It is always a pleasure watching friends perform and this time I got to see my very talented friend Cassidy Janson playing the lead of Carole King in the Musical – Beautiful.
After a roaring success on Broadway Beautiful seems to be doing just as well in London.
Going to the show I was certain that I didn’t know any of the songs by Carole King… but turns out I knew most of them, and I am sure you will too.
So yes it is a jukebox musical, but this jukebox musical actually has a good narrative. Directed by Marc Bruni, Beautiful is the untold true story of King’s rise to singer-songwriter stardom and the toll that it can place on you both personally and professionally. A biographical musical at its best, with King’s hit songs such as ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling’, ‘On Broadway’ and the ‘Locomotion’ to name but a few are joined together by fragments of King’s life to make this joyful musical and will have you leaving the theatre with a skip in your step.
Here’s the trailer:
Janson as King ( Wicked, Avenue Q) doesn’t disappointed in this production. Beautifully ( no pun intended ) acting through song, she manages to impress the audience with not only her powerful vocals but also with the emotion and storytelling that she brings to the show. A great credit to her as an actress as well as a singer.
Making up the onstage quartet and ‘King’s friends we had Ian McIntosh and Lorna Want as Barry and Cynthia and her on stage husband was played by Alan Morrissey. McIntosh and Want are a lovely duo and as the show progresses all three really have stand out moments.
Humour is also added to the show by King’s mother played by Diane Keen, who shows the loving and caring side of a mother who only wants the best for her daughter.
It is also a great show for the ensemble. Not an extremely dance heavy show but the choreography is perfect for the era, combining the hit songs with the iconic dance moves. Each ensemble member has a moment where they step up to portray an iconic singer of the 60’s-70’s and showing that they are all extremely talented.
The show cleverly switches environments going from office to studio to club and so on and with each transition cast member brings well known songs to life as they embody such acts as – Martha and the Vandellas, The Temptations and The Supreme’s.
I also have to give mention to the scenic design by Derek Mclan, Lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski and costume by Alejo Viette, which when combined all helped to make this a visually stimulating and eye catching show. Paying homage to that era we have some great and extremely quick costume changes and a nostalgic feel to the show for many members of the audience.
Cast: Cassidy Janson (Carole King), Alan Morrissey (Gerry Goffin), Ian McIntosh (Barry Mann), Lorna Want (Cynthia Weil), Diane Keen (Genie Klein), Gary Trainor (Don Kirshner), Vivien Carter, Ed Currie, Oliver Lidert, Fela Lufadeju, Tanya Nicole-Edwards, Terel Nugent , Jay Perry, Tanisha Spring, Lucy St. Louis, Danielle Steers, Dylan Turner, Joanna Woodwood, Andy Coxon, Jason Denton, Michael Anthony Duke, Joel Harper-Jackson, Rosie Heath, Aisha Jawando, Hannah Jay-Allan and Leigh Lothian.
Running Time: two Hours and 30 minutes with a 15/20 min interval. Beautiful is currently performing at the Aldwych theatre and is booking ticket till 2017