The Broadway Musical Blog – Musical theater news and gossip from the Great White Way

Dishing out daily (or almost daily) Broadway musical news and gossip. The companion site to The Broadway Musical Home (broadwaymusicalhome.com), a directory of Broadway musicals with the story, songs, merchandise, video clips, lyrics, tickets, rights & awards for almost 200 shows.

Archive for Carole King

The Reviews for Beautiful are In…

Beautiful

The reviews for Beautiful are in, and though many reviewers found the show formulaic and far from original, they all praised Jessie Mueller for delivering a performance that is nuanced and fascinating. Like you’d expect of any jukebox musical, the music is fantastic, a trip down memory lane, fluffed up enough to leave you smiling as you head out of the theatre, humming a familiar tune.  So, the real question is – are Broadway audiences ready to embrace a single-female version of Jersey Boys, or are they too tired of the formula? We’ll just have to wait and see…

NEW YORK TIMES

“For purposes of transparency in advertising, ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’ should probably be titled ‘Brooklyn Girl.’ This renaming would allow theatergoers to know exactly what to expect of the friendly, formulaic bio-musical that opened on Sunday night at the Stephen Sondheim Theater, starring an immensely likable Jessie Mueller…when Ms. Mueller sings the show’s title song — sitting at a keyboard in, of course, Carnegie for the production’s finale — she delivers something you don’t expect from a jukebox musical. That’s a complex, revitalizing portrait of how a very familiar song came into existence, and of the real, conflicted person within the reluctant star.”

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HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“When the kitschy musical about the record producer behind the Shirelles, Baby It’s You, showed up briefly on Broadway in 2011, that 1960s girl group’s No. 1 breakthrough hit, ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow,’ was conspicuously absent. Turns out withholding the song rights for the far superior Beautiful: The Carole King Musical was a prescient move. Following in the footsteps of crowd-pleasers like Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical, this is entertaining boomer bait that elevates its by-the-numbers narrative with great songs. It’s also a tremendous showcase for the talented Jessie Mueller as she embodies King’s blossoming from songwriter-for-hire to empowered performer of her own material.”

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AM NEW YORK

“It’s been widely reported that Carole King will not be attending any performances of Beautiful, the new Broadway musical about her career as a singer-songwriter, allegedly because it depicts painful moments from her life. Well, she can rest assured that Beautiful, a sentimental and sympathetic biography led by a poignant, extremely winning performance from breakout star Jessie Mueller, is slickly staged, genuinely touching and very enjoyable.”

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HUFFINGTON POST

“What makes Beautiful, the new Broadway musical covering the rise of Carole King’s music career, is all of the little details that come together so brilliantly on the stage. It’s fitting that such an under-appreciated talent is represented in an extraordinary show like this one. Jesse Mueller is phenomenal in the starring role as King, portraying her as meek yet powerful. At times when she’s lost, King finds her own way to prevail. Mueller knows exactly how to tug at the audience’s heartstrings with impressive range. “

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NBC NEW YORK

“A spin through ‘Tapestry’ — the Carole King record with those chart-topping hits such as ‘It’s Too Late’ and ‘So Far Away’ — is no less satisfying today than it was decades ago. Happily, it’s an equally rich thrill to sit for the new musical Beautiful, which tracks the Brooklyn-born songwriter’s early life and career up until the making of that seminal LP. ‘Beautiful’ is a must-see if you’re a King fan, or you’re fascinated by the music business during [this] potent time.”

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ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“Watching Beautiful, the new jukebox musical celebrating the remarkable life and work of Carole King, you may not feel the earth move under your feet. But the new Broadway show emerges as a slick and joyous celebration of female empowerment. Like Jersey BoysBeautiful features a smart, well-crafted, and often funny book (by Douglas McGrath) that cleverly threads together a memorable catalog of early rock hits such as ”Some Kind of Wonderful” and ”Take Good Care of My Baby.’ It also boasts a winning central performance by Jessie Mueller as the shy Jewish girl from Brooklyn who only gradually comes into her own as a headlining voice of a generation.”

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