A little over two years ago, I sat in the audience at the Academy of Music in Center City Philadelphia eager to witness one of the most talked about musicals at the time. And boy was I not only not disappointed, it ended up being one of my favorite theater experiences to date. I am of course speaking of BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL which will make its return to Broadway Philadelphia at the Academy of Music January 8 – January 20, 2019.
Here’s my description of the play from 2016:
The production is a jukebox experience that follows the story of King’s rise to superstardom – from her teenage aspirations to become a songwriter, to her collaborations with former husband Gerry Goffin, to her setting records as one of the most successful solo artists in music history – with her landmark album “Tapestry.”
The play is also a clever synopsis of King’s life behind the music – including her marital joys and pains – and involves several key characters, including friends and fellow hit makers Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil whose music is also prominently featured, and smartly placed, in the production.
I’d also made mention that Carole King is one of my favorite songwriters of all time, and I believe you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who attends this production, and wasn’t one prior, that isn’t a fan when they leave. Some attendees may not know that Ms. King wrote many of the classic hits that he or she might be familiar – such as Locomotion by Little Eva, Up on the Roof by The Drifters, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles, and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman made famous by the late Aretha Franklin.
The play has received two 2014 Tony® Awards and a 2015 Grammy® for Best Musical Theater Album.