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Saw The Neil Diamond Musical A Beautiful Noise tonight.
Posted by: Deirdre 11:57 pm EDT 06/25/22

Full disclosure: not a huge Neil Diamond fan. I don’t really not like him, but I’m not the target audience so take whatever I say with a grain of salt.

Will Swenson is fantastic. Best thing about it. He sounds so much like him but doesn’t do an impersonation. I enjoyed his performance very much - he’s having a great time up there and you can feel it.

But it’s still just a jukebox musical. And one that veers between camp, a concert and more serious book scenes. And I’m not sure it works all that well.

The kids that make up “The Beautiful Noise” are a quasi Greek chorus and they are wonderful - their voices and their dancing are excellent. I’m sure some will dismiss the show as “cruise line entertainment” but I’ve been on cruises and these kids are super talented and they elevate the scenes they are in.

It’s not really sure what it wants to be - and I think that’s part of the problem. They are clearly tinkering with it and I hope it gains more cohesion.

If you don’t like people singing along, do NOT see this show. Every time a new song would start, the audience would release a huge “awwww!” and wave their arms, clap their hands and sing along. So, it’s really fun for those people.

Now, of course I sang along to “Sweet Caroline” at the curtain call because when in Boston…. (And the audience laps it up - and it was fun!)

I took my 27 year old daughter (she lives in Boston and that’s why we went - we like to see the pre-Broadway runs together). She wasn’t as familiar with his music (or so she thought - she leaned over a bunch of times and said “oh, he wrote THIS?”) and she felt the book was disjointed and didn’t care about his marriages and never felt like they really got to who he was (the conceit of the show is that he’s going into therapy and the therapist uses his lyrics to understand him) but we both thought there were some funny lines.

I think it needs to be campier maybe? I think I enjoyed the sillier scenes more than the serious ones.

Anyway - you’ll all see it soon enough, I suppose. :) Next one we see in July: 1776! (I’m very excited for that.)
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