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Oh! Carole

The fascinating life of one of pop music’s greatest performers and songwriters takes center stage in the bio-musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical that’s packed with deeply personal songs.

Gina Conroy
October 29, 2017

Iconic singer-songwriter Carole King reached the culmination of her career in the ‘70s with her album Tapestry. The album sold over 25 million copies worldwide and dominated the U.S. charts for 15 weeks, making it the most successful album by a female artist for 20 years.

Yet, most people don’t know the heartbreaking and inspiring story behind the woman whose music wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

While many jukebox musicals are simply vehicles to showcase certain bands or singers, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical — a winner of both Grammy and Tony Awards —is different. “The story is as compelling as the music,” says Kristin Dotson, CEO of Celebrity Attractions.

Beautiful tells the story of King’s early days in Brooklyn as a teenager fighting her way into the record business, to her rise to stardom, and all the tumultuous years in between. Viewers get a glimpse into the life of a tenacious 17-year-old who landed a No. 1 hit, then soon after found herself pregnant and married to songwriter Gerry Goffin.

Andrew Brewer, originally from Indiana, started out as an understudy for several cast members, and now plays Goffin, Carole’s love interest, songwriting partner, and husband. “Beautiful is a coming of age story about a teenager who falls for a guy and has a storybook life,” he says.

The following years flourished as she and her husband wrote hits for popular groups like The Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and The Drifters’ “Up on the Roof.” Yet her true voice didn’t emerge until her personal life and marriage started to fall apart.

While her story is touching and timeless, it’s the warmth and humanity in her voice that transcends time to old fans and new, making her story truly beautiful.

“It’s a universal message about feminism, following your dreams, relationships, and finding out what you’re meant to do,” says Brewer. “The story is not tied to a generation. People know these songs whether they realize it or not.”

Beautiful takes the listener through a lyrical journey of the most beloved songs including “I Feel the Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got a Friend” and the title song, but it is so much more than a stunning array of music.

Many of the songs are tied to popular movies and television commercials, making it a show the younger generation really responds to.

“Good music is good music,” says Brewer.

“It’s called pop music for a reason,” says Dotson. “The genre is popular with almost all music fans.”

Brewer says the younger generation will not only appreciate King’s music, but her story as well.

“King and Goffin started writing music at 16 and 19,” says Brewer. “They were writing these songs to get their music and ideas out into the world to throw off the older generation’s music. While King used music and song lyrics to get her ideas out into the world, kids today are using social media and trying to make their way in the world. Like King, kids are trying to make their voices heard.”

Dotson agrees that King’s songs stand the test of time.

“When I saw the show on Broadway, I was amazed at the response from the audience which was populated with patrons of all ages,” says Dotson. “Everyone was on their feet and knew every word to every song. I know Tulsans, young and old, will love the show.

"For the older generation, every song comes with a memory and feeling and transports you back in time to when you first heard the song.”

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E. 2nd St. | Tulsa
Nov. 28-30: 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 1: 8 p.m.
Dec. 2: 2 p.m., 8 p.m.
Dec. 3: 1:30 p.m., 7 p.m.

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