‘Idol’ Winner To Play Music Legend in Broadway Debut


Getty Broadway signage in 2007

“American Idol” winner Nick Fradiani is about to play one of his own idols on Broadway. The singer, who won season 14 in 2015, can’t wait to be part of the cast of “A Beautiful Noise: The Neil Diamond Musical” when it premieres on Broadway in late 2022. It’s a full circle moment for the 36-year-old, since Diamond was the first person Fradiani ever saw in concert, at age 3.

Fradiani Will Play the Role of Neil Diamond Once a Week

On September 8, 2022, Fradiani announced his big career news on Instagram, sharing a photo of himself with the real Neil Diamond, who has sold over 130 million albums. Fradiani revealed he’ll be the Alternate for Will Swenson, playing the “Then” — or younger — version of Diamond on Wednesday nights.

“I can’t wait to continue this journey into musical theater,” Fradiani wrote. “This story and cast is truly incredible, and I’m really lucky to be a part of it.”

According to Playbill, Fradiani had been part of the national Broadway tour of “A Bronx Tale,” starring as Lorenzo beginning in October 2019. But the tour was eventually canceled due to the pandemic, so this new role allows him to get back into theater.

In September 2021, Fradiani told CT Insider that after winning “Idol,” he had to be smart about finding different ways to stay relevant.

“I had to figure out how to make a long-lasting career,” he said. “You kind of get shot out of a cannon on that show and you have to figure a lot of things out. I think I’ve become much more of an artist over the years, really focusing on my songwriting and putting original music out, focusing on making this a career and hopefully doing this for a really long time. And so far, so good, it’s been, it’s been a lot of ups and downs. But luckily, I’m still doing it. It’s an amazing experience.”

Diamond Has Been Very Involved in Developing the Production

Neil Diamond

GettyNeil Diamond performs in 2016

Diamond retired from performing in 2018 due to the early onset of Parkinson’s disease, but he has been very involved in the musical’s initial run in Boston, which premiered in July. According to Entertainment Weekly, he attended rehearsals and was also seen at a Boston Red Sox game with the cast, singing along as the stadium played his hit song, “Sweet Caroline.”

The entertainer, now 81, is one of the bestselling music artists in history, with 10 chart-topping singles including “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” “America,” and “Cracklin’ Rosie.” He has a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, was recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

According to NYTix, “A Beautiful Noise” follows Diamond’s unlikely rise to superstardom,  from his 1940s childhood in the rough neighborhoods of Brooklyn with his immigrant parents, to lucking into receiving an acoustic guitar at age 16, which began his path into music. Swenson and Fradiani will play the young version of Diamond, while Mark Jacoby plays the older version.

Broadway previews of the show begin November 2, with opening night scheduled for December 4 at the Broadhurst Theatre.

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