Broadway Opening and Album Review: A BEAUTIFUL NOISE: THE NEIL DIAMOND MUSICAL (Broadhurst Theatre)

Post image for Broadway Opening and Album Review: A BEAUTIFUL NOISE: THE NEIL DIAMOND MUSICAL (Broadhurst Theatre)

by Tony Frankel on November 2, 2022

in Theater-New York,Theater-Regional


A Beautiful Noise, the new Broadway bio-musical that tells the extraordinary story of singer-songwriter Neil Diamond, opened for previews at the Broadhurst on November 2, 2022, the same day that the Original Broadway Cast Recording became available on all platforms. The CD will be released on Dec. 2 (pre-order here), just before the official opening night on Sunday December 4, 2022. Tickets for Broadway available here.

Given Diamond’s oeuvre, the musical has the highest buzz of the season (and the raves over the pre-Broadway Boston run didn’t hurt, either) Stage and Cinema tested the album, and it’s a winner (check out Neil’s new Xmas Anthology, too). In the vein of Beautiful (the Carole King musical), A Beautiful Noise (named for the singer-songwriter’s iconic 1976 album) does the seemingly impossible given the simple contextual premise that Diamond is being interviewed by a therapist. The spectacularly clear recording is not only entertaining from the start, but it is poignant and very effective. Produced by Bob Gaudio (of Jersey Boys fame), the multitude of Diamond songs sound at once incredibly fresh and faithful, aided by Sonny Paladino’s arrangements, AnnMarie Milazzo’s vocal design, and Gaudio, Paladino & Brian Usifer’s orchestrations. Will Swenson‘s spectacular performance captures Diamond’s vocal inflections — the ruggedness and energy — with aplomb; this is no mere tribute but an uncanny impersonation with soul.

Photos of Boston run by Matthew Murphy.

A slew of Diamond’s most beloved songs are heard here:


Act I
1. Opening Montage /
2. A Beautiful Noise
3. Neil Pitches Songs: I’ll Come Running/I Got the Feelin’ (Oh No, No) / I’m A Believer
4. I’m A Believer
5. Demo Medley: The Boat That I Row/Red Red Wine/Kentucky Woman
6. Kentucky Woman
7. Into the Bitter End
8. Solitary Man
9. Cracklin’ Rosie
10. Song Sung Blue
11. Cherry, Cherry/September Morn
12. Love on the Rocks
13. Hello Again
14. A Heavenly Progression / 
15. Sweet Caroline

Act II
16. Entr’acte / 
17. Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show
18. Play Me
19. Forever in Blue Jeans
20. Stadium Medley: Soolaimon/Thank the Lord for the Night Time/Crunchy Granola Suite
21. You Don’t Bring Me Flowers
22. Brooklyn Roads/America
23. Shilo
24. I Am… I Said
25. Holly Holy

A Beautiful Noise features a book by four-time Academy Award-nominee Anthony McCarten (Bohemian RhapsodyDarkest HourThe Theory of Everything), direction by Michael Mayer (Funny Girl, Hedwig and the Angry InchSpring Awakening), and choreography by Steven Hoggett (Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildOnceBlack Watch).

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, Neil Diamond has maintained an almost unthinkable level of superstardom for five straight 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.

The cast is led by Will Swenson as Neil Diamond – Then; Mark Jacoby as Neil Diamond – Now, Robyn Hurder as Marcia, and Linda Powell as Doctor. They will be joined by Jessie Fisher as Jaye PosnerMichael McCormick as Fred Colby, Tommy O’RourkeTom Alan Robbins as Bert Berns, Kieve Diamond; and Bri Sudia as Ellie Greenwich, Rose Diamond.

The ensemble, swings, and standbys (see bios below) include Jessie Austrian (standby for Ellie Greenwich, Jaye Posner, Marcia, and Rose Diamond), Neal Benari (standby Neil Diamond – Now), Jordan Dobson (ensemble), Ninako Donville (swing), Paige Faure (ensemble), Nick Fradiani (standby Neil Diamond – Then), Kalonjee Gallimore (ensemble), Samantha Gershman (swing), Alex Hairston (ensemble), Makai Hernandez (swing), Jess LeProtto (ensemble), Tatiana Lofton (ensemble), Aaron James McKenzie (ensemble), Mary Page Nance (ensemble), Robert Pendilla (swing), Max Sangerman (ensemble), and MiMi Scardulla (ensemble).

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), Tony Award winner Jessica Paz (sound design), and Luc Verschueren (hair and wig design).


