Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Returns to PPAC
The show tells the challenging, heartbreaking and triumphant story of Carole King’s journey from teenage songwriter to chart-topping singer.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical returns to Providence Performing Arts Center for the first time since opening the national tour in September 2015. The cast and crew hope to tell the new and returning Providence audience members the challenging, heartbreaking and triumphant story of Carole King’s journey from teenage songwriter to chart-topping singer.
Before King was the voice behind the 1971 album Tapestry, she was Carol Klein, an aspiring musician who changed her name and left Brooklyn to pursue her dream. Her first husband, Gerry Goffin, and King became an unstoppable songwriting pair in the 1960s and penned hits like “The Loco-Motion” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
“It’s the hidden secret of the show,” says Andrew Brewer, who plays Goffin. “We associate her with ‘Tapestry’ alone… I think that’s why the show works so well because you’re telling a story not everyone knows. She had to come from somewhere…The general reaction is always whenever a song comes on, ‘Oh yeah, that song!’”
While Goffin and King were making their way to the top, King’s best friends, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, were doing the same thing — Gladys Knight and the Pips performed their song, “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling.”
Beautiful is not just a timeline of the life of Carole King but it’s also an inspiring story of women’s empowerment. When she first appears in the show, her hair is tamed and pulled back, but King was known for her wild, curly hair. Her change in appearance reflected her personality and career growth while making a statement — she was a free soul and would not be held back.
“It took her a lot to get that way,” says Sarah Bockel, who stars as King on the tour.
After facing mistreatment from her husbands, she realized she was fed up with it, and by the end (spoiler alert!) has a heartwarming and hold-your-breath “I’ve made it” moment.
Beautiful is also currently playing on Broadway, but will only be in Providence until March 4. Sit back, sing along with the songs you grew up listening to and finally learn about the icon who wrote them. For more information about show times and tickets, visit ppacri.org.