Producers Ken Davenport and Bob Gaudio announced today that a new biographical musical telling the incredible life story of legendary singer-songwriter Neil Diamond, as yet untitled, is currently in development for Broadway. Boasting a score of Diamond’s greatest hits and a book by three-time Academy Award-nominated dramatist Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody, Darkest Hour, The Theory of Everything), the musical will be directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer.
About this new project, Mr. Diamond said, “I’ve always loved Broadway. The inspiration for many of my early songs came from shows like West Side Story, My Fair Lady and Fiddler on the Roof, so 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.”
In a statement, Mr. McCarten said, “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. The epic musical catalogue of this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer flowed endlessly off our family record player. As a child you took it into yourself, and to this day I can recite the lyrics of his hits deep into their second or third verses. Imagine my excitement, then, when the opportunity arose to work with Neil on a musical based on his life and music. A very, very easy and so sweet ‘Yes!’”
Mr. Gaudio added, “Having been intimately associated with one very special biographical musical, I am clearly a fan of the form. And 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.”
With his first break into songwriting in the 1960’s and his meteoric rise in the 1970’s, 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- and genre-defining smash hits that entranced the world.
Additional details will be announced shortly.
Neil Diamond Throughout an illustrious and wide-ranging musical career, Neil Diamond has sold more than 130 million records worldwide and has charted 39 Top 40 singles and 16 Top 10 albums both in the U.S. and internationally; among these classics are
“Cracklin’ Rose,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Song Sun Blue,” “Longfellow Serenade,” “I’ve Been This Way Before,” “If You Know What I Mean,” “Desiree,” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “America,” “Yesterday’s Song,” “Heartlight,” and many more. A Grammy Award-winning artist, Diamond is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the highest honors bestowed upon songwriters. Diamond’s many other achievements include a Golden Globe Award, 13 Grammy nominations and 2009’s NARAS’s MusiCares Person of the Year award. In 2011, Diamond received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor for his lifetime of contributions to American culture.
Anthony McCarten (Book). A three-time Academy Award nominated and double BAFTA- winning screenwriter and film producer of The Theory Of Everything (2014) and Darkest Hour (2017), as well as the writer of Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) – winner of four Oscars and the Golden Globe for Best Drama, becoming the most successful straight drama film of all time –New Zealand-born Anthony McCarten is also a celebrated novelist and playwright. Beginning his career as a playwright, he received early international success with his play Ladies Night, a global hit which remains New Zealand’s most commercially successful play of all time. His latest play, The Pope, premiering in England later this year, marks his return to writing for the stage, for the first time in 20 years. In 2015 he was inducted as a Literary Fellow of the New Zealand Society of Authors. He lives in London.
Michael Mayer (Director). Broadway credits include: Burn This, Head Over Heels, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Tony Award, best musical revival, also National Tour), Spring Awakening (Tony Award/Best Musical and Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Director; also London, National Tour, Vienna, Tokyo, and Seoul productions); American Idiot (also co-author, Drama Desk Award for Best Director; also US, UK and Asia tours); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Tony Award/Best Musical also London and National Tour), Side Man (Tony Award/Best Play also London and Kennedy Center Productions), A View from the Bridge (Tony Award/Best Revival), Michael Moore’s The Terms of My Surrender, Everyday Rapture, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Triumph of Love. Off-Broadway credits include: Love, Love, Love (Roundabout), Brooklynite (Also co-author, Vineyard), Whorl Inside A Loop (with Dick Scanlan, Second Stage), 10 Million Miles (Atlantic). National Tour: Angels in America. London: a record-breaking West End run of Funny Girl and UK tour. Tokyo: As You Like It (Toho Theatre). Film: The Seagull, A Home at the End of the World, and Flicka. Television: Smash(Director/Producer, Season One) and two seasons of Alpha House for Amazon. Metropolitan Opera: Rigoletto, La Traviata, and Nico Muhly’s Marnie. He serves on the Board of New York Stage and Film. @MichaelMayerDIR.
Bob Gaudio (Producer) wrote his first hit, “Who Wears Short Shorts,” at 15, for the Royal Teens, and then went on to become a founding member of the Four Seasons and the band’s principal songwriter. He also produced the hit “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” for Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand (Grammy nomination, Record of the Year) as well as six albums for Diamond, including The Jazz Singer.Other producing credits include albums for Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and the soundtrack for the film of Little Shop of Horrors. Several songs co-written with Bob Crewe have been cover hits for such artists as the Tremeloes (“Silence Is Golden”), the Walker Brothers (“The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”) and Lauryn Hill (“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”). With his wife, Judy Parker, Gaudio produced and co-wrote the Who Loves You album for the Four Seasons and one of Billboard’s longest-charted singles (54 weeks), “Oh, What a Night.” A high point in his career came in 1990 when, as a member of the original Four Seasons, Gaudio was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1995, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, which hailed him as “a quintessential music-maker.” To this day, Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli still maintain their partnership…on a handshake.