Neil Diamond is putting his life story on the line.
The singer-songwriter has signed up for the Broadway bio-musical treatment, meaning he’s following in the footsteps of previous disappointments such as Emilio & Gloria Estefan’s “On Your Feet! The Musical,” which received mediocre reviews but survived from 2015 to 2017; the “borderline coherent” (Donna) “Summer” show that lasted less than nine months in 2018; and “The Cher Show,” which recently announced it is closing on Aug. 18 — despite strong notices — after 34 previews and 296 performances.
Well, it sure sounds like the Brooklyn native is up for the challenge.
“I’ve always loved Broadway,” Diamond, 78, said in a statement, naming “West Side Story,” “My Fair Lady” and “Fiddler on the Roof” as the inspiration for much of his early work. “It seems only fitting to bring my songs to The Great White Way. I’m honored and excited to be working with this great team.”
That creative team includes writer Anthony McCarten, who scripted the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Tony-winner Ken Davenport and Bob Gaudio, founding member of The Four Seasons, will produce with Michael Mayer (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”) set to direct.
The score, naturally, is all Diamond.
McCarten and Gaudio both released statements revering the “Sweet Caroline” singer’s iconic work.
“On the mantle-piece in my childhood home in New Zealand there were always two pictures: one was of the Pope, the other of Neil Diamond,” says McCarten.
“[As] a fellow member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I remain in awe of Neil Diamond’s contribution to American popular culture, music — and of his incredible life story,” adds Gaudio, who produced six of Diamond’s albums.
Last year, Diamond retired from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. His musical does not yet have a name, release date or theater set.
He’s not the only musical icon set to be depicted in a Broadway house: “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” goes into previews Oct. 12 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
Only time will tell if Diamond and Turner join the slew of other music icons who failed to translate to the stage — or will rock it out for the long haul like “Jersey Boys,” the acclaimed musical about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons that ran a whopping 4,642 performances from 2005 to 2017.
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