‘Her name is Carole king. Her story is beautiful.’
Before the show I knew very little about this musical or it’s protagonist, Carole King; only that it had received rave reviews in Broadway for many years! Yet what I found was that this incredibly lively musical was filled with song after song of hits that I knew very well including ‘Will you love me tomorrow’, ‘A natural woman’ and my personal favourite ‘The Locomotion’, featuring the full dance routine. In fact, this musical was basically like attending a 1960/70s medley concert and all the stars were there!
The story followed the life of Carole king, the composer of the great tunes in this musical, from her first record signing at 16-years-old to her life with husband, and songwriting partner, Gerry Goffin. The style consisted of a song being composed and sung by the two main characters then often being continued or repeated by the incredible ensemble who mimicked the performances of groups that rose to fame with these hits at the time. Including Little Eva who was actually King and Goffins’ daughters’ babysitter before she sang Locomotion which reached number one in the US! Although this format did make the story kind of stop-start, which reduced the emotional involvement I felt with some of the characters, but this was eclipsed by the catchy tunes and the brilliant performances. In particular, the main actress Bronte Barbe who must have had over fifteen songs in the space of two hours. Yet this did nothing to slow her performance, each song was performed effortlessly with enthusiasm and the most incredible voice that had the much-needed strength to perfect this character.
This show is filled of wonderful toe-tapping songs, stunning costumes and an incredible cast that really is worth a watch, and is the little uplift needed at the start of a new year!
Due to its success and sold out shows in November Beautiful will be returning on the 31st January-03 Feb 2018 to the Birmingham Hippodrome. Get your tickets here: www.birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/beautiful-carole-king-musical-2/