roots for the Dodgers. “I’m not a Yankee fan, though. So it’s not as harsh,” he said.

___

Online: https://abeautifulnoisethemusical.com

___

Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, right, the former lover and business partner of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holm...
Associated Press

Jury takes fraud case against Elizabeth Holmes’s ex-partner

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The fate of hard-nosed technology executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani is now in the hands of a jury that will weigh criminal charges alleging he joined disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes, his former partner, in an elaborate fraud that jarred Silicon Valley. U.S. District Judge Edward Davila handed the case to […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Airline merger: Frontier sweetens offer for Spirit Airlines

Frontier Airlines on Friday added more cash and a larger breakup fee to its offer to buy Spirit Airlines, and the Spirit board repeated its preference for Frontier over a rival bid by JetBlue Airways. Frontier added $2 in cash to its previous offer of $2.13 in cash and 1.9126 shares of Frontier for each […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Carnival shares cruise higher on gains in revenue, bookings

MIAMI (AP) — Long-battered shares of Carnival Corp. jumped more than 12% Friday as the cruise line owner reported a big increase in revenue, occupancy levels, and bookings for future trips. However, the company posted a $1.83 billion second-quarter loss and said the effects of the pandemic and higher fuel prices will lead to another […]
16 hours ago
FILE - United States women's national soccer team member Alex Morgan, left, listens as teammate Meg...
Associated Press

Athletes react to the Supreme Court’s abortion decision

U.S. national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe expressed her anger Friday over the Supreme Court’s decision to strip the nation’s constitutional protections for abortion, decrying an erosion of rights that women have had for a generation. “I think the cruelty is the point because this is not pro life by any means,” said Rapinoe, who […]
16 hours ago
FILE - United States women's national soccer team member Alex Morgan, left, listens as teammate Meg...
Associated Press

Athletes react to the Supreme Court’s abortion decision

U.S. national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe expressed her anger Friday over the Supreme Court’s decision to strip the nation’s constitutional protections for abortion, decrying an erosion of rights that women have had for a generation. “I think the cruelty is the point because this is not pro life by any means,” said Rapinoe, who […]
16 hours ago
The exterior of the Orlando Museum of Art is seen where artist Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings were ...
Associated Press

FBI seizes disputed Basquiat artwork from Florida museum

The FBI raided a Florida art museum on Friday and seized more than two dozen paintings attributed to artist Jean-Michel Basquiat following questions about their authenticity. Orlando Museum of Art spokeswoman Emilia Bourmas-Fry said in a statement that they were complying with a warrant from the FBI for access to the ‘Heroes and Monsters’ exhibit, […]
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Neil Diamond stage musical reveals its Broadway veteran star