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The Music is Beautiful at The Carole King Musical

The Music is Beautiful at The Carole King Musical
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Jarrod Spector,Jeb Brown, Jake Epstein,  Jessie Mueller

Jeb Brown as Don Kirshner, Jake Epstein as Gerry Goffin, Jessie Mueller as Carole King, Jarrod Spector as Barry Mann and Anika Larsen as Cynthia Weil

Where were you when you first heard the song, “You’ve Got a Friend?” Carole King’s music embroiders the tapestry of our lives and you relive many a memory at Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Like Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical, this biographical musical gives the public a glimpse into the music and love life of Ms. King. Following her romance, marriage and 60’s songwriting career with her partner, Gerry Goffin, we see her rise to fame and the demise of her marriage.

Jessie Mueller, Jake Epstein,Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Jessie Mueller, Jake Epstein

Beautiful opens and ends at Carnegie Hall, then lapses back in time to Brooklyn as 16 year-old Carol Klein (Jessie Mueller) deals with her Jewish mother (Liz Larsen) who has never gotten over the fact that her husband cheated and left her for another woman. Carol, who wants to be a songwriter, bursts into rock producer Don Kirshner’s (Jeb Brown) office as Carole King. He recognizes this girl’s talent but tells her to get a lyricist. She meets aspiring playwright and lyricist Goffin (Jake Epstein) who she falls in love with. He gets her pregnant, as they become one of the top songwriting teams of the Brill Building era. Together with Barry Mann (Jarrod Spector) and Cynthia Weil (Anika Larsen) who wrote “On Broadway” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” among others, the two teams compete as songs like “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” “Up on the Roof,” “One Fine Day,” “The Locomotion” and “Pleasent Valley Sunday” go together with groups like the Drifters, the Righteous Brothers, The Shirelles, Little Eva and The Monkees.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

The Shirelle’s

As their star rises, King and Goffin’s marriage starts to disintegrate. Carole wants a home, the suburbs and a family; Goffin wants the 60’s lifestyle. He’s bi-polar, she’s a square. This was a relationship doomed to failure from the start, as Ms. King never really wanted a career as much as she wanted a family.

As the marriage ends, King starts writing songs for herself. The show climaxes with her breakthrough album “Tapestry,” with its feminist twist and hits like “It’s Too Late” and “You’ve Got a Friend.”  The story of how she ends up on stage at the Bitter End thanks to James Taylor is also included.

The music is irresistible; the choreography by Josh Prince top notch; the performers talented; the costumes by Alejo Vietti clever and Jessie Mueller is a dead ringer for Carole King. Mueller is lovable and sounds just like King, portraying her transition from lack of confidence to a woman on her own with grace.

The audience leaves happy, musically satisfied and feeling like they got their money’s worth. This is a show that is satisfying to an audience who just wants to be entertained and relive their past and who can blame them with the world so troubled. Carole King represents a sweeter time and this show delivers just that.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical: Stephen Sondheim Theater, 124 West 43rd Street

Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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