Monday, May 23, 2022

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, A Review


"BEAUTIFUL – The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation."

What a way to perfectly sum up the musical I was able to see Friday night.

From the minute Sara Sheperd stepped on stage to the moment she took her final curtain call, I was mesmerized. Yes, almost all the muscials and Broadway shows I go see are good. Most, in fact, are fantastic.

The talent is bar none. The story lines well written.

But - this is the first musical story I have seen in a long time that was FUN. Yes, it has its serious moments and darker side, but it was overwhelmingly light, funny, and filled with excellent sing-a-long songs. My friend and I both commented, while walking out, that we would definitely love to see this one again.

I think if you saw the show more than once, it would give you the opportunity to "relax," not so much pay attention to the story line but allow you to enjoy the acting and the music we are all so familiar with.

Both Sara and James Gish (who playes Gerry Goffin, Carole's first husband) are outstanding in representing the characters they play. The encapsulate their personalities on point - fire and brimstone - love and hate - dedication and betrayal.

Sara King and Ryan Farnsworth represent Carole and Gerry's best friends and closest songwriting competitors Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann respectively.

Together, these four individuals wrote some of our Country's most iconic tunes to date. I believe it was their chemical makeup and balance - that fire and brimstone - that burning desire to commitment and betrayal - their ying and yang, so to speak - that sparked and fueled their creative geniuses.

Throughout the two-hour plus musical, we go on a journey with them, as they go from talented unknowns hired by Don Kirshner (played by Matt Loehr) to best friends, sparing competitors, and America's most successful songwriters. It is fun to tag along and see songs come to life, but it is also eye-opening watching the emotions and growth flow between them all.

We see the struggles of marriage, mental illness, and eventually substance abuse enter Carole's life. We see how she eventually walks away from these demons and through her own strength and determination begins to carve out a career eventually becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.

The musical does not emcompass all of Carole's life. Instead it stops at her separation from Goff - capping off our evening together with her debut at Carnegie Hall.

I am so glad, after doing a quick Google search and internet check on Carole's life, that Beautiful's creative team decided to cap the musical at this point. It makes the leaving the evening fun and positive and yearning for more.

Did you know that (so far), Beautiful has played 1,586 performances in 160 cities to almost 3 million attendees? This is its sixth season (starting in 2015)! (I literally had no idea...)

Sony Pictures has announced they will turn Beautiful into a major motion picture that will be directed by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, and Paul Blake. I can't wait to see it and relive the history again. It's easy to see why attendees keep coming back.

Do yourself a favor and head to The Fox Theatre before this show leaves town. Read my article here on how college students can get discounted tickets. Read my other post on the background of this show, and keep your eyes peeled for The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (Ghostlight Records), which won the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. It is available on CD, digitally, and on vinyl. 

Update: This article was written before Beatiful - The Carole King Musical had to cancel both perfomances on May 22, due to positive Covid diagnoses.

Tickets can be obtained by visiting or

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(Disclosure: I was provided with a pair of tickets to see Beautiful - The Carole King Musical for the purpose of promoting, public relations, and reviews of this musical. All opinions and viewpoints are strictly my own and have not been influenced by the providers.)

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