Carole King was the artist behind many classic songs in the 60’s & 70’s (both with and without Gerry Goffin), over 20 of which show up in this entertaining jukebox musical. King’s early song writing years are relayed here within a touching storyline.
The curtain goes up with Carole performing at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1971, unable to believe the success of her classic album Tapestry. The story then jumps back over a decade to find the talented 16 year old pedaling her songs around various publishers before finally getting accepted at 1650 Broadway, where she meets her love and co-writer Gerry Goffin.
She falls pregnant, they marry and have their first daughter. Despite each holding down jobs they continue to write together and become close friends with fellow writing partnership, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, who themselves knock out lots of memorable hits which compliment the show.
The plot moves forward more quickly in Act Two as the relationship hits turbulence and she eventually moves to LA with her daughters where she is inspired to write and record Tapestry. With its success, she is propelled to being a solo superstar and we’re back again to Carnagie Hall for the climax of the show and her performance of “Beautiful”.
The customary encore has the audience on it’s feet to the upbeat “I Feel The Earth Move” and a standing ovation from the near full first night audience was well deserved.
Bronté Barbé as Carole King is stunning in her delivery of those classic numbers and handles the character performance admirably. Kane Oliver Parry is very believable as the troubled Gerry Goffin and together with Amy Ellen Richardson (Cynthia) and Matthew Gonsalves (Barry) offer their own impressive vocal inputs.
The ensemble in general are all accomplished singers giving their interpretations of The Shirelles, The Chiffons, The Drifters and more, as the combined songbooks are brought into life.
Beautiful plays the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent until Saturday 28th April – to book tickets, click here.