At 18 years old, Micaela Diamond was faced with a choice. The graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School could either continue her musical-theater education at Carnegie Mellon University, or she could stay in New York City and make her Broadway debut alongside some of her musical-theater idols. She chose the latter.
Now, Diamond stars as Babe, the youngest of the three Chers in The Cher Show at the Neil Simon Theatre. At just 19, she shares the stage nightly with Stephanie J. Block. Teal Wicks, and Jarrod Spector to tell the six-decade-long story of the rise of Grammy-, Emmy-, and Oscar-winning international pop star and actress Cher.
Diamond and I hopped on a quick call before a performance, and we discussed her admiration of Shakespeare, the phenomenon she dubs “Cher-apy,” and her favorite thing to do in Central Park.
1. What inspired you to become an actor?
I was in a musical when I was very young. I saw Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, and I walked out of the theatre and I told my mom I want to do nothing else but be on that stage, I have to be on that stage. And that was kind of the first thing that inspired me. So I would say, after Beauty and the Beast at 3 years old. I knew what I wanted to do at 3.
Well, I mean, look at you. If you know, you know.
I know, I got it.
2. Who in your field inspires you?
Oh, 90 people just popped into my head. Right now I would say Stephanie J. Block is a big one. Shakespeare is a big one for me. [Laughs] Stephanie J. Block, Jarrod Spector, like, everyone I work with. But those are probably my top: Stephanie J. Block and Shakespeare.
What is it about those two that leaves you feeling inspired?
They tell the truth of the moment. Wherever SJB is that day, that’s the truth she tells, and that is really cool. And Shakespeare is Shakespeare. He has lasted for all these years and his stories are all the stories we have today. Just different versions. And I think that’s really cool. He knew what the 20-odd-some stories would be to reenact for the rest of our lives, which is brilliant.
3. What do audiences love about The Cher Show?
I would say female empowerment — leaving the theatre with a sense of their own power as a woman. And the “Cher-apy” moments of our show, like watching people talk to their older and younger selves, is super-interesting, and they leave the theatre realizing how cool that is and that they do the same thing.
4. If you didn’t have to sleep at night, what would you spend your time doing?
Reading! I would read all the classics! And plays — I would read plays on plays. I mean, really all kinds of books. I would read a lot more fiction. And I would also watch very good movies. Oh, my God, I wish I could do that now.
So what qualifies as a very good movie? It sounds like you have a list ready to go.
I definitely have a list. I would watch 20th Century Woman, Sing Street, My Cousin Vinny, Frances Ha, over and over again. Oh, Good Will Hunting. I’d just watch them over and over again.
5. What is the one thing that anyone visiting New York City has to do besides, obviously, going to see a Broadway show?
Go to Central Park. I f–king love people-watching. Or going on one of those boats in Central Park. It’s just so fun to live in the nature of a city. I also think it’s beautiful to see all the different personalities walking around. I would spend a lot of time there if I could.