Audience Sunday evening (December 4) Broadway opening of A beautiful noise: the Neil Diamond Musical turned up to hear their favorite hits from the legendary 81-year-old singer. But they went home with much more. According to CNNDiamond surprised theatergoers when he appeared in the balcony during the curtain call to help lead the crowd in a rendition of his beloved 1969 hit “Sweet Caroline.”
The singer there retired from touring in 2018 after receiving a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, sang the song’s opening lines before encouraging the packed house at the Broadhurst Theater to join in on the iconic chorus as the house band played along. That pop-into the jukebox musical celebrating his long, hit-filled musical career was New Yorker Diamond’s first appearance in his hometown since 2017 and one of the few times he has appeared in public since his diagnosis.
According to People, before the surprise, Diamond walked the red carpet with his wife, Katie McNeil, and received a standing ovation from the audience as he entered the theater. While Diamond has kept a low profile since 2018, he showed up for one rare public appearance during a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park in June to sing “Caroline.”
Diamond exited during the 8th inning of the Red Sox’s game against St. Louis Cardinals to deliver a rousing rendition of his 1969 hit; the singer last performed at Fenway Park in 2013, just days after the Boston Marathon bombing. “Sweet Caroline” has been an 8th inning tradition at the ballpark since 1997. Next to Diamond at Fenway stood a Broadway veteran Will Swensonwho plays the main role in A beautiful noise.
Watch footage of the impromptu “Caroline” song below.