We all have a soundtrack to our lives; there are songs that resonate with us and make us feel as if they were written specifically for us. Carole King, the subject of the Broadway musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, has the gift of doing just that – writing songs that people can identify with. I recently saw the show and loved the catchy songs, the immense talent on stage and the feel-good story that, although bittersweet at times, has heart. Beautiful the Musical on Broadway: Filled with Upbeat Music and High Emotions
The show revolves around Carole King, her rise to stardom and her relationship with her then-husband Gerry Goffin. It’s about how the songs that Carole wrote together with Gerry reflected various periods in her life. One of the main themes in the story is going after your dreams, having them change a few times along the way and finding new dreams. The show ends with Carole finding her own voice (literally and figuratively) and coming out with Tapestry, an album that proved to the world what she is capable of.
The performance that I attended had understudy Sara Sheperd portraying Carole; it was spectacular and so was Sara. Her voice had an incredible range and it was such a pleasure to listen to her belt out the nonstop hits. She physically also seemed to embody Carole King. It’s a funny thing about Broadway: even if you get the understudy, you still get a world-class performer. You can’t find this anywhere else in the world, it is truly a phenomenon.
There’s a number of musicals that are about musicians and how they became famous. I have seen a few, including Jersey Boys, which is about Frankie Valli and On Your Feet, about the life of Gloria Estefan. Both shows were excellent in their own way; what sets Beautiful apart is that there’s an added dimension which allows the audience to get a glimpse of Carole King’s inner feelings and what drives her. For example, the part where she’s watching a performance of a song that she wrote – One Fine Day, performed by a singer named Janelle – Carole is suddenly singing the song on her own. When we realize that she is singing about her own life and how the song relates to her – this is Broadway at its finest. Simply put, the show has heart. Miles ‘n miles ‘n miles of heart.
Beautiful is playing at the Stephen Sondheim Theater, 124 West 43rd St, NYC. For tickets you can call Telecharge (212) 239-6200 or click here. It’s appropriate for kids ages 11 and up.
I was not compensated for this post. I received tickets to the show.
Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman is a freelance writer and has written for several blogs, including The Huffington Post. She has been living in the New York City area for eighteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree, but blogging is her true passion. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids (ages 11, 9 and 6) and loves finding great products for her family.