Why You Should See Beautiful–The Carole King Musical

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You need to see Beautiful–The Carole King Musical. Why? Whether you think you know Carole King’s songs or not, you’ll be surprised at how many of her songs are familiar ones you love. This musical focuses on this singer-songwriter’s career, and her journey through the hardships of life, ups and downs, and the changing scene of songwriting. Her journey (still unfolding!) can be seen through the beautiful, powerful, thoughtful songs she wrote.

Carnegie Hall. Sarah Bockel (“Carole King”). From Why You Should See Beautiful–The Carole King Musical. Photo courtesy and copyright by Joan Marcus, used with permission
Carnegie Hall. Sarah Bockel (“Carole King”)

Last night, we saw Beautiful–The Carole King Musical at Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium. First performed in 2013, this jukebox musical has been a runaway hit that leaves everyone in their seats amazed. The show oozes talent, creativity, and most of all, a passion for their work. The Tony®, GRAMMY®, and Olivier Award-winning musical is now performing on Broadway and in cities across the U.S.

1650 Broadway. (l to r) James Clow (“Don Kirshner”), Dylan S. Wallach (“Gerry Goffin”), Sarah Bockel (“Carole King”), Jacob Heimer (“Barry Mann”) and Alison Whitehurst (“Cynthia Weil”). From Why You Should See Beautiful–The Carole King Musical. Photo courtesy and copyright by Joan Marcus, used with permission
1650 Broadway. (l to r) James Clow (“Don Kirshner”), Dylan S. Wallach (“Gerry Goffin”), Sarah Bockel (“Carole King”), Jacob Heimer (“Barry Mann”) and Alison Whitehurst (“Cynthia Weil”)

A truly stand out cast filled with powerhouse vocalists filled some pretty big shoes. Sarah Bockel, as Carole, was (as expected) excellent. She modulated her voice according to the phases of her singing and songwriting life, which showed the sense of freedom she got as she progressed through her career. Her friend, Cynthia Weil  (Alison Whitehurst), played this sassy, smart lady with aplomb (and with a great voice). Carole’s husband, Gerry Goffin, was played by Dylan S. Wallach; Barry Mann was played by Jacob Heimer. The ensemble and swing parts were stars themselves, as famous musical groups such as The Drifters, The Shirelles, The Righteous Brothers, etc. All were incredible singers and dancers.

Queens College. Sarah Bockel (“Carole King”) and Dylan S. Wallach (“Gerry Goffin”). From Why You Should See Beautiful–The Carole King Musical. Photo courtesy and copyright by Joan Marcus, used with permission
Queens College. Sarah Bockel (“Carole King”) and Dylan S. Wallach (“Gerry Goffin”)

“The Locomotion.” The Touring Cast of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical. From Why You Should See Beautiful–The Carole King Musical. Photo courtesy and copyright by Joan Marcus, used with permission
“The Locomotion.” The Touring Cast of Beautiful – The Carole King Musical.

The story is upbeat, and never really places itself in one moment for too long, thus it feels grounded in its reality. The show always had us wanting more, with not a single moment where we weren’t completely captured by the performance. The writers really did a beautiful job of telling a story of a life that not only seemed more normal than we could have ever expected, but relatable. Yes, we related to Carole King.

The stage glided effortlessly between acts. One second, it was a dim office, the next, a bright stage for our musicians to sing and dance their hearts out. But this simple, classic set added more than anything. The stage truly grounded us in the story's reality, and enhanced the actors’ talents. The lighting was clever and unexpectedly witty. Kudos to the musicians (some local, hi friends!) for wonderfully enriching the story.

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“Natural Woman.” Sarah Bockel (“Carole King”)

Currently playing in Kalamazoo at Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium until March 24, 2019! Get your tickets here: https://www.millerauditorium.com/beautiful

And of course, we recommend following along on Miller Auditorium’s Instagram for cast takeovers and other goodies!

Learn more:
https://beautifulonbroadway.com/

 

All photos courtesy and copyright by Joan Marcus, used with permission (thank you!).

 

 

 

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