A musical featuring the songs, and telling the life story, of Neil Diamond now has a title, a choreographer, and scheduled performance dates in Boston, with Broadway plans ahead.
“A Beautiful Noise,” named after the singer-songwriter’s 1976 album, will air for four weeks at the Emerson Colonial Theater in Boston next summer, the show’s producers Ken Davenport and Bob Gaudio announced Tuesday. They plan to bring production to New York after that run.
“I personally hope this announcement shows the world that the Broadway factory is starting to come back to life, that smoke is coming out of our chimneys,” Davenport said in an interview Tuesday. “We’re starting to do things again, we may not be able to show it to everyone right now, but we will.”
The show, first announced in 2019, has built an outstanding team: the director is Michael Mayer, who won a Tony Award in 2007 for “Spring Awakening.” Steven Hoggett, whose work has appeared in “Once” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” will provide movement and dance. Anthony McCarten, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind “The Theory of Everything” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” is writing the book.
“A Beautiful Noise” will cover the ups and downs of Diamond’s life, from growing up in poverty in Brooklyn to his rise to stardom in the 1970s (thanks to hits like “Cracklin ‘Rosie” and “Song Sung Blue”) and decades later in his career, when he became something of a living legend. In this sense, it promises to be similar to the shows about Tina Turner and Donna Summer that recently appeared on Broadway.
When asked if theater fans would still have an appetite for jukebox musicals after the pandemic-imposed Broadway hiatus, Davenport (a Tony winner for the 2018 rerun of “Once on This Island”) said that “A Beautiful Noise” should not be preemptively typecast.
“I characterize it as a biographical musical drama and not as a jukebox musical,” he said. “We are excited to show people what sets it apart from some of the jukebox musicals that have been around.”
In a statement, Diamond, now 80, said she believes the show’s opening will be similar to performing her song “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway Park after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, an experience that he called “a moment of relief, unity, strength and love.”
When performances begin in June 2022 “and we can all be together and safe in the same space, experiencing the excitement of live theater, I imagine those same emotions will take over me and the entire audience,” he said.
Lately, the Boston area has been a popular testing ground for Broadway-bound musicals, including “Jagged Little Pill,” which opened at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge in May 2018, and “Moulin Rouge! The Musical, ”which received its world premiere at the Emerson Colonial in July. Both were enjoying successful careers in New York when the pandemic suspended live theater, and they are ready for numerous Tonys, including the best musical.
Cast details and ticket information for “A Beautiful Noise” will be released later.