Will Swenson (Neil Diamond – Then). Known as one of Broadway’s most versatile leading men, Swenson has been seen on Broadway in roles across a wide character spectrum. He played the subversive hippie Berger in the 2009 revival of Hair on Broadway and in London’s West End as well. He starred as Inspector Javert in the 2014 revival of Les Misérables and played the conflicted drag queen Tick in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (Drama League nomination). In Waitress, Swenson performed opposite the show’s creator Sara Bareilles. Other Broadway credits include Disaster!LestatBrooklyn: The Musical, and his sentimental favorite 110 in the Shade, the production where he met his wife, actress Audra McDonald. Off-Broadway favorites include the recent revival of AssassinsNantucket Sleighride, and Jerry Springer: The Opera for which he won an Obie Award.

Mark Jacoby (Neil Diamond – Now) originated the role of Father in Ragtime, earned Tony, Outer Critics, and Joseph Jefferson award nominations for his performance as Gaylord Ravenal in Showboat, directed by Harold Prince, and is a Theatre World Award recipient for his Broadway debut as Vittorio Vidal in Sweet Charity, directed by Bob Fosse. Also on Broadway, he created the role of Walter Hobbs in Elf, portrayed Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, was the Padre in Man of La Mancha, appeared as Baron von Gaigern in Grand Hotel, and for three years held the title role in The Phantom of the Opera. Jacoby was seen as the Wizard in the First National Tour of Wicked. Recent television guest-starring appearances include “Iron,” “Dopesick,” “The Blacklist,” “The Good Fight,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Elementary,” and “Madam Secretary.”

Robyn Hurder (Marcia) Broadway: Moulin Rouge! The Musical (Nini, Tony Award nomination), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Jeannie Muldoon), Grease (Marty), Chicago (Mona, Roxie understudy), The Wedding Singer (Holly understudy), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Violet). New York City Center’s Encores!: A Chorus Line (Cassie), The New Yorkers (Lola McGee), Paint Your Wagon (Cherry Jourdell). National Tours: A Chorus Line (Cassie), SpamalotStarlight Express (Pearl). Regional: 5th Avenue Theatre: Kiss Me, Kate (Lois Lane, Gregory Award nominee); Drury Lane: Crazy For You (Polly Baker). Film and television: “Fosse/Verdon” (FX).

Linda Powell (Doctor) Broadway: On Golden PondWilder, Wilder, Wilder; and The Trip to Bountiful (all Tony nominated Best Revivals). Off Broadway: Passage (Soho Rep), The Moors (Playwright’s Realm), The Christians (Playwright’s Horizons), The Overwhelming (Roundabout), Jar the Floor (Second Stage), JitneyAngela’s Mixtape: PericlesLove’s Labour’s LostThe OdysseyLucreceA Midsummer Night’s DreamA Doll’s HouseThe Courtroom, and 12 seasons producing and performing with the Willow Cabin Theater Company.

Jessie Fisher (Jaye Posner). Broadway credits: Girl in Once, Delphi in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Original Broadway Company). Regional credits include: Constellations, Of Mice and Men at Steppenwolf Theatre; Othello, Taming of the Shrew, The Heir Apparent at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; Grounded at Milwaukee Repertory; The Pride at About Face Theatre; Cabaret, Frankenstein with The Hypocrites and 33 Variations at TimeLine Theatre.

Michael McCormick (Fred ColbyTommy O’Rourke). Broadway roles include: Wicked (The Wizard); Hello, Dolly! (Horace us); Chaplin (Mack Sennett); Elf (Mr. Greenway); Curtains (Oscar Shapiro); 1776 (John Adams); Kiss Me, Kate, (First Gangster); How The Grinch Stole ChristmasThe Pajama GameGypsy (directed by Sam Mendes); Marie ChristineKiss of the Spider Woman; and La Bete. He can be heard on 18 Broadway and Off-Broadway recordings. He has been a member of Actor’s Equity since 1964 when he made his Broadway debut in Oliver!

Tom Alan Robbins (Bert Berns, Kieve Diamond) has performed in eight Broadway shows, including The Lion King in which he created the role of Pumbaa. Other Broadway shows: Head Over Heels (Dametas), Newsies, Sunset Boulevard, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Threepenny Opera, Once Upon a Mattress, Is He Dead? Off-Broadway: Little Shop of Horrors (2020 revival, Mushnick, Grammy nomination), Brooklynite, On The Verge (New York premiere), Isn’t It Romantic (world premiere), The Cradle Will Rock, The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket (world premiere), Henry V (Public Theatre), King Lear (Cornwall). Listen to his podcast Twits in Love at

Bri Sudia (Ellie Greenwich, Rose Diamond). Chicago: Wonderful Town (Jeff Award nomination; Goodman Theatre); Sweeney Todd (Jeff Award nomination; Paramount Theatre); Oslo (Jeff Award nomination. Chicago premiere, TimeLine Theatre); The Music ManAh, Wilderness! (Goodman Theatre); Road Show (Chicago premiere); Emma – A New Musical (world premiere), Red Velvet (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), Steppenwolf Theatre, Court Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Drury Lane.

