“Olivia Loves Theatre” Visits The Carole King Musical - A Blogger’s Review
We’re pleased to introduce successful theatre blogger Olivia Bolas who has reviewed Beautiful: The Carole King Musical for us.
Olivia’s blog is called Olivia Loves Theatre and at just 18, it’s clear to see she loves the theatre as much as we do!
Carole King’s career began in the 1960s when she rose to prominence as a songwriter and singer. I wasn’t born until the nineties so I went to see Beautiful: The Carole King Musical without any idea of what to expect in terms of the story. I enjoyed the show from the very beginning as it had lively music, interesting staging and dialogue. The story follows King from when she sold her first song at age 16 through to her first live performance at Carnegie Hall in 1971. The show is full of fast, witty jokes throughout which contrasted with some very strong moments of heightened emotion.
Although the show mainly follows the story of Carole King and husband Gerry Goffin (played by the incredible Katie Brayben and Alan Morrissey), alongside this runs the story of writing partners Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann (Lorna Want and Ian McIntosh) which added comedy and an extra layer to the plot. I knew virtually nothing about King’s story but I was captivated as it all seemed so realistic and honest. It was very believable and in particular Alan Morrissey’s portrayal of Goffin felt so raw and true. One of my favourite musical numbers of the show came towards the end in the form of You’ve Got a Friend sung by a quartet of Brayben, Want, McIntosh and Gary Trainor (who played producer Donnie Kirshner). It’s such a well-known song but this gave it new meaning for me as the emotional significance to Carole became clear.
It was obvious to me that many members of the audience were completely transported back by the music- there was a murmur of recognition as each song began and I heard a woman note afterwards that she knew every single word to each song. Equally I was surprised at just how much of the music I recognised, which I suppose shows just how much of an impact King’s music had. I think that’s one of the best things about Beautiful- it appeals to people of all ages. There were adults in the audience who grew up listening to this music and know about it, and then there’s people who, like me, learnt so much about the music of the time just by watching the show. It’s important to acknowledge where popular music of today comes from and passing on King’s legacy (among others) through this show is such a fantastic and entertaining way to do that. I really urge everyone, of all ages, to see this show if you have the chance!
By Olivia Bolas, Olivia Loves Theatre.
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