“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” brought humor, a dazzling set, and talented performances

“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” was able to execute an excellent performance and appeal to the audience in a unique way at the same time.


Flickr, Creative Commons

The cast of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” gathers around a piano during a performance

“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” was an unexpected musical bombshell. It was innovative in its style, and it appealed to a variety of generations. The plot and visual approach shared a glimpse into the life of Carole King, while seamlessly weaving in some of her more well-known and iconic musical hits.

While Carole King (Sarah Bockel) did not showcase her voice in much of the first act, she contributed to the consistent, yet enticing growth of the storyline. Much of the first act highlighted her outstanding accomplishments as a songwriter, and the show displayed that through exciting musical vignettes. The production displayed the making of each song, from the beginnings of the writing process to the final performance. These smooth transitions were invigorating, as the talent of the actors and actresses was extremely apparent; they embodied the characters they were playing in a unique way that still stayed true to the roots of the music. However, some of the lyrics and diction were lost in the production of the show. While this may just have been a matter of imbalanced microphones, some of the talents was dimmed by an inability to properly hear the vocalists.

This was a minor issue, however, in the grand scheme of the play. The set remained vivid and colorful throughout the entirety of the show; the bright lights were constantly switching colors. This immersed the audience into the culture of the 60’s and 70’s, creating a fluid performance of music and vibrancy that accompanied the central storyline.

An unexpected musical bombshell.

— Kailyn Pedersen

The musical was also surprisingly funny. Because it was a production speaking about real, still living people, the humor lied in its subtle realism. This was a product of brilliant writing that left the audience laughing out loud from their seats.

Dylan S. Wallach was also extraordinary in his vocal performance as Gerry Goffin. His smooth tone was silky and swoon-worthy, contributing to the purposefully alluring, though ultimately deceiving, nature of his character. His progression as a character was evident through his clever, nuanced performance.

And how could the cast execute a production about Carole King without an extraordinarily talented King? Sarah Bockel’s talent emitted throughout the entirety of the theater. Whether it was her award-worthy live piano playing or stunning vocals, Bockel captured the spirit of King, while simultaneously eliciting feelings of sentiment in a generation that remembers the legacy of King.

Moreover, the real genius of the production was its ability to speak to an audience that may not have grown up knowing the story of Carole King. The musical was universally appealing, with an engaging story and an incredibly talented cast. While an older generation might appreciate reminiscing with their childhood songs, a new generation can appreciate the personable character of Carole King and her enticing romance and birth into stardom.