Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (review)

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (review)
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (review)
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THE PLAY: This bio of singer/songwriter Carole King features a calvacade of the songs she penned, interwoven with the story of her husband, her friends and her success.


THE PRODUCTION: Without seeing the show, I assumed it was a singular story of King and her music. In reality, this is a sensational production with a bustling cast and robust staging. It revolves around Julia Knitel, who plays King: Not only does she have a powerhouse voice (like every singer in the show), but her winning personality and genuine heart bring richness to her role. The trajectory of King’s career moves from the early 60’s hits she wrote with her partner (later hubby Gerry Goffin) to the solo effort that put her on the musical map (“Tapestry”). The songs are souped-up versions of their hit parade, performed with flash and style by the “original” artists. The show features genuinely funny dialogue and a snappy pace to maintain peak entertainment. Even the moments of drama are effective. The constantly-changing set suggests a “wall of sound” that, along with the colorful lighting, creates a glitzy background for the music. Running time: 2:30


THE POINT: Carole King’s hits provide the familiar highlights to this story, but it’s the winning charms of Julia Knitel that brings humanity to this splashy, superbly-staged show.


5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)


Broadway in Richmond at the Altria Thearre thru 4/30


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