Playbill Program Book
The play starred Abby Mueller (her sister, Jessie Mueller, who also starred as Carole King in the Broadway Musical, won the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role) as King, Liam Tobin as Gerry Goffin, Becky Gulsvig as Cynthia Weil, and Ben Fankhauser as Barry Mann. Since they had to also represent various bands and characters, this play had some of the largest cast I've seen in a production (over 24 actors)... plus the center piece piano that is always in a scene.
Carole King, she is one of the most successful songwriters in the world, having written, or co-written over 100 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.... although pre-1971, you'd never knew her name as her songs were recorded by other artists, such as Bobby Vee, The Shirelles, The Drifters, etc. Fans of late 50s and 60s bands will be delighted to see them brought to life on the stage, complete with wonderful choreographed dancing and matching outfits.
The musical only cover her story from her first sold song at 16 to the launch of her debut solo album Tapestry (which sold over 10 million copies, winning four Grammys, including Album of the Year).
In the first act, it focused on the two songwriting duos: King/Goffin and Weil/Mann. Although the two were rivals, they were also close friends. Not only did the play represent King/Goffin's songs, but also some of the Weil/Mann hit songs.
In the second act, the focus seemed to be on Gerry Goffin, who was disillusioned and unhappy that he married so young (he was 20 when he married King, after she became pregnant at 17). He was having affairs, and King eventually left him. Although it felt like it was all leading up to her solo Tapestry album, near the end, it felt rushed.
The show ended with King playing her concert at Carnegie Hall. It wrapped up nice, as Goffin returned to apologize for being such a jerk and called back to when they first met and he said if she wanted to play Carnegie Hall she had to learn Bach. They ended the play with King, at Carnegie, playing to "Beautiful".
The play is officially over, and the entire cast came on stage for introduction and a final bow. Although the song listing did not include "I Feel The Earth Move", that was actually the final song.
To make for an entertaining story, some of the facts were switched around or even omitted. For example, officially, King's first commissioned single was "The Right Girl", but for the musical, they used "It Might as Well Rain Until September", or her first album was Writer, but the play largely ignored the debut album. If the play's purpose is to lead up to Tapestry, obviously her most successful release, then it made a lot of sense to leave out some of the irrelevant events or characters.
If you're a fan of live musical, you definitely will want to attend a show. It is a lot of fun, and the musical numbers will bring back a lot of wonderful memories.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical will continue to the Oriental Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, from December 1st to February 21st.
12/01/16-02/21/16 Chicago, IL Oriental Theatre
02/23/16-03/06/16 St. Louis, MO Fabulous Fox Theatre
03/08/16-03/13/16 Rochester, NY Auditorium Theatre
03/15/16-03/20/16 Buffalo, NY Shea's Perf Arts Ctr
03/22/16-04/03/16 Philadelphia, PA Kimmel Ctr
04/05/16-04/17/16 Cleveland, OH Connor Palace
04/19/16-04/24/16 Charlotte, NC Blumenthal Perf
04/26/16-05/01/16 Tampa, FL David A. Straz Jr.
05/03/16-05/08/16 Orlando, FL Dr. Phillips Center
05/10/16-05/22/16 Fort Lauderdale, FL Broward Ctr
05/24/16-05/29/16 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre
05/31/16-06/05/16 Houston, TX Hobby Center
06/07/16-06/19/16 Dallas, TX AT&T Perf Arts Ctr
06/22/16-07/17/16 Los Angeles, CA Pantages Theatre
07/19/16-07/31/16 Denver, CO Temple Hoyne Buell
08/02/16-08/07/16 San Diego, CA San Diego Civic Theatre
08/09/16-09/18/16 San Francisco, CA Orpheum Theatre
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at Orpheum, Minneapolis (25 Nov 2015)