Sweet sounds of Neil Diamond come to Queenstown
The Sweet Caroline Tour: A Tribute to Neil Diamond will roll into Queenstown at the end of November. Australian performer Zac Coombs will be centre stage, alongside a world-class international band, to perform favourites including ‘Sweet Caroline’, ‘Cherry Cherry’, ‘Red Red Wine’ and many more.
The show has been specially produced for the theatre and will showcase the work of Neil Diamond – the consummate American singer-songwriter whose deep, resounding voice and timeless tunes have made him one of the world’s most loved and lauded artists. He’s earnt numerous top-ten hits and Grammy awards, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In the lead role, Coombs is a multi-instrumentalist with a strong performance background and has been touring with the Neil Diamond show since 2021.
“I started out going to university in Sydney, Australia, studying a bachelor of music and I also studied a masters of teaching for secondary school – I’m a qualified high school teacher,” Coombs says. “I got offered a job, firstly to work as a solo performer on cruise ships. Specifically at Royal Caribbean International as a solo performer. So I’ve travelled around the world doing cruise ships and gone to many different countries – everywhere I’ve gone to, Neil Diamond was always a staple artist to be able to cover songs from. I really discovered my love for Neil Diamond songs through working on cruise ships, and that set me up for doing this show quite well.”
The show’s first tour was in New Zealand in 2021, but it didn’t come to Queenstown that time around. In addition to Coombs, there’s a talented band with members from South Africa, the UK, New Zealand and Australia that will play the well-loved classics. During the show, singing along and dancing is encouraged, as is having fun and enjoying yourself. The show is for all ages and Coombs says it’s not uncommon to see families in the audience, singing along to ‘Sweet Caroline’.
“The show is a story and timeline as to the songs that Neil Diamond wrote and the stories that went into writing them. It’s kind of like a history/biography type of show, where I explain a lot of the history behind the songs, how they were written and why they were written. But you can also expect a full costume dress up with me going through several different costume changes. The idea is to have a really good fun night, listening to music. People are free to get up and dance if they wish.”
Coombs is based in Sydney, but has been lucky enough to take the show internationally since 2021. In addition to Australia and New Zealand, the show has been across to Singapore and Canada, with their sights set on South Africa next.
Coombs wrapped up by saying that everyone who comes to the show will have a fantastic time. “It’s a big nostalgia act and we’re really excited to bring it to Queenstown for the first time, but also to do it again in New Zealand for the second time.”
Dust off your dancing shoes, get practicing your favourite Neil Diamond tunes, and get ready for a fabulous night. Neil Diamond: The Sweet Caroline Tour will take over Queenstown Memorial Centre on 28 November. More information on the show can be found at showtime.net.au and tickets are available at premier.ticketek.co.nz