A wet Wednesday night in Hanley, and my daughter and I dodged the downpours and headed to watch Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, and it was quite the education!
When we arrived I knew two things about Carole King; 1) she wrote & sang the theme tune to Gilmore Girls – Where You Lead, which is the song my daughter & I call our song, and 2) she dated Neil Sedaka, who wrote Oh Carole about her.
If there was a definitive soundtrack to the 60’s, Carole King would feature heavily in the credits. From The Shirelles ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’, ‘Take Good Care of My Baby’ by Bobby Vee, to ‘The Locomotion’, sung by Little Eva (who happened to be the former baby sitter of King & her husband & writing partner Gerry Goffin’s daughter!), King & Goffin were a force to be reckoned with, and were the creative minds behind some of the biggest acts in rock n roll.
The show tells the tale of King’s battle to be taken seriously as a female songwriter, and how she overcomes shyness to become a phenomenal performer in her own right.
The cast spun their tale brilliantly, and we were jigging in our seats throughout the whole show. Bronté Barbé dazzled with her performance as King, and Amy Ellen Richardson blew us away with her powerful vocals as King’s best friend & fellow writer Cynthi Weil. “Cameos” from the various legends that sung King & Goffin hits had us singing & bopping, and there was laughs and sadness along the way too. We absolutely loved the rendition of ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’ by the Righteous Brothers!
Whilst King & Goffin’s music was the background to the 60’s, her solo work is also some of the most recognisable songs of the 70’s and 80’s. If you love 60’s music then Beautiful is most definitely the show for you, and I guarantee, unless you’re a Carole King superfan, you’ll utter the phrase “I didn’t know she wrote that!” at least once!