Yes, there will be Neil in New York City. But he won’t be there himself. He won’t follow Bruce’s footsteps and perform a long run of concerts in a Broadway theater. And he won’t be doing a regular gig at Madison Square Garden ala Billy Joel. But just as Jersey Boys celebrates the Four Seasons and Beautiful illuminates the wonderous Carole King, Rolling Stone reports that the time has come for a Broadway-bound jukebox bioplay of the life and times of Neil Diamond.
Big names have signed on to the proposed production. Anthony McCarten, who crafted the screenplay for Bohemian Rhapsody will write the show, while Michael Mayer (no, that’s not Mike Meyers) will direct. His credits include American Idiot and Spring Awakening, so he knows his way around a musical. And of course, the music will be Neil’s own tunes. No one has been cast for the lead role just yet and the opus has no title.
But guys and gals, I have to tell you, Barb and I are way out in front of the professionals on this one. We have been planning on writing and producing Neil’s story for years! It’s all mapped out and ready to go.
Act One–The Man in Black:
Scene 1: Growing up in New York City (Brooklyn Roads)
Scene 2: The Early Bang Years (Shilo, Solitary Man, I’m a Believer)
Scene 3: Hitsville (Holly Holy, Sweet Caroline, Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show)
Act Two–Hollywood Calling
Scene 1: Jonathan Soaring (Skybird, Lonely Looking Sky, Be)
Scene 2: Lenny Crashing (I Am…I Said)
Scene 3: A Fish Out of Water (Dry Your Eyes)
Scene 3: Jesse Robin Rising (Kol Nidre, Love on the Rocks, America)
Act Three–Glitz and Glitter
Scene 1: Song-writer or Super Star? (Yesterday’s Songs, Heartlight, Headed for the Future)
Scene 2: New Directions ( White Christmas, Home Before Dark, Pretty Amazing Grace)
Scene 3: One Last Hot August Night (Cherry Cherry, Kentucky Woman, Cracklin Rosie, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, America (reprise)
Curtain Call–Sweet Caroline
OK, Mr. McCarten will have to fill in some characters and write some dialogue. But that should be easy for a pro like him.
Now let’s talk about the casting. Most of the roles, such as Neil’s family, his various wives and lovers, the multitude of agents, musicians and producers, can be filled by the usual Broadway featured artists, the ones who win all the Tonys, but whom no one in Middle America has heard of.
But what about the lead, you ask? To star as Neil, we need someone who can play of span of ages, has acting chops and can belt out a tune. With a little help from the Wardrobe and Make-Up Departments, I can see Nick Jonas doing the deed. He might even pull in some fans who have never heard of our beloved Neil but know the Jonas Brothers and Priyanka Chopra. Hey Nick, can you transition from Disney to Les Misérables to Diamond all before the age of 30?
So do we have a name for this proud piece of pop? Of course we do. With apologies to Ian Fleming, James Bond and DeBeers, just get us front row tickets to This Diamond is Forever whenever the show opens on Broadway. We’ll be there.
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