Beautiful – The Carole King Musical is the story of Carole King’s life and musical career. Peppered with joy, success, difficulties and heartache, this story draws the audience in to the recording industry world from the 1950s and 1960s. The highly talented cast, led by Esther Hannaford in the lead role as Carole King, exhibit the enthusiasm and excitement that is synonymous with the music from that era.
King’s story is interspersed with the hits she was responsible for as a writer. Songs like ‘On Broadway’, ‘The Loco-Motion’, and ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’ punctuate the scenes, starting with King composing them on the piano, and finishing with the cameos from the groups that made them famous.
The story itself is bittersweet. King’s life was certainly a difficult one. She became preganant at a very young age, rushed into a marriage, had a husband who cheated on her and suffered from mental illness and substance abuse. Through all of that she maintained a very successful career as a musician and lyricist. King’s husband, Gerry Goffin, is played by Josh Piterman who captures his erratic mood swings and signs of mental illness perfectly.
The finale of the show is the title track, ‘Beautiful’, from King’s 1971 solo album Tapestry, sung at Carnegie Hall. Hannaford captures the power and self determination of King so perfectly that the theatre is enveloped with a warmth that one does not expect from a modern musical. The standing ovation that the cast and musicians receive is testament to the stellar effort in all aspects, whether it be acting, choreography, or singing prowess.
Whether you have grown up with King’s music, or you think you know nothing of it, this musical is sure to entertain you. And get ready to stand up and dance with the cast as they give you one last rendition of ‘I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet’, it’s a pretty special feeling dancing with hundreds of other people with massive smiles on their faces.
Moni is a closet SmoothFM listener. It is no surprise that she knew all the songs in the Carole King Musical.. Follow her on Twitter @_MoniMonsta_.