Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Opened: Jan. 12, 2014
Starring: Jessie Mueller, Jake Epstein, Anika Larsen and Jarrod Spector
Book by: Douglas McGrath
Music and Lyrics by: Barry Mann, Carole King, Cynthia Weil, Gerry Goffin
Directed by: Marc Bruni
Choreographed by: Josh Prince
Synopsis: Follows the life of Carole King from her youth as a teenager in Brooklyn to her career as a songwriter for other artists — penning hits like “The Locomotion” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” — before becoming a star in her own right.
EW review: “The show’s occasional infelicities seem less glaring by the end of the second act, as King comes into her own as a solo artist. Mueller, too, seems to rise to her moment in the spotlight, bringing real depth and feeling to ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ and the title number. Shedding her permed ‘do for King’s familiar frizzy mop, she completes the physical transformation we’ve come to expect from the modern-day princess story. She’s as beautiful as she feels.” B+ –Thom Geier
Listen to This: “You’ve Got a Friend”
Nominations: 7 — Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Douglas McGrath), Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Jessie Mueller), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Jarrod Spector), Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical (Anika Larsen), Best Sound Design of a Musical (Brian Ronan), and Best Orchestrations (Steve Sidwell)
Fun Fact: King was very reluctant to see her life played out on stage and didn’t do any publicity for the show during previews or opening. In April, King attended Beautiful in disguise so as not to be recognized by the audience or the cast. During a post-show speech for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, King surprised the entire cast by joining them onstage, and then raised $30,000 for the organization by auctioning off a sing-a-long.
Odds of Winning: A real contender.
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