Music is the expression of emotions. It is an undeniable sound with perfect lyrics, harmony, vocal or instrumental sounds. It can produce a flood of memories– some good and some bad. One woman, in particular, contributed to the soundtrack of a generation with a collection of songs that instantly became classic, timeless hits.
“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” is based on the fascinating life of one of the greatest songwriters and performers in musical history. Carole King’s story is breathtaking, heartwarming, joyous and heartbreaking all rolled into one spectacular night of musical theater.
This feel-good play is an excellent story about how a woman fought her way into the record business as a teenager, only to find that sometimes the way you want things to go, doesn’t always happen as planned; but still, sometimes the other way can bring about something beautiful.
The musical tells the inspiring true story of the early life and career of Carole King played by Sarah Bockel, who was phenomenal, believable and relatable. The show begins with Carole singing “So Far Away” at Carnegie Hall in 1971 and then it flashes to her backstory.
Carole Klein, the Brooklyn native, composes her first hit song, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” in 1959 when she is 17, pregnant and newly married to 20-year-old lyricist Gerry Goffin (Andrew Brewer).
In the decade to follow, Carole used songs that she wrote, often together with her husband Gerry that changed the music world. These great hits were sung by The Drifters (“Some Kind of Wonderful”) and The Righteous Brothers (“You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”) as well as The Shirelles (“Will You Love Me Tomorrow”) and Little Eva (“The Loco-Motion”).
With the competitive friendship with another hit songwriting team of Barry Mann (Jacob Heimer) and Cynthia Weil (Sarah Goeke), this double team duo formed songs that made many singers great. Along with the help of a Time Square music publisher and producer named Don Kirshner (James Clow) known as “The Man With The Golden Ear,” the world of music was transformed.
The play featured some fantastic groups from the 60’s, which was superb from the opening of Sarah coming on the stage as Carole King to the end where she sings her famous song “I Feel the Earth Move.” Most of the singers were good, however, the gentlemen that played The Drifters performed them to perfection, down to their dance moves, which were flawless.
Sarah Goeke as Cynthia Weil and Jacob Heimer as Barry Mann were equally outstanding. Combined with Sarah and Gerry, they provided the core of a masterpiece performance of joy, excitement and a simply splendid good-ole time all around.
It wasn’t until Carole King’s personal life started falling apart that she found her voice by stepping out of the shadows and starting over with “Tapestry,” a deeply personal collection of songs that becomes one of the best-selling albums of all time.
King is the most celebrated and iconic singer/songwriter of all time, and this musical hitmaker has a playlist that continues to live on in our hearts. To date, Carole King has more than 400 of her songs that have been recorded by approximately 1,000 artists (according to her website).
Director Marc Bruni does an impressive job of bringing the book from Douglas McGrath to life on stage, and “Beautiful” is sure to delight your soul and make your heart sing all the way home.
It’s a play that we would love to see again and again and again!
We highly recommend this joyous celebration of Carole King’s memorable and classic hits because it is “Some Kind of Wonderful!”
The Cast Includes:
Carole King (Sarah Bockel)
Genie Klein (Suzanne Grodner)
Betty (Elena Ricardo)
Neil Sedaka (John Michael Dias)
Lucille (Marla Louissaint)
Don Kirshner (James Clow)
Gerry Goffin (Andrew Brewer)
The Drifters (Josh A. Dawson, Jay McKenzie (12/5-12/3/17), Dimitri Joseph Moise (1/2-1/28/18), Avery Smith, Kristopher Stanley Ward
Cynthia Weil (Sarah Goeke)
Barry Mann (Jacob Heimer)
The Shirelles (McKynleigh Alden Abraham)
Little Eva (Alexis Tidwell)
The Righteous Brothers (John Michael Dias, Matt Faucher)
“One Fine Day” Backup Singers (Traci Elaine Lee, Marla Louissant, Alexis Tidwell
Nick (Matt Faucher)
Marilyn Wald (Aashley Morgan)
“Uptown” Singer (Traci Elaine Lee)
Lou Adler (John Michael Dias)