Beautiful, currently playing until November 11th with Broadway Across Canada, manages to weave the iconic music of Carole King wonderfully with the first part of her life and career. Sarah Bockel, as King, is terrific. She embodies the sound and look of King without caricature, and manages to convincingly shift through the stages of her life from a 16 year-old aspiring songwriter, to young mother, to the vocal powerhouse who creates and performs Tapestry. Although the entire cast is great, it's Bockel that the audience rose to their feet for. The role is bigger than life, much like King herself.
The music is all recognizable, although you may not have been aware that King wrote them (mostly with her ex-husband Gerry Goffin), and the show cleverly creates tension by showing the competition between rival songwriters (and friends) Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil (played with great humour and intelligence by Jacob Heimer and Alison Whitehurst). The result is a score with dimension and a very cool peek inside the hit-maker factory world of the 1950s-60s. You can see how the competitive environment produced all those iconic songs.
See the show - it's funny, and the music will make you laugh and cry and smile. I wanted to sing along and to be honest I've been singing the songs since I left the theatre!
Beautiful runs until November 11th.
Click here for more information or for tickets.
p.s. Gilmore Girls fans will appreciate the musical Easter Egg in the score...
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