Review of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Review by Tracey Lawie, Miller Auditorium

My cassette tape of Tapestry got me through my freshman year of college. While the album was released in 1971, two years after I was born, it took me until 1987 to discover Carole King's first recording of her own music. I grew up knowing her songs, but never really paid much attention to them until I was gifted the cassette just before leaving for college. But knowing the music, and finding out about the woman behind all of those amazing songs are two different things altogether.
I first saw Beautiful on Broadway with the original cast in 2014. I was blown away. I had no idea about Carole King’s history – getting her first song produced when she was only 16, her tumultuous relationship with her husband and song-writing partner Gerry Goffin, her decades-long friendship and friendly competition with song writing duo Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, and her ultimate writing and recording of her first solo album, Tapestry.
The show is, like the title says, Beautiful. Audiences are treated to an extraordinary walk through musical history nirvana, all by the ultra-talented Carole King. There are plenty of funny moments thrown in and you can’t help but tap your feet and sway along to the tunes.
I recently had the opportunity to catch the tour of the show--with several other Miller Auditorium staff members--when it made a pit stop in Grand Rapids. It was every bit as entertaining and delightful as when I saw it in NYC. I highly recommend you catch it the next time it comes to a theatre near you!