Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse

A vibrant and entertaining celebration of the life and music of one of the greatest singer-songwriters of our time, on stage through February 18th.

By: Jan. 14, 2024
Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse
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Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse One of the things that I love the most about musical theatre as an artform is that the genre contains multitudes. From a thrilling, bombastic and electrifying show that takes your breath away to a quieter, more introspective and emotionally devastating production, and everything in between, they are all musicals. And sometimes, a production just feels comfortable – like a favorite chair, seated by a fire on a cold winter evening – making you feel safe and putting a satisfied smile on your face. That is the case with the recent hit Broadway musical - BEAUTIFUL: THE Carole King MUSICAL which is now playing at Titusville Playhouse in Titusville, FL through February 18th. This crowd-pleasing show transports its audience to the world of 1960s songwriting and brings them along for the rise of a music legend. And in Titusville Playhouse's highly capable hands, this vibrant production captures perfectly the spirit of Carole King's storied journey, from her early days as a Brooklyn teenager to her meteoric ascent as a solo artist and does so with polish and pizzazz.

Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse BEAUTIFUL: THE Carole King MUSICAL much like the life of King herself, is a tapestry of poignant moments and highly familiar (and singable) tunes. The show's backbone is the catalog of hits written by King and her contemporaries, which are seamlessly woven together to tell her life story. Carole King, played with both vulnerability and strength by the remarkably talented Kaitlyn Jackson, is an inspiration, demonstrating the grit and tenacity necessary to succeed in a male-dominated industry. Ms. Jackson's performance of King's songs is pitch-perfect and heartfelt, delivered through a powerhouse voice that soars as she brings new depth to familiar classics like "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "You've Got a Friend," and the title song, "Beautiful."

Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse Director Steven J. Heron triumphs again with this production, bringing out the best in his cast and crew. Mr. Heron's direction ensures that the show is more than a jukebox musical; it's a thoughtful exploration of King's life, her relationships, and her growth as an artist and individual. The chemistry between Ms. Jackson’s King and her husband and songwriting partner Gerry Goffin, portrayed by the compelling Kevin W. Egan, is strong, adding a layer of realism to the highs and lows of their tumultuous relationship.

Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse Supporting characters, including Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, played by the hilarious and talented duo of Holly Fuller and Tyler McKenzie, provide humor and camaraderie, as well as a foil for the competitive, yet friendly, nature of the 1960s songwriting scene at 1650 Broadway. The show also doesn't shy away from the darker periods of King's life, lending an authenticity to the story and generating recognition for the familiarity and humanity of the artist being portrayed on stage.

Music director Spencer Crosswell ensures that each note is pitch-perfect, with the ensemble cast delivering rousing renditions of some of the era's defining songs. The choreography by Kenney M. Green, captures the essence of the '60s, from the smooth steps of the more soulful numbers to the energetic twists and jerks of rock 'n' roll. The costume and wig designs by Jordyn Linkous are a visual delight, authentically recreating the evolving fashions of the era.

Review: BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse The scenic design by Cliff Price is clever and evocative, utilizing a fabulously designed mid-century style backdrop with warm earth tones that easily transition to a functional set of six boxes that serve as a colorful backdrop for the action. Lighting designer William Gibbons-Brown effectively lights that backdrop to provide vivid splashes of color and choreographed lighting movement to mirror the dancers on stage.

Overall, BEAUTIFUL: THE Carole King MUSICAL at Titusville Playhouse is a celebration of a life in music, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a heartfelt tribute to one of the greatest singer-songwriters of our time. Audiences will definitely leave the theater humming these familiar tunes (if they can resist humming them throughout the show!) and with a newfound appreciation for the woman behind some of the most iconic music of the 20th century.

BEAUTIFUL: THE Carole King MUSICAL, presented by Titusville Playhouse, runs through February 18th. Performances take place at the Titusville Playhouse, 301 Julia Street, Titusville, FL 32796. Tickets can be purchased by visiting or calling (321) 268-1125.

All Photos by Niko Stamos, Titusville Playhouse

Headline Photo: Kaitlyn Jackson as Carole King

Top Photo: Kaitlyn Jackson as Carole King

Middle Photo 1: Shania Mundy, Gabrielle Dowdie, Nakiiya Coleman and Elaina Marie as the Shirelles

Middle Photo 2: Kaitlyn Jackson as Carole King and Kevin W. Egan as Gerry Goffin

Middle Photo 3: Tyler McKenzie as Barry Mann and Holly Fuller as Cynthia Weil

Bottom Photo: The Cast of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical


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