‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Writer to Write Neil Diamond Broadway Musical
The officially sanctioned project has no title yet but is set to include a wide range of Diamond’s hit songs and will be directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, who previously worked on Green Day’s American Idiot musical. Along with the success of Bohemian Rhapsody, McCarten secured three Oscar nominations for the Winston Churchill biopic Darkest Hour and the Stephen Hawking movie The Theory of Everything.
“I’ve always loved Broadway,” Diamond said in a statement (via Rolling Stone). “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.”
“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,” McCarten said. “The epic musical catalog 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!’”
In January 2018 Diamond announced the immediate end of his touring career as a result of oncoming symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but said he planned to keep writing and recording.
“My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world,” he said. “You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”
Following his announcement, many fans donated their refunded ticket fees to charities, leading him to tweet, “This makes me smile. Thank you. Thank you to everyone for your outpouring of love and support. It makes a difference.”