Will Chilina Kennedy Be Broadway's Next 'Carole King'? Jessie Mueller to Lead BEAUTIFUL National Tour?
According to the Toronto Star, Chilina Kennedy, who made her Broadway debut in 2012's Jesus Christ Superstar, will soon be filling Tony winner Jessie Mueller's shoes. The Toronto-based actress will reportedly join the Broadway production of BEAUTIFUL as 'Carole King' in early 2015, when current star Mueller leaves to lead the national tour.
Update: BEAUTIFUL representative Rick Miramontez just revealed in a statement: "There is no official deal in place, and Jessie Mueller remains with the show."
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Chilina just finished performing her own original music and selections from her seasons at Stratford in a concert calledWhat You Find In A Bottle as part of Stratford's Forum Series. She was last seen on stage as Nellie in Drayton's South Pacific and a "Blame Canada" concert in Toronto, featuring some of Canada's hottest new musical theatre writers and composers. Recent credits include the starring role in Ross Petty's The Little Mermaid (Toronto Critics' Award) and the world premiere of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, in which she originated the role of Phoebe at Hartford Stage and The Old Globe in San Diego (San Diego and Hartford Outer Critics nominations). In 2012 Chilina starred as Mary Magdalene in Des McAnuff's Tony nominated production of Jesus Christ Superstar on Broadway. JCS was the hit of Stratford's 2011 season, and also ran at the La Jolla Playhouse. Chilina made her Stratford debut in 2009 as Maria in West Side Story and Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which also ran at the Canon Theatre in Toronto.
Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock 'n' roll. But it wasn't until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. Beautiful 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.
With a book by playwright and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni and choreography by Josh Prince, Beautiful features a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil.