Broadway star Will Swenson talks portraying music icon Neil Diamond in 'A Beautiful Noise' musical
The life of singer songwriter Neil Diamond is the subject of the Broadway musical “A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical.” Actor Will Swenson takes on the vocally demanding role of portraying the music icon.
"I'm definitely putting on a sound when I'm singing as Neil," Swenson said. "And it does have a little bit of a taxing quality to it. I was nervous coming into it that singing outside of my normal sound could be detrimental to my instrument. And luckily there are some really good voice coaches in town that have dealt with that kind of thing. And I rang them up real quick to learn how to do it and not completely fry my voice every night."
The musical focuses on Diamond's early career in the 1960s as he struggled to get noticed as a songwriter, his breakout success as a performer and his rise to superstardom. It features many of Diamond's biggest hits including "I Am I Said," "Cherry, Cherry," "Holly Holy," "Solitary Man," and of course his anthemic "Sweet Caroline."
Swenson says spending time with Diamond during the show's development helped him to not only understand Diamond's music more deeply, but he got to know the man himself.
"Well, his wants and needs is kind of the forefront of any actor's approach to a character. Whether it's his emotional needs or his journey into stardom or getting that big break," Swenson says of creating the stage character of Diamond.
Swenson, who is married to fellow actor Audra McDonald, has appeared in numerous Broadway productions including his Tony nominated performance in the revival of "Hair." But he says this is his most demanding role.
Tickets to "A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical" at the Broadhurst Theatre are on sale through January 2024.
See more of Will Swenson's interview here: