BWW Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROL KING MUSICAL at Broadway Across America

BWW Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROL KING MUSICAL at Broadway Across AmericaI think we all felt the earth move a little bit at Clowes Hall this week. Beautiful, the musical of Carol King's life, is on stage now. The singer/composer famous for hits like "It's Too Late" and "You've Got a Friend" had a incredible career and the musical chronicles her rise to stardom in the 1960s.

I went into the show thinking I knew only two of King's songs, instead I was blown away by her body of work. Whether she sang the song originally or created it for another band like The Drifters or The Shirelles there were so many familiar oldies. I intentionally ignored the set list in the program until after the show because each new numbers provides a surprise as you hear her compose it with her lyricist husband. Those big reveals are half the fun of the show. In that way, the show is reminiscent of Jersey Boys. At times you hear a song in the early stages of creation and you get to watch its evolution as it moves from the songwriter's keyboard to the vocal stylings of a performer and see how it changes to reach its final iteration.

Sarah Bockel plays King and she does an incredible job conveying her grow from a young Brooklyn teen to one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. Her voice is incredible, full of the earthiness King was so famous for. Her best friend, Cynthia Weil, played by Sarah Goeke, is charismatic and provides a rapid fire dialogue and sense of humor. The supporting cast plays a slew of 1960s performers with relish. From the choreographed dances to the sequined costumes, you might as well be watching American bandstand.

Broadway Across America shows can sometimes struggle with their elaborate sets and flawless sound systems overwhelming the story or the voices of the performers. In this show the songs are the stars and it was wonderfully balanced. The action slows a bit in the second act as the drama in King's marriage hits its peak and she searches for her own voice. But the satisfying conclusion brought the audience to its feet as you see her triumph.The show is a treat for devoted fans of King's work and newcomers alike.

Don't Miss the Show
The show runs until Sunday, Feb. 4 at Clowes Memorial Hall so hurry to get tickets to the show. Tickets can be purchased at Clowes Memorial Hall, The Murat Theatre, by calling (800)-982-2787 or online at Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Photos by Matthew Murphy

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From This Author Melissa Hall

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