Beautiful on Broadway

JERSEY BOYS, the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, graced the Broadway stage in 2005.  Since then it has toured extensively in the United States and Internationally and has become a major hit.  The new Carole King musical BEAUTIFUL has the potential to parallel that creative piece of theater. She is an iconic musician who started writing in the 1950’s and has made 25 solo albums.

The story of BEAUTIFUL starts when Carole is in her late teens and is trying to sell her music to an office in New York City.  In school, she meets a boy who quickly becomes her husband and they have two daughters at a young age.  The musical is based around their relationship, the songs they wrote together and how Carole broke off on her own.

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So many of the songs are one’s the audience members knew.  They were toe tapping, head bobbing, clever ditties that were hard not to sing-a-long to.  There were a few times I cried “happy tears” and by the end, my cheeks were sore from delight.

Jessie Mueller who played Carole was charming.  Her voice sounded like Carole’s and she was captivating to watch.  Her emotions bled through in everything she was doing on stage.  Growing up on the TV show “Degrassi” I have always been a fan of Jake Epstein.  It was a treat to see him live.  However, there were times he was overshadowed by Jessie’s performance.  He seemed a bit meek.  His clear toned voice is wonderful, he just needs to own his performance more.  The ensemble was powerful when all together.  Unfortunately, when each person sang solos, they weren’t the best.  Anika Larsen who played Cynthia Weil was an odd casting choice.  She was somewhat boring to watch at times and seemed like she was giving less than everyone else on stage.  Jarrod Spector who played Barry Mann was loveable and a great supporting actor.

The costumes designed by Alejo Vietti and moving set pieces crafted by Derek McLane, were to die for.  Platforms, pianos, furniture and other props glided on and off stage, which was magnificent to see.  The ensemble had many costume changes and all were spectacular.  Everything was colorful and esthetically pleasing.

This is a show I plan to shout from the mountain tops about.  It has something for everyone and I advise you to head to the Stephen Sondheim Theatre and get your tickets now!  For more information on the show check out: http://beautifulonbroadway.com/

Rating: To Be

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