Carole King is a wildly successful singer and songwriter. She has co-wrote 118 songs that made the Billboard Hot 100 between 1955 and 1999. The Broadway Musical Beautiful The Carole King Musical features some of King’s biggest hits and a story of her early life. It is a bit slow to begin with, especially when King is just starting to get established. But it picks up in the second half to tell a full story complete with engaging music.
The play opens to King (Kaylee Harwood) at her piano at a concert in New York. The stage then changes to King at her mothers place and shows her relationship with music. She was already writing songs and music at the age of 16. She sells one song and winds up meeting Gerry Goffin (Dylan S. Wallach) who becomes her partner in writing and her partner in life. They marry when she finds out she is pregnant. They start writing songs together for different groups, songs like Some kind of wonderful and One fine day. The duo has friendly competition with their songwriting friends Cynthia Weil (Alison Whitehurst) and Barry (Jacob Heimer).
But Gerry struggles to manage his own mental wellness and wants to be with different women. King lets him do what he needs but eventually decides to leave Gerry to the relief of the audience. She moves on to find success in singing her own music.
The music and choreography of the songs are strong but are not overpowering. Carole King’s songs shine on stage, from big hits to quiet numbers at the piano. The narrative is a slow to begin but picks up by the second half.
Broadway Across Canada’s Beautiful the Carole King Musical runs in Edmonton until Sunday November 11th. More information is available online.