Jessie Austrian (Standby for Ellie Greenwich, Jaye Posner, Marcia, and Rose Diamond) is a co-founder and co-artistic director of Fiasco Theater. Broadway: The Importance of Being Earnest, Lend Me a Tenor. Off-Broadway: Merrily We Roll Along, Cymbeline, Into the WoodsMeasure for MeasureTwo Gentlemen of Verona, Twelfth Night, The Marriage of Bette and Boo. London: Into The Woods (Fiasco/Menier Chocolate Factory).

Neal Benari (Standby Neil Diamond – Now) feels it’s kismet to be in this show. Like Neil Diamond, he is a “Neil,” born in Brooklyn, attended Erasmus Hall HS, and NYU! Recent credits: Jersey Boys (Ogunquit Playhouse), Oslo (Pioneer Theater), and Grand Hotel. Broadway: Fiddler on the RoofAidaVictor/VictoriaThe Merchant of VeniceChessJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatRoza, and The First. National Tours: Aida (Zoser), The Sound of Music (Captain von Trapp), Les Misérables (Thenardier), and Annie. Regional: Lend Me a Tenor (Tito), Man of La Mancha (Don Quixote), Sweeney Todd (Sweeney), Ragtime (Tateh), and My Fair Lady (Higgins).

Jordan Dobson (Ensemble) Broadway: Orpheus in Hadestown, Tony in West Side Story directed by Ivo Van Hove. Select Regional: Austen’s PrideInto The Woods (ACT of Connecticut), The Wanderer (Papermill Playhouse), Cabaret, Gypsy (Arden Theatre Co.), The Color Purple (Theatre Horizon). @jordandobson_

Ninako Donville (Swing) NYC workshop for Hi, My Name Is Ben. A 2020 Indiana University BFA graduate, she won the first-place title in the National Society of Arts and Letters musical theater competition that year. Recent credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Ordinary Days (Deb), and Pippin (Catherine). @nina.donville.

Paige Faure (Ensemble). Broadway: Company (understudy Bobbie, Sarah, Jenny, Susan), Miss Saigon (understudy Ellen), Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Cinderella), Bullets Over Broadway (understudy Ellen), How To Succeed In Business (Hedy La Rue). National Tours: R&H’s Cinderella (Cinderella), A Chorus LineChitty Chitty Bang BangLittle Women (Jo), Aida. NY: Mack and Mabel (City Center), A Taste of Things To Come (Joan; York Theatre). Regional premieres: The Heart Of Rock and Roll (Paige; Old Globe), From Here To Eternity (Lorene; The Rev), Honeymoon In Vegas (Papermill), Robin and the Seven Hoods (Old Globe), Chess (Kennedy Center). @paigefaure.

Nick Fradiani (Standby Neil Diamond – Then) was the 2015 winner of “American Idol,” and released his debut solo project, Hurricane on Big Machine / Universal Records) in 2016, featuring the hit single “Beautiful Life.” Since 2017, he has toured the country and independently released multiple singles including “I’ll Wait For You,” “Scared,” “Never Gonna,” and “Empire.” National tours: A Bronx Tale (Lorenzo.)

Kalonjee Gallimore (Ensemble) is a recent graduate of NYU Tisch. Off-Broadway: Common Ground (Actors Temple); REGIONAL: Punk Rock Girl (Argyle Theatre); Rock of Ages, Chicago (Theatre Aspen); Cabaret, Mama Mia (Surflight Theatre); South Pacific, All Shook Up (Flat Rock Playhouse); A Brief History of Fire (Alliance Theatre); Dog Sees God (Out Front Theatre); In The Heights (RISPA Theatrical). Educational: Spring Awakening, Pippin, Promenade, To Pimp A Butterfly, An Experiment, The Prophet, Love Is the Message, (NYU). @Kalon.jee.

Samantha Gershman (Swing) She most recently was seen playing Mary Delgado in the national tour of Jersey Boys and before that, became a Helen Hayes Award winner for her work as Diana Morales in Signature Theatre’s production of A Chorus Line! National Tour: Jekyll & Hyde (understudy Lucy). Off Broadway & New York: Bells Are Ringing (Gwynne), Okay! (Phillippa).

Alex Hairston (Ensemble) is a North Carolina native who grew up working in film and television as a child. Touring productions include the title role of Disco Donna in the First National Tour of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical; and the role of Florence Ballard/Suzanne De Passe in Motown the Musical. Broadway credits include Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Janelle Woods)and Diana the Musical (swing, understudy Camilla). Hairston’s most recent projects include The Tap Dance Kid (principal standby) at New York City Center and Cara in season two of That Damn Michael Che on HBO Max. @alex_asusual.

Makai Hernandez (Swing). New York workshops: I Know Where I’m Going (LCT, Scott Ellis), ¡Americano! (Amas/Quixote), Ten Brave Second (Asylum NYC). Some favorite regional productions: Proxy Marriage (Goodspeed, Adam Gwon, Igor Goldin), A Chorus Line (IRNE nomination). BFA Boston Conservatory. Proud NorCal transplant. Unbelievably stoked to be back in The Bean! @this.guy.makai.wo

Jess LeProtto (Ensemble). Broadway: CarouselHello, Dolly!Cats (Mungojerrie); On the Town; Newsies (OBC); Bye Bye Birdie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Boy From Oz. National Tour: Hello, Dolly! (Barnaby Tucker); Radio City Christmas Spectacular. World premieres: The Wanderer, A Bronx Tale (Papermill Playhouse), In Your Arms (Old Globe), American Dance Machine for the 21st Century (Joyce Theatre), Freddie Falls in Love (Signature Theatre). Film and television: Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story (A-Rab)“So You Think You Can Dance” (season eight /Top Eight Finalist), The Nightfly (directorial debut), Isn’t It Romantic, “Smash,” Law & Order: SVU,” “One Life to Live,” and MTV’s “Video Music Award.” Pace University BFA, Musical Theatre. @jleprotto_offiicial

Tatiana Lofton (Ensemble) is a New York City-based performer and Delaware native. Off-Broadway: Little Shop Of Horrors (Ronnette). National Tour: Once On This Island (Storyteller, understudy Asaka), Waitress (Nurse Norma, understudy Becky). Regional: The WizBeauty and the Beast, and Merry Wives of Windsor at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. New York performances: Lincoln Center Theater, the Apollo Theater, Joe’s Pub, and 54 Below. Instagram: @tatianalofton.

Aaron James McKenzie (Ensemble) is grateful to be back with this company and thrilled to be making his Boston debut accompanied by this beautiful company of creatives! He was seen previously in Yale Repertory Theatre’s production of Choir Boy, and on CBS “Bull.

Mary Page Nance (Ensemble) Original Broadway cast: Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812 and Finding Neverland (also at ART). First national tour: Bright Star. Off-Broadway: Black No More (The New Group), Encores!, When Change Comes, the York Theatre. Television and film includes: Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix), “The Tony Awards,” “Broadway at the White House.” Development: A Beautiful Noise, Lempicka, Soft Power, JOY, among others. @marypagenance.

Robert Pendilla (Swing). Broadway: Kinky Boots original cast (swing, understudy Richard Bailey), Miss Saigon revival (ensemble, understudy Asst. Commisar), Wicked (ensemble, understudy Boq). National tour credits: Wicked (swingunderstudy Boq), Mamma Mia (Pepper), Miss Saigon revival (ensemble). Regional credits: Swept Away (swing), Kinky Boots (referee angel), The Heart of Rock & Roll (ensemble, understudy Fjord, understudy Eli), Flower Drum Song (ensemble), Aida (ensemble), Mame (ensemble), My Fair Lady (ensemble). Follow Robert on all social platforms @robertpendilla and

Max Sangerman (Ensemble) is an Indiana native, residing in Queens, New York. Theatre – Off Broadway: Smokey Joe’s CafeBlue Man Group (Blue Man). Other credits: Footloose (Kennedy Center), Airness (Geva Theatre), BEAU (ATF), The 12 (Denver Center), Rocky Horror, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Bucks County Playhouse). Film: BEAU, Lights on the Radio Tower. BFA Musical Theatre Emerson College.

MiMi Scardulla (Ensemble) is an actor, director, and choreographer in New York city. Most recently she was Belinda in Once Upon a One More Time, the Britney Spears musical. Other favorite credits include Kristin Chenoweth’s For the GirlsWe Are the TigersHeart of Rock and Roll, and Gigantic. Follow her @mimidulla


Julia Young November 3, 2022 at 7:37 pm

Who is playing the Neil Diamond lead? I want to be there opening night!

Tony Frankel November 3, 2021 at 8:08 pm

There are two: The cast will be Will Swenson as Neil Diamond – Then, Mark Jacoby as Neil Diamond – Now.

Jim Grimes November 4, 2022 at 7:31 pm

I agree. The album is great. But seeing the show last night was even better!

Tony Frankel November 4, 2022 at 11:19 pm

Glad to know, Jim. I’m coming in from L.A. to see it opening week.

Comments on this entry are closed.