BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, a real life, turned Broadway tale of the life and music of legendary song writer Carole King hits the stage at San Jose’s Center for Performing Arts this week.
BEAUTIFUL opens up with a lone Carole King (played by Sarah Bockel), seated at a piano playing a homecoming concert at a packed Carnegie Hall. Flash back to when Carole was a young Carol Joan Klein, a teenage Brooklyn girl with dreams of writing music for the biggest stars. After getting her big break selling a song on Broadway, Caroel goes to work for Don Kirshner (James Clow) while attending school at the insistence of her mother.
At school, Carole falls in love with Gerry Goffin (Andrew Brewer) and before long they are married after finding out Carole is pregnant. Together Carole and Gerry are a pop song writing powerhouse. Much of BEAUTIFUL is told through the parade of hits penned by King and Goffin as well as their good friends and creative competition Barry Mann (Jacob Heimer) and Cyntiha Weil (Sarah Goeke). Combined, these 2 song writing duos are responsible for some of the greatest pop hits of the era.
BEAUTIFUL elegantly balances the story of Carole’s life with a musical walk through history. Rather than being a musical revue, each song helps move the story along culminating in the moment Carole moves out into the stage. When Carole is faced with the challenge of a crumbling marriage she comes into her own pouring her emotion into her breakthrough album Tapestry, which topped the US charts for 15 weeks. Her triumph and success are the spirit of the show.
BEAUTIFUL shines as a show largely due in part to a stellar performance by Sarah Bockel who exudes the nervous vulnerability and creative strength that defines King’s music. Supported by a strong cast of supporting players and musical talent, BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL is a delightful production filled with great music and a message of perseverance. If you only know and love Carole King for her music, this BEAUTIFUL will also leave you loving her for the person she is.
BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL plays now through Sunday, November 19 at the Center for Performing Arts (255 Almaden Blvd.). Tickets for BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL are available at www.broadwaysanjose.com or by calling 800-982-ARTS (2787).