Very simple yet very entertaining, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is a bio jukebox musical, showcasing a wide array of the legendary singer-songwriter’s best works told through a series of musical vignettes, beginning with her solo sessions at her living room to her first Carnegie Hall concert in 1971.
I found that what Beautiful did to set itself apart from its genre is by not merely relying on Carole King’s works but also utilizing Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil‘s materials to effectively tell an actual biography instead of working the songs into the story. Told as a flashback during the Carnegie Hall concert, it then becomes a non-complicated linear narrative.
The North American National Tour, which was the performance I caught, features a very talented set of leads: Sarah Bockel (Carole King), Dylan S. Wallach (Gerry Goffin), Alison Whitehurst (Cynthia Weil), and Jacob Heimer (Barry Mann) backed by a company that manages to shine without taking away any essential feel of the show. With tremendous amount of talent on stage, spectacular sets, lighting, and a solid book, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical can be described just as that!