Monday, 24 October 2016

Musical Review - Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

About the show:

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is a jukebox musical with a book by Douglas McGrath that tells the story of the early life and career of Carole King, using songs that she wrote, often together with Gerry Goffin, and other contemporary songs by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, Phil Spector and others.
The original production of Beautiful received its world premiere at the Curran Theatre, San Francisco, in October 2013, with direction by Marc Bruni and choreography by Josh Prince, and starring Jessie Mueller and Jake Epstein as Carole King and Gerry Goffin, respectively. It made its Broadway debut at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre in January 2014. A West End production starring Katie Brayben as Carole began in February 2015. A U.S. tour launched in September 2015.

My opinion: 

I'd like to start this musical review with a question I got from the woman sitting next to me during the show: "Do you even know these songs, you look so young?!"

Well my answer: "Yes, I do! I love music, I love musical theatre and these songs are wonderful."

And now, before I properly start talking about the show, I have to say one more thing. When it got dark and the music dtarted I got really emotional. I had to think back to Chess, I was on stage just about 2 weeks ago and the moment before the dhow starts is always exciting. It all reminded me of my own experience and made me miss it again.

Beautiful tells the story of Carole King, her journey into writing music and becoming a singer. On the way we meet her husband Gerry Goffin and also another composer's couple: Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. They write songs for different groups, always trying to become the new number one hit. There are different ensembles performing the songs and then there is also plenty of storyline about their lives. The marriage of Carole and Gerry plays a big role.

The songs of this musical are actually what makes it so great! The music is amazing!!! I had difficulties warming up to Cassidy Janson, who played Carole, she is a fab actress and that really came across. Her singing kind of bothered me and I never that I would say that about someone on the west end. She pressed too much for me and it had a "out of the nose sound". She sounded good in the high passages, using "kopfstimme". She might be a belter and yes the nose thing could come from the american accent, but I just didn't like it.
The guy playing Gerry was cute and had a lovely voice.
The ones I adored and loved were Lorna Want and Ian McIntosh, who portrayed Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann. They had great chemistry on stage, did a fab job acting wise and had wonderful voices.

All the ensemble numbers were great as well. The show has some funny elements, which is really refreshing and I even had to cry when they sang "You've Got a Friend", it's also one of my fave songs ever.

Beautiful is definitely a show worth seeing, there are different kinds of music styles, funny moments and a lot of emotions!!!

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