Review: ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’

Contributing Editor Jim Gladstone offers a sneak peek at the Broadway-bound Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

Jessie Mueller (photo: Nathan Johnson)
Jessie Mueller (photo: Nathan Johnson)

Singer-songwriter Carole King sewed up her status as a smart, sensitive, women’s lib-era icon with the classic 1971 album,Tapestry. The theatrical version of her life story— currently in a pre-Broadway run in San Francisco—is more of a patchwork affair. The show is enormously entertaining thanks to the outstanding cast’s performances of hits by King, her first husband Gerry Goffin, and their compatriot songwriting couple Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, but Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is also stiltedly dutiful to the formulas of standard-issue celebrity biography and the contemporary jukebox musical.

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