Review: Beautiful, The Carole King Musical

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical has arrived in Belfast this week.

Some of you may not know who Carole King is, but you will know her iconic songs once you hear them. That’s where this musical steps in, to remind you of the music, and to learn about the journey from a girl with an extraordinary talent to a chart topping music legend.

Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of Carole King's remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit song-writing team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.

Carole didn’t only write music for her generation; her hits continue to appeal to all generations; they include (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, You've Got a Friend,The Locomotion, I Feel The Earth Move and It’s Too Late amongst many many others.

For me, the Tapestry album first entered my radar in 1992 as I inter-railed around Europe and stayed in a cousin’s house in Belgium for a couple of days. I was looking at their album collection and came across Tapestry; to this day I still occasionally listen to it.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is an education in music and a life. I assumed it all started with Tapestry, but there was a decade of hits before that; and my biggest surprise was The Locomotion. How did I not know this?

Molly-Grace Cutler as Carole King was amazing, I can’t now imagine anyone else playing the part. Singing live. playing the piano, and pulling us into Carole’s world, all supported by an energetic and talented cast, and a live band.

Beautiful has so much to pack in to one night that it only has time to touch on topics, and shortens the full story of this music icon. When you’ve written over 100 hits it’s impossible to portray that journey fully. But if you love the music of the 60’s and early 70’s you’ll love this jukebox musical, you’ll love the energy of the cast and you’ll love learning just enough about Carole King to do what I did and come home and start Googling for more details.

A great night of hits and life stories.

Jeff

Grand Opera House, Belfast until Saturday 1st October

http://www.goh.co.uk

Beautiful